Parents looking for child-appropriate activities often find themselves researching martial arts. And that makes sense, since it’s a great foundational activity for future sports and it encourages all sorts of wonderful characteristics (respect, a can-do attitude, honor, etc.). But how early can you realistically enroll a child? Can, say, a four year old benefit from martial arts? Well, that depends on the program.
Age Appropriate, Always
The Little Dragons program at Freestyle Martial Arts Academy is specifically designed for children ages four to seven, though there has been an occasional three year old in the mix. The curriculum is simplified, and children begin to learn specific movements and techniques through drills and games.
With young children, an adequate instructor-to-student ratio is key, which is why our Little Dragons classes have anywhere from two to four instructors. That level of supervision and direction ensure all children are getting the attention they need. While the focus is on fun, there are important lessons along the way. As your child follows the class curriculum, they’re benefiting in multiple ways:
- Improving coordination and balance
- Burning energy in a healthy, productive way
- Developing patience and practicing taking turns
- Building confidence as they develop new skills and abilities
- Building concentrate and focusing skills
Modeling specific behavior is an important part of every class. Our instructors emphasize the importance of respect, hard work, and focusing on the task at hand, but always keep in mind the fact that they’re working with small children. Looking people in the eye, shaking hands, and being assertive are some of the things your child will see and learn.
If you worry about your child’s ability to sit still or listen, you might be surprised how well they respond in this sort of setting. And you’ll likely be very pleased at the effect 30 minutes of age-appropriate instruction and activity can have on particularly active children!
Eyes on the Prize
There’s an inherent reward system to martial arts, and that’s something to which most of us respond. Even small children are excited to earn tips on their belt, which signify their mastery of a certain skill. These mini goals help keep them excited and interested as they work toward the next belt rank, which is itself a pretty momentous occasion.
We speak from experience when we say that martial arts is well-suited to children, and kids as young as four can do really well. If you’d like to explore whether martial arts might be a good fit for your child, we invite you to come in! Meet our instructors, tour the school, watch a class, and get a sense of what happens here. Contact us today to get started.