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Facts about Martial Arts for Kids - Part 3

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
"Martial Arts or Karate may not be a good fit for my daughter."

We are living in the 21st century, and I still hear this one. This kind of thinking is what has been holding women back for centuries. This statement is not only made by fathers, but by mothers, too. If your daughter wants to try martial arts, let her have a chance. Martial arts classes for girls, or women, are very rewarding.

Over the years, I have coached successful female martial arts competitors who were every bit as good as their male counterparts. In the past, our kids' karate demonstration team had female captains. At one point, we had more girls on the demonstration team than boys.

Lately, we have hit the opposite cycle, with more boys than girls, as the kids from our kids' Karate demonstration team perform around the Providence, Rhode Island area. However, girls learn faster, understand precision, can easily grasp complicated techniques, and are usually better kickers.

Some grappling arts, such as Jujitsu, are not as popular with girls, but I have coached good female grapplers, as well. There is no reason to stop your daughter from learning martial arts, if she shows an interest. All of the life skill benefits such as, goal setting, self esteem, self discipline, success, and self defense, make martial arts training as important for girls as it is for boys.

"How can I justify the cost of Karate?"

When you consider that many Karate schools charge less than a babysitter, martial arts training for children is a "bargain." Consider this formula based upon a fairly high priced Karate studio. Most martial arts studios, in the United States, average around $70 per month to train a child. Granted, some are more and mome are less, but let's look at your price per hour, if you paid $100 per month.

That comes to just $25 per week, and many Karate studios have a three class limit per week for children. That comes to $8.33 per session for your child to learn life skills, self defense, and play with good kids in a safe environment. Martial arts, for children, are a formula for success, and the cost is really, "peanuts."

Most well behaved children are allowed to take more Karate classes. The children who "run the staff ragged" will be reminded of the weekly limit. So, the truth is the real cost may be less than peanuts, since there are plenty of martial arts schools, including our center in North Providence, Rhode Island, that charge far less than $100 per month.

Using the formula mentioned above, the cost of Karate per class for a martial arts school, charging the national average of $70 per month, comes to $5.83 per session. Did I say martial arts training is a bargain? Maybe I should have said martial arts training is a steal.

The alternative to plug kids into the television, and put a joystick in their hands, is a big mistake. It's not any cheaper, when you consider the cost of games and the ever changing video game formats.

On top of that, here's what video games do for kids: Create anxiety, destroy social skills, teach them a lot about violence, and waste most of their time. All you need to do is throw a Big Mac in their lap every night, and within a year, you should have a child who is a nervous wreck, with poor communication skills, and an obesity problem.

Over the long-term, the wrong after school activities result in very expensive health and psychological care. Therefore, look at martial arts as preventative medicine, and as a bonus, your child is staying out of trouble.

Lastly, if cost is really an issue and you still can't justify paying less than you would pay for a babysitter at $5.83 per session, you can still shop around and talk until you find the right karate studio.

A martial arts studio, that is "packed to the rafters" with kids, may not be as negotiable as a Karate studio that is an upstart, or a martial arts center that has plenty of room in their kids Karate classes.

Copyright 2005 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard is the director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students wanting to be a Yoga teacher.
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