“Anyone know of karate classes that start before age 4?” We hear this question all the time in local Facebook parent groups.
Personal Best Karate in Medfield, MA has answered that question in an enthusiastic way. This October 2017 they are introducing Kinder Kicks, a pre-martial-arts program for ages 0-4!
Ok, I hear you. You’re saying “How can a 6-month-old do karate?” And you’re right, your 6-month-old isn’t going to be throwing many punches. But this unique program lays the foundation for martial arts, with a three-tiered program that gets parents in on the action.
We’ll sum them up, then tell you about the class we and our friends just tried at the studio in Medfield and how you can try out a class, too!
Level One: “Remarkable Me” (Newborn to 18 months)
This “parent-and-me” class is just as much for parents as it is for the little ones, with cardio, abs, and strength training for parents. But while mom or dad gets a workout, the baby gets tactile, auditory, and visual simulation. This class starts to build a bond around fitness for both parents and kids
Level Two: “Jumping Joeys” (18 months to 3 years)
This is where little ones start really developing some of the basic skills that will be important in martial arts. Toddlers and young preschoolers are introduced to some of the techniques of karate, but also learn values such as listening, respect, and taking turns, while developing physical strength, flexibility, and coordination. Parents are involved in all aspects of this class.
We and our friends went to a Jumping Joeys class (I mean, what else would you expect with a name like Community Kangaroo?) Read on to hear more about that.
Level Three: “Leadership Lion” (3 – 4 years)
This class inspires independence, leadership, and empathy, as parents take a step back and let their preschoolers participate mostly on their own. The social and moral skills of karate are paired with an
increasing focus on the physical technique of the sport. Parents take part in the last few minutes of the class.
Our Experience with the “Jumping Joeys” Class
We invited friends with a wide age range of kids to take part in Personal Best Medfield’s inaugural Kinder Kicks class. With a mix of movement, listening, and lessons, we got a feel for what the “Jumping Joeys” class is all about.
Here are 8 things our kids learned at Kinder Kicks class:
1Physical Skills and Coordination
We used a pair of special “jumping feet” to practice standing on one spot, jumping high, and landing in a powerful stance.
2Rhythm, Patterns, and Repetition
Our enthusiastic instructor had us practice different patterns of clapping, walking, kicking, and moving our arms or heads up and down. This type of rhythm and movement builds through future classes to incorporate more martial arts techniques.
After jumping on the special feet, we sat around the parachute and took turns jumping inside, celebrating the success of each child.
4Important Life Lessons
Each class teaches a life skill lesson that is meaningful for kids. In this class we learned to stop, look, and listen before crossing the road. The lesson used counting and rhythm to both hold the interest of the kids and provide a memorable way for parents to reinforce it at home.
5Balance and Confidence
We had lots of fun with an obstacle course around the gym. The kids got more practice taking turns while developing physical skills.
6Teamwork and Bonding
Some of the exercises were best done as a team, teaching us that we can accomplish success by relying on each other.
We rolled a pair of exercise dice to determine whether we would do sit-ups, arm circles, toe-touches or hopping, developing parent-child bond around the shared experience of exercise.
The kids left this class stronger and more confident than ever, and were great motivators for their parents, too!
Kinder Kicks classes at Personal Best Karate in Medfield start in October of 2017. They are one of the most affordable options around, charging $128 for an 8-week session (that works out to just $16/class).
There are several weekday classes and they will add more, including possibly weekend classes, as interest grows. You can try a free Kinder Kicks class through Community Kangaroo by clicking here! Part of the sign-up process encourages feedback about which times/dates work best for your family.
Be sure to spread the word: Yes, there are martial-arts-type classes for the littlest of kids, and they’re right here at Personal Best Karate in Medfield!
Community Kangaroo and our friends were given a free demo class so we could write this article. Personal Best Karate of Medfield also compensated CK’s efforts financially so we can continue to bring you all the great stuff you love about our site! This review was written by CK founder Sharon Aigler.