Martial arts classes for kids?

karate classCharley emails:

I'm interested in taking my girls, at least the 4 year old, to start learning a martial art. I'd heard about daddy-daughter martial arts in other towns, and am wondering if there's anything like that around here.
Some stuff I'm eager to drop kids off and let the teachers do their thing, but it seems like it would be really fun to do this and I can't believe I'm the only dad who wants to help his daughter become a blackbelt. Love your input.

Anyone have suggestions for Charley and his daughter? Please share!

photo: Kai Schreiber (Flickr user Genista)

Comments

My kids spent a year at Pai's TaeKwonDo when we first arrived in Saratoga... they have several locations in Saratoga County though I believe none in Albany. It was a very positive experience and the program is great about linking martial arts success with positive life attitudes such as keeping your room clean, respecting your parents etc.

There were a number of parents taking classes along with their kids although not always alongside in the same class.... the classes are organized by skill level yet even so the parents and kids have separate beginning classes simply because of the size difference.

Master Pai has a business model in which you go through a number of certifications as you advance, which cost money. If you go all the way to black belt it is not going to be cheap, but if you are into the experience it will be worth the investment.

If you're within reach of Clifton Park, I can't say enough great things about Adirondack Tae Kwon Do (www.adktkd.com). They have classes for both kids and adults, as well as weekly family classes where you can all work out together. My daughter is a black belt, and after years of watching from the sidelines, my husband and I started in December.

There is a Pai's Taekwondo in Latham off Rte 9, behind JJ Rafferty's in the Price Chopper plaza. There is also a very good club (will cost you much less) at the Malta Community Center named the Southern Adirondack ATA Martial Arts.
As a former taekwondo instructor, I applaud you for wanting to do this with your daughter. My suggestions are to take advantage of any free trial programs and then consider any long term contracts, etc.

Check out http://www.carmaa.org/ - the Capital Region Martial Arts Alliance includes a couple of schools in the CR that are really good. I spent ~7 years at Columbia TKD in East Greenbush and I credit Master Yun and his staff for a lot of my development as a teen and young adult. Both Kinderhook TKD and Pil Sung Martial Arts were started by folks from Columbia TKD so I have a lot of faith in them as well. G Master Nogurea, Capital Northeast TKD, and Adirondack area also very good.

No personal experience but from people who had started there and switched schools, I'd shy away from Pai's- way too much like a cash cow than a school.

That said, I don't think anyone around here has a daddy/daughter class. I started taking classes with my brother, father and uncle, but we were in different classes until I was old enough to move into the adult classes.

In Cohoes, I see Judo of Japan having kids classes all the time. Sorry I don't have any more details! http://www.judoofjapan.com

For real self-defense, try Spa City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Saratoga. http://www.spacitybjj.com

Ed Fyvie is a great kids instructor, everyone gets lots of individual attention.

Spa City is a Jiu Jitsu school. It's the most realistic martial art you could be a part of. I went from Karate to Jiu Jitsu and had my blackbelt in Karate. I thought I would be able to be a part of Jiu Jitsu with no problem, but after a class I realized it would be almost impossible to defend myself in "real life." I wish I had started with Jiu Jitsu. After all of those years, I ended up taking my entire family there to train. It's feels like a family school. Eddie Fyvie is a fantastic instructor and the kids classes are great. I highly recommend it! Go take a class or check it out for free and all of us parents will be there for support or any advice!

I went to Pai's Tae Kwon Do in Latham for 12 years. I agree with other comments that Pai's is definitely more interested in money than actually teaching real self defense. I would highly recommend Adirondack Tae Kwon Do in Clifton Park or even more so Columbia Tae Kwon Do in East Greenbush. You and your daughter will learn real self defense and be able to take classes alongside each other.

Clifton Park BJJ is located within one mile of exit 9 in Health Plex. We specialize in Childrens instruction and the focus of our program is them. Your child gets excellent instruction and we tackle subjects such as bulling and stranger danger in our life lessons portion of class. Bring your child for a free class on us.

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