- What style of martial arts is best for my child?
- At this point in your child's training, it doesn't matter what style they train in, as long as they train.
The benefits of traditional martial arts is one of the most valuable tools you can give your child, it isn't important whether it's from China, Japan, Okinawa, or Korea, so long as it exposes them to the traditional values of martial arts.
- What type of karate do you teach?
- We teach traditional Okinawan karate.
When I was young, my father was stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, that's when I began my training. We teach the same values and skills I learned back in the early 1970s.
The style of karate we teach is Shorin Ryu, which is one of the oldest forms of karate.
- How do you select your instructors?
- I've known most of our instructors for many years, they have been here since we started back in 2001.
We also have some newer instructors, and each one must pass a rigorous background check. In addition, before they are hired full-time, we observe them for several weeks while they are working with the children, so we know how well they work with them, that they have the patience needed, and most importantly, that they know how to teach them.
- How old must my child be to start a program?
- We like to start our programs with children who are no younger than 4 1/2 years old.
After years of training and observation, we've found with our curriculum, 4 1/2 works best. Any younger than that, and they might not be ready to learn the things we need them to learn, because they haven't developed the necessary focus and discipline.
We have young children all the way up through high-schoolers training here, but the average age is between 8 and 9 years old. We also have quite a few parents who train right along with their children!
- How long will it take for my child to earn a black belt?
- At our school, it takes anywhere from 4 to 5 years to earn a black belt.
When I say “earn”, I mean “earn” a black belt. There are plenty of schools out there where a child may be able to get a black belt in one or two years. They have special programs that have special costs, but we don't do that here. We are not a “black belt factory”.
All students here start as white belts and earn each belt along the way by continuously training over a period of 4 to 5 years. By doing that, they will gain the skill necessary to pass a true black belt test.
- Can you pick my child up from school?
- We have a fantastic after-school program, which consists of us going to the elementary schools and junior highs to pick up our students, so they can come to our dojo and train for about an hour and a half each day, Monday thru Friday.
We pick them up, bring them to the dojo, they change, they train until about 5:00pm, then they wait to be picked up by their parents.
- Is there a lot of gear to buy?
- Parents are usually concerned about how much gear costs, but first things first, the gear comes later.
Once your child has focused on the basics, like learning how to punch, kick, and block, only then are they ready to buy gear for sparring.
So yes, there is some sparring gear to buy after several months, but not right away, because white belts do not train with contact, they have to learn the basics first, before we let them spar.
- Will karate turn my child into a bully?
- Parents often worry about what their child learns at S.A. Kid's Karate, that it will make them more aggressive on the playground, at school, at home, or in other social activities. Absolutely not!
Two of the basic principles of karate are Courtesy and Respect, and we teach that Courtesy and Respect apply beyond the four walls of the dojo. In fact, if our students do not practice Courtesy and Respect in all aspects of their lives, they are not eligible to test for their next belt.
Furthermore, we teach our students they are not to strike first in karate, as karate is to be used for defensive purposes only.
Give Us a Call
See how we can help your child gain focus, self-discipline, physical fitness, and other attributes that will assist him or her withstand and overcome life's challenges.
Babcock: 210-377-2600 | Bandera: 210-256-2600