From my experience over the last 39 years of teaching, there are essentially 5 steps you should take to make your child have an enjoyable and rewarding Martial Arts journey.
Firstly and probably most importantly, your choice of school. You should definitely pick a dojo that has been around for a while and isn’t just the “flavour of the month” that will shut down a year later. Having your child being a part of a school with a strong culture will motivate them to be a part of the journey that all the students are taking together. Also, ensure the school you pick has a full range of students from white belt Little Ninjas (3-6 years) to Elite Black Belts – it gives your child somewhere to go and something to aspire to.
Consistency, consistency, consistency! You MUST get your son or daughter to training 2 to 3 times a week. Learning something as complex as Martial Arts takes significant time and practice and if you’re taking time off, they will fall behind their friends and want to quit when it gets too hard.
When given the opportunity, upgrade! Advanced programs are called that for a reason. Moving into the Black Belt Club, Demo Team or Leadership Programs will skyrocket your child’s progression. We know it takes more time out of your week, but when you see the confidence and growth your child will get – it’s all worth it.
Competition is key. Pick a school that allows and encourages you to compete in tournaments. Usually, only the top 10% of students actively compete – so by having your child in that crowd, they will naturally rise to the level where the best Martial Artists are produced.
And finally, LISTEN TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR!!! The advice your coach will give is often from years of experience and from dealing with thousands of students in the industry. It’s the wise choice.