Karate Lessons

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A couple of weeks ago, a man who owns a karate school in Glasgow came to our kids school and gave a demonstration, needless to say, the kids loved it. He gave teachers some passes for a couple of free lessons to kids who EARNED them by showing respect to the teacher and behaving well. My son got the passes and I agreed somewhat reluctantly to take him. I have to say I was impressed. The school focused on respect for yourself and your parents and teachers and for your body by eating well, exerciseing and staying away from things like drugs. Now of course, my son really wants to take Karate classes.

Ok here are some pros-I really liked the focus of the class. My son is the smallest in his class. While he is very intellegent, he also has a learning disabilty, plus some minor physical problems that require a physical therapist. we live in an area where sports are emphasised-even his teacher talks about different teams and her kids are on every sports team possible. He has also had a couple of run-ins with bullies. Despite his high intellengence and lots of support and encouragement at home, he still has low-self esteam-though this is gradually improving. I have seriously considered taking him out of school, but then he would not get the disability/physicall therapy services he needs. I'm thinking this class might be good for his self esteam, it would be good exercise, its a way cool thing to do-which might help him in dealing with his class mates, and I have to say, after the bully incident, learning some self defence is probably a good idea.

The cons-the classes are WAY expensive for us-they are actually reasonable, but my husband is in Grad school, and we allready are running on a shoestring budget, though his Grandparents have offered to pick up part of the cost. Also it would mean driving to Glasgow, about a half hour drive each way two, three times a week. Also I am opposed to violence and I admit I'm am not at all liking the idea of Martial Arts Class.

Has anyone taken these kinds of classs or had their kids so it? Any thoughts or comments? Thanks.-Oh, we are not under any time obligation, in fact, if we start it would probably be summertime.

-- Kelly(KY) (homearts2002@yahoo.com), January 24, 2002


Good morning, Kelly. From my understanding, most martial arts do not encourage violence, but rather self-improvement and the ability to protect yourself. I believe that most martial arts teach that fighting is always a last resort. I would check this out with the teacher and make sure this is their philosophy.

As for the cost, why don't you discuss it with the owner. Maybe a reduced rate is possible - or maybe there's something you could trade for the classes? It never hurts to ask!

Best of luck to you and your son. He sounds like a great kid!

-- Cheryl in KS (cherylmccoy@rocketmail.com), January 24, 2002.


my husband and I took shotokan (sp?) karate (a Japanese style, noncontact) before we moved. We loved it. We had a great teacher and there was a sense of respect. Standards were high and it was a real accomplishment to advance to the next belt. (we weren't there long enough to advance). We loved going to this dojo (the place where you study).

When we moved, all we could find was Tae Kwon Do karate (I believe this is a Korean style). There seems to be alot of it everywhere. It was disappointing to us; standards weren't as high and there was a lot of emphasis on simple physical conditional (situps, kicking) but very little about the philosophy. It seemed very easy to advance to the next belt. I think it depends on the teacher and their knowledge, also maybe the style of karate. I would take karate again when we find what we're looking for here.

BUT...I am opposed to violence too. In neither class did I get the sense of violence. I get more disturbed watching a violent tv show or movie.

Hope this helps...just my 2 cents.

-- Cat in MN (catcrazy@somewhere.com), January 24, 2002.

Kelly, thanks for admitting that the classes are reasonably priced, most people whine about expense yet fail to realize that karate teachers (and other professionals in all kinds of fields) have trained for quite a while to be good at what they do.

Are there options like a community or YMCA karate class locally? Or maybe if you bring in two other people to this guy's class you could get a discount?

(please see the *smile* here) Please try to get over the "opposed to violence" issue. Most martial arts classes (not the ones meant to be quickie self-defense primers) are all about discipline and respect (you may be familiar with a recent case where a US judge ruled that the ceremonial bow to the founder of Judo was NOT religious, merely a show of respect) for yourself and others.

Do you want your son to continue to be bullied? Of course not. By his taking the classes and knowing that he has the ability to protect himself, he will walk taller and more proudly and exude an air of self- confidence that will send the subconscious message to others not to mess with him. And if they do, it will only take one or two defensive moves on his part to show he means business.

Never start something, but you have the right to defend yourself.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), January 24, 2002.

