I've been involved in teaching children and training our Instructors for over 40 years. I've seen Family Karate make a huge difference for thousands of kids - literally life-impacting differences. Our Karate Kids go on to study at Ivy League schools, protect our country, become business leaders, and most importantly become great Moms and Dads. (We really do know about the great Moms and Dads part because in Family Karate's fifth decade we are teaching the children - and even grand-children - of our Karate Kids!)
Here are the Top Ten benefits our students' parents and teachers say they gain learning with us:
10. Coordination & motor skills. Kids who work on improving strength, balance, and coordination do better in games and sports at a young age. This creates real confidence, and reduces the likelihood of ridicule and bullying.
9. Fitness. Everyone needs fitness, but very few of our kids get enough exercise. Training in martial arts is fun, natural, purposeful movement which builds muscle and burns fat. Purposeful movement is motivating! Karate kids have more energy for school and for life.
8. Social Skills. Our classes include constant interaction between kids of all ages, and with Instructors. Learning to support others kids, sharing ideas, and having fun together builds social skills and expands circles of friends.
7. Self Defense. We all want our kids to have fun and not be afraid of others. We also want our kids to be safe. Self protection skills are important, and kids need to gain competence in these skills. We can't expect kids to stand up to unhealthy peer pressure if they are afraid of confrontations. (When I began teaching martial arts, I was sure this would be the number one reason parents choose us. I was wrong. As you can see, there are many others ahead of this one.)
6. Resilience. Kids love to do well, and win. They also need to realize that not everything comes easily. They need to learn grit - to work hard, and get past set-backs and disappointments, in order to accomplish important things. Martial arts has built-in challenges that helps with each of these life skills.
5. Self Confidence. Martial arts is amazingly successful at teaching kids learn to show their earned self-confidence, walk with a strong posture, speak fluently, make eye contact, be strong socially, and make good decisions.
4. Focus. From day one at Family Karate students learn to block out distractions and concentrate. They learn to focus their bodies, focus their eyes, and focus their minds - very important in school, at home, and in life.
3. Respect. The protocol of every Family Karate class is to have respect for ourselves, respect for classmates, respect for adults, and respect for learning. Our Karate Kids learn how to interact courteously and confidently.
2. Courtesy. We insist on treating everyone with respect, kindness, and dignity. Following the Golden Rule is taught in every Family Karate lesson. We guide our students through the shining examples of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, William Wilberforce, Wilma Rudolph, Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, and many others.
1. Please join us to find out what #1 is for your child! If you believe the qualities above are important, we'd love to be on your team. Please visit our Parents Say page to see how other Moms and Dads feel about their children's progress at home, at school, and in public.
How I chose a martial arts school for my own child
by Master Instructor Steve Truscott
If you are reading this, you are probably already convinced that your child can benefit from the self discipline, self confidence, and self leadership that martial arts can teach.
That is good, and I’m going to help you find the school that will partner with you to do build these life skills into your child.
With hundreds of martial schools in every metro area, how do you find the right one for your family?
When I began looking for a school for my own daughter, I had the same challenge. And I’d like to share with you what I learned were the crucial questions. For example:
Every martial arts school will claim (or even really try) to build personal responsibility into their students. But how do they actually do this? And when does this specific training start?
For my daughter I wanted a studio that would do this purposefully and systematically, beginning at the very first lesson.
Most martial arts schools that have a presence on the web or social media will have some good reviews. But how do we dig deeper to find out how they really do business?
For my daughter I wanted a school that was not only well-established, but well-respected in the community for its ethical business practices.
I have been studying and teaching martial arts for decades. In that time, I have taught tens of thousands of children, and authored professional standards for martial arts instructor training and certification.
But when it became time for my daughter to begin her training my own studio was too long a commute during homework time, so I began the search for another good school close to home.
Here’s what I learned...
There are many, many questions that provide “nice to know” information - but there are just a very few crucial questions for making the right choice for your family.
For example, many parents ask “What are the differences between karate, kung fu, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, and all the other styles?”
As a lifelong martial artist, this question is endlessly fascinating to me - but it turned out that this question was completely meaningless to me as a Dad in choosing the right school for my daughter.
So if the style is not important, what is?
1. The Sensei
Much more important than the martial art is the teacher.
The first thing to remember is that a good martial artist is not necessarily a good teacher. An instructor’s demeanor is much more important than her degrees or championships.
You can only learn this by actually visiting the school, seeing the teacher in action, and discovering:
- Is the teacher is constantly engaged, positive, safe, and fun?
- How do children of your child’s age relate and respond to the teacher?
- Is the teacher personally welcoming to you, your child, and every member of your family?
- Can the instructor meet the specific needs and issues of your child?
I wanted my daughter to attend a school at which the teacher and the students smile - a lot!
