Full-time dojo serving Chester County since 1998.
14 N. Village Ave. Exton, PA
Recently a friend called me from New York. He wanted to know what martial art would be good for his child.
Now, I get this question a lot from friends… family members… even current members who are moving. I have training in the martial arts since I was 5 – my day was in the army – and I’ve trained (and earned Black Belts) in MANY different styles… many. So, I do have a base of knowledge from which to answer this question. But keep in mind the following statements are my OPINIONS.
After talking – more or less pontificating – to my friend for about a half hour, he stopped me and said that he never knew there was so much to think about when choosing a martial art… dojo or style.
I know. I get it. There is a lot to think about.
So here’s the advice I gave to him…
FIRST… regarding what style to learn.
Not sure what martial art to take? Ask around. Little Jimmy down the street might like Tae Kwo Do. But Betty might love Isshin-ryu. There are a lot of styles to choose from. And your child’s personality – along with what you hope to achieve with the martial arts – will determine the best style for your child.
If you’re looking for the martial arts to be more of a “sport” check out any martial art style that ends in “Do.” Tae Kwon Do… Judo… Tang Soo Do… all are sports and sport dojos will spar a lot and go to competitions. They’ll have medals on the walls and trophies in the windows.
Now martial arts that include “jitsu” or “ryu” in their names are styles that are more self-defense oriented with a heavy emphasis on character building. Aiki-jujutsu… Brazilian Jiu-jitsu… Daito-Ryu. While “jitsu” means method of combat, that doesn’t mean that a ‘jitsu” school might teach their art differently. Different instructors have different beliefs and focuses.
There are LOTS of styles to choose from… from Chinese to Indonesian to American. You just really have to get out there and do a little research on your own. But DON’T pick the first school that you see. Shop around.
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How to Select a Dojo for your Child: Part I
By Sensei La France