Hello Kelly, Martial Arts is one of the best ways to build self confidence in anyone, child or adult. Skills are attained by diligent practise and self confidence is expanded as you progress up the various levels of skills, (belts). A good teacher will only promote the student that is worthy. Thus, each promotion gives the student more confidence. The higher the level they attain, the more diligence and practise they will need. If you are interested in your children studying martial arts you will have to make sure they attend as many classes as possible and encourage them to stick with it.

The cost of martial arts varies and I am not sure how much yours will cost. The way I paid for my classes was by offering to keep the school (dojo) clean. I swept and mopped the floors after each class and would clean the bathrooms. As I progressed up the grades, I also started teaching. Six years later, I attained my Black Belt. My cost was mostly my time. I attended every class and went to every sports event that was available during those six years.

One of the greatest aspect of my martial arts training, was the fact that I could offer myself to my teacher, (Sensai), with undying humbleness. A great man in all respects but, was worthy of the small sacrifice of maintaining his dojo in exchange for all that he taught me.



-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (espresso42@hotmail.com), January 24, 2002.

Kelly, I took a Tae Kwon Do class in college, and I loved it! I found it especially good since I am particularly BAD about regular exercise, and the emphasis on stretching and relaxing to be ready at the beginning and ending of class was wonderful. I haven't enrolled my boys in anything like this yet, (they're still a little young), but if one expressed an interest in it, I would definitely try to get them involved.

I think you can usually tell with just a short conversation or observation of class where the emphasis is, either on the skill and training aspect or on the fighting aspect. I hope you can swing it, I know how hard it is to let go when money is in short supply!

-- Christine in OK (cljford@mmcable.com), January 24, 2002.

Both my grandaughters in Louisville are taking Tae Quon Do (SP?) The oldest has a self esteem problem too and also a learning disability. This has been great for them. It has taught them self discipline and respect and given them more confidence. My daughter did not feel that violence was stressed but more the self discipline. If you can possibly afford it, I think it would be great. Are there not any classes closer without having to drive to Glasglow? We have karate classes even here in our small town. Check around some.

-- Barb in Ky. (bjconthefarm@yahoo.com), January 25, 2002.

Thanks to everyone for such great advise. I found out yesterday that the director of the Summer Program at my kids school is trying to get One of the teachers from this karate school to give lessons, for Summer Program, if so, my son can get a month of lessons free and I just have to take him to school. That would be really wonderful and then if he sticks with it and is still interested, at the end of the month, we will let him continue. If his Grandparents pay half, and I budget for a couple of months, we can manage the cost. The summer program is also offering swimming lessons, and some other great things as well, so I'm excited about it. Now you all just cross your fingers and hope they get the teacher!!!!

-- Kelly(KY) (homearts2002@yahoo.com), January 25, 2002.

Kelly, I'll pray for you that the situation allows your son to take the free month of classes. My children took Tae Kwon Doe this fall and advanced to their yellow belts. They are 6 and 8, but there were kids from age 3 to much older than me. The classes were great for self-esteem and for physical condition. They also fostered a sense of helpfulness, in that the Sensei and her assistants would sometimes have the older children demonstrate new moves for the younger children. (All age kids had class together, then the adults would have separate classes.) There was a good atmosphere of cooperation.

I worked on a farm and we are all laid off each winter, so for the winter months we do activities that don't strain our lower budget, buy you can be sure that we will be back to karate next summer or fall.

-- Sheryl in ME (radams@sacoriver.net), January 25, 2002.


My son is in Karate now for the past 4 years. We pay $45.00 a month and he goes twice a week. Believe me every penny is worth it. He has learned how to handle self defense situations, dealing in with those bullies and respect.

He also has a few class mates (all ages from 5 to 80) and all are treated equal and they show respect to one another as well as respect for those who have earned higher raking belts. There are a few with learning disabilities and they have done wonders with this program.

My son will become a Blackbelt this March at 18 and loves every minute of it. He is not into sports in school but he has brought his Karate team to his high school for a yearly demonstration which he also participates. At first the kids in the audience where making fun of the group but when they started to do breaking with wood, cement blocks,the kids went crazy and cheered them. He earned so much respect from kids in school who had previously picked on him.

I assure you your sons lack of self confidence will indeed improve from Karate. The small amount we pay monthly is well worth it. Don't hesitate he will thank you for it doew the road.


-- Cassie (Cassie_059@yahoo.com), January 26, 2002.

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