It is completely natural to equate big with better, but serving a community not just year after year, but decade after decade, tells us much more about how much a school is being valued by its community.
Being able to stay in business for a long time probably means that a large percentage of new students are coming from referrals from friends, family members, and school teachers.
Longevity can also help answer another important question parents have: “How does this school do business?” Whether at a dentist, chiropractor, or veterinarian we have all heard pitches on why we need a long, extensive, and - of course - very expensive course of treatment. I found out that many martial arts schools use the same sales tactics.
I wanted my daughter’s school to have monthly tuition, no contracts, to tell me up front about all fees and costs, and offer a low enrollment and/or equipment fee to start.
Every martial arts studio’s website should welcome engagement. Every teacher should welcome new students over the phone or by email.
But martial arts can become a very important part of your child’s - and thus your family’s - life, so you need to know that the welcome will continue for years to come. I wanted to be sure that I could:
- Watch every class, test, tournament and event in which my child is involved
- Attend classes myself, or even participate in my child’s class
- Have concerns about issues specific to my child addressed by the teacher
I wanted my daughter to enjoy a school where she always felt welcomed by the teachers and her classmates.
After all my research, I decided that the right school for my daughter would the one that most clearly showed me it had:
1. A great sensei and a motivating teaching team
2. A well-established presence and reputation in the community
3. An atmosphere that was welcoming not only to my daughter, but to all its students and their families
The Happy Ending
Fortunately, I was able to enroll my daughter in the school of a very close associate of mine. There were many other martial arts studios much closer to our home, but they did not meet the Three Crucial Questions test.
The school I chose definitely did. I was sure that this school:
1. Had a leader and staff that truly cared about their students, combining high standards of technique and discipline with attentive and compassionate personal engagement, and where the kids were learning cool stuff and having fun!
2. Had been in business for a long time (over 30 years!)
3. Was one in which I felt welcome as a parent (not just as a checkbook!), where I could watch every class, was heard, and could actually be involved with my daughter’s learning.
If you live in San Diego County, Family Karate has seven locations to welcome your family. If we are too long a commute for you, there are a few other schools that I can enthusiastically recommend to you which meet all three tests: great teachers, well-established, and welcoming.
I have asked the leaders of these schools to allow me to offer you a unique opportunity to have a special experience as a family to get to know their teachers, try a few classes, and meet new classmates.
These schools have been serving their community for a long time (some have taught three generations of the same family!). All are very busy because they have so many current students referring their friends and family members, so appointments need to be made in advance for this special offer.
Please email or call me (760-746-0983) if I can connect you with your nearest Family Karate location, or any of the other San Diego County schools I recommend, and I will make sure you are welcomed for your first visit.
Thank you - Steve Truscott
A personal letter from Master Truscott to Moms & Dads
Dear Moms & Dads
The Holidays are over, school is back in, and life is back to "normal" - now is the perfect time to spend more time with your kids. At Family Karate we can give you more time with your kids - in class!
Yes, I know you are too busy, too old, too stiff for Karate - but let me tell you kids (sorry, but I’m almost certainly older than you!) that almost half of our most recent Black Belt graduates were Moms and Dads of our Karate Kids! Average age: 48.8 years, and every one of them was at one time too busy, too old, too stiff to join their kids in class...
Many parents join our classes simply for a new way to get in shape with a supportive team. They do, and then along the way they discover that they also love becoming safer and sharing this activity with their kids.
Other parents join just to have fun with their kids, and maybe learn to protect their families. Suddenly they find out they can do more, feel stronger, sleep better, and are setting a great example for their kids.
Some parents have frankly told me they needed this for their own self discipline, then discovered joy and freedom in holding themselves accountable for consistent, progressive training with their team-mates.
Talk to any of the Moms and Dads who take classes with their kids - Bryan Dyson, Chris Schwartz, Chuck Cason, Corie Copenhaver, Devin & Michelle Kambestad, Dyanne Anderson, James Mette, Melissa Packwood, Rick Brown, and others - and they’ll tell you how wonderful this is for their families, and how important it is for them personally.
You are welcome to attend classes with your kids, or just adult fitness classes, or both. You’re gonna love it - once your kids stop giggling!
We'll guide you towards fitness, mobility, and protective skills; encourage you towards a healthier life-style and being proud of your progress; give you more time and a fun activity with your kids; all of which add up to something huge - a better life.
Be brave - take the first step: Let me know which program you’d be most comfortable trying, and I’ll provide you with a uniform or bag gloves, a private lesson, a class schedule that works, whatever you need to get started!
Thank you for considering this new adventure - Steve Truscott
Family Karate You'll Love Learning Here! On-line Worldwide & Outdoors in San Diego, CA
On this page: 1. Top Ten Reasons 2. How I Chose a Karate School 3. Note to Parents
Top Ten Reasons to have your kids learn at Family Karate*
*according to thousands of parents!