Tae Yun Kim knows that martial arts can have an immensely positive impact on a child’s life, improving confidence, developing respect, and increasing strength, but how can you know if your child is mature enough to begin studying martial arts? Children develop both mentally and physically at very different rates; some children at 4 or 5 have better motor control than children twice their age, while others might have the mental ability but not the physical stamina yet.
Of course, the best course of action is to consult a professional, when deciding if your child is ready to study martial arts of any kind. Tae Yun Kim offers some tips here on how to know if your child is ready to begin studying martial arts.
Tae Yun Kim will tell you that the most important part of young children training in the martial arts is a good and intuitive teacher. You want to ensure that your child studies with a teacher that understands each age group, and knows how to structure classes. It is also just as important to choose a teacher who knows when to praise and still knows when to be strict. Children require both when studying in any subject, but especially in martial arts.
Do your homework. Don’t just do internet research on your martial arts school. Go and watch a class at the school. See how they teach, and if you think it will be a good approach for your child. This homework phase may take some time, but it is very important. The martial arts teacher is the one who can “make or break” it. Also talk to other parents at the school. Find out if they are happy with the teacher and the classes.
Tae Yun Kim has had children in her classes as young as 2 years. She has the incredible ability to know what each child needs, and she teaches accordingly.
Good teachers will know when a child is ready, and what he or she is ready for. So, in summary, it’s important for you as parent to feel confident and good about the teacher, and then trust them to do the right thing.
Tae Yun Kim recommends looking for a dojo that offers family classes where you can study with your child. Sometimes the presence of a parent can help keep young children focused and respectful, and family classes can be a positive bonding experience.