Many parents in Brisbane and Logan are wanting to get their children involved in kids kickboxing classes or another activity which can give their kids confidence, get them active, and teach them to defend themselves, but are worried about what a kids martial arts class may expose them too. With many martial arts schools around Logan, how will parents know which kids martial arts school in Brisbane to go to?
Is there a risk of being bullied?
There are many stories of martial arts schools having students with big ego’s and a bully mentality (think Cobra-kai from old karate kid movies), but this is something that is a product of the instructor and not of the students themselves. A good instructor will set an example for the students that bullying is not ok, and is in fact a sign of weakness in someone’s personality. At The Fight Centre – Brisbane we often remind our kids that we expect them to conduct themselves responsibly inside and outside of our gym.
Our method of getting respect from our students in our kids kickboxing classes, is that we give them respect and expect to receive it in return. This comes down to small details, like talking to them as though they are adults rather than babies. We speak clearly, always use appropriate language, and never down to them, as we find this to be condescending. We also try to be as friendly as possible, but the moment they take advantage of a lighthearted situation and start to get silly, we pull them back into line and let them know it’s not ok to ruin other student’s learning by being disruptive.
It is also important that our kids talk to us. If they are having troubles with another student, if they feel as though they aren’t learning or enjoying the class, or are having any other issues, we want to know. We try to make sure the kids always feel comfortable enough with us that they can share any problems, as we want to make the classes as enjoyable as possible. We believe that if a child is scared to communicate with us, it will most likely result in them quitting rather than talking to an instructor, meaning that they will miss out on the benefits of the discipline and the self defence that are applied in our classes. We wholeheartedly believe that martial arts are a great way develop a personality, especially in kids, and we would hate for anyone to miss out because they didn’t feel comfortable talking to us.
While we encourage the kids to talk to us, we still have a strict rule that while an instructor talks, the students must be silent. It is no secret that Logan is an area that kids can easily be led astray or follow the wrong crowd. Having respect for your elders and understanding that there is a time to talk back, and there is a time to listen is important for a child developing into a young adult. Our aim is to provide an environment that encourages mutual respect between student and teacher, that will hopefully carry on into other aspects of their life, whether it be at school, or respecting their employer in their first job later in life.
Having the wrong students partnered with each other can make the class run horribly. With the recent addition of a Junior muay thai class, which is a muay thai and kickboxing class for young teenagers, we have been able to split the classes up according to age, size, and experience. The kids kickboxing classes are for boys and girls aged 6-12 years, and the Junior kickboxing classes are for 10-15 years. This has allowed us to structure the classes differently for the younger and older age groups. In the younger class we tend to focus on basic skills and use more simple combinations, with the occasional game thrown in to keep it fun and interesting. We also take into account the brain development for the children and keep head contact to a bare minimum until they are 10 years old. In the older class we start to increase the difficulty slightly, but take safety very seriously and always insist on using protective equipment whenever needed. There will be times that we pair up younger students with older students, but we believe this responsibility on occasion can be fantastic for a child. Teaching someone else is not only a great way to solidify a technique, but also teaches other important virtues like patience and empathy.
When it comes to a kids kickboxing class overflowing with students, it is too hard for one instructor to supervise everyone at once. We have three instructors, or at minimum two, running our classes at all times. This is not only to maintain control of the class, but also to ensure that all students get a chance to spend some time with an instructor supervising their technique directly. We found that it is much easier for two instructors to watch 20 kids, than it is for one instructor to watch 10, due to the fact that there is often your back turned to a portion of the class, but this happens much less with two or three instructors running a kids or teens kickboxing class.
Our aim is not to turn all of the students in our kids kickboxing classes into world champions, but we would much rather build their confidence at a young age. We will always provide a platform for our children to compete if they so wish, but we do not force it upon any of our students, be they children or adults. We believe that the confidence is the most important aspect that can be gained from kids and teens kickboxing classes. With the right ideas being implemented during training, the kids will be confident in their own ability to defend themselves, without feeling the need to prove it to anyone. This unspoken confidence is arguably the biggest deterrent to get into a fight in the first place, even more than fighting skill or ability. Someone may be skilled naturally, but there is still a risk of being singled out in an altercation if the self confidence is not there, as a bully can often sense this.
We enjoy teaching our kids kickboxing classes, and want to make fun not only for them, but for us also. A grumpy or angry teacher can affect a student’s ability to learn, and we hope to make a positive environment for our students. For us as teachers, the important part of our classes is not the sport itself, but the bi-products of learning the sport. We realise that most students that start training will not be world champions, but all can improve their confidence, discipline, fitness, health awareness, respect for elders, and many other aspects of their lives and personalities by attending kids martial arts classes.
Bring your child down for a free class at The Fight Centre – Brisbane!