View Full Version : Anyone's DC signed up for Tae Kwon Do?

07-27-2005, 08:17 PM
DD has a little friend who does Tae Kwon Do. She's 4 and has an orange belt! I had planned on starting DD in some type of martial arts class down the line, mostly for self-defense, but also for exercise and to reinforce respect and discipline. I had no idea that they started so young! Does anyone have and experience with this? What age do you think is good to begin martial arts classes and which one would you choose?

08-11-2005, 10:59 PM
Hi, just noticed your post.

From the perspective of a mom AND a martial arts instructor I would say this. If you are looking for the respect/discipline aspects you will probably want to wait a couple more years. If you are looking for the exercise/fun activity aspect then you can sign them up whenever you have an instructor willing to take them (just like gymnastics or dance).

Is your child physically ready? Some things to check: 1)Does he know left from right? A lot of instruction is verbal (put your right hand in front of you left hand at your side). 2)Can he bend his arm over his head - this is a bit complicated to explain but very easy to check, have him lift his arm in the air like he wants a teacher to call on him then have him bend his arm so it rests on his head (this is a proportions thing, toddlers have shorter arms in proportion to their bodies and can get frustrated trying to duplicate a move). 3)Will he obey instruction from another adult?

My feelings are to wait. My husband and I have already discussed this and decided that our daughter must have a black belt level before she can date. In a good school black belt should take 4-5 years for children to reach and 3 years for an adult. Anything less than that and you are just talking about an exercise/aerobic program.

Some suggestions for checking out schools: 1)If you don't like the instructor DON'T go back. 2)I'll get a lot of guff for this but...style doesn't matter, the individual intructor matters. 3)The instructor should be just as concerned with a child's behavior out of class as they are in class (grades, deportment, manners should matter to him/her). 3)Parents should be allowed/encouraged to watch (though it might be from behind a one-way mirror to cut down on distractions. 4)The instructor should be a role model (clean, relatively in-shape, on-time, etc.) 5)The school should be clean, well-lit, etc.

Occasionally you will find that the school isn't ideal but everything else is. A lot of instructors begin teaching on their own and start up costs are high, so they might be teaching out of their garage or a school gym. That is fine as long as it is kept clean and obvious safety hazards are removed.

If you have any questions feel free to email me!

Jen in Okinawa
Mom to my beautiful daughter,
who is now 3 3/4, Noelle!

08-12-2005, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the great advice, Jen! Yes, I think I'll wait a little. Gymnastics this summer and Ballet in the fall are probably enough for now. I would also love for DD earn a black belt before her 1st date!