Children and Martial Arts

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Children and Martial Arts

This section provides tips and instructions for martial arts instructors when dealing with young students. This page will help instructors to design a separate martial arts training program for children.

For additional information for instructors, please visit the main Tips for Martial Arts Instructors section.

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Tips & Instructions

  • Remember that children are not tiny adults. You must tailor a martial arts program to meet their lower levels of physical ability and limited attention spans.
  • You can "hide" useful martial arts training in games and contests.
  • Consider offering family programs where parents and children can train together. The family gets to bond and have fun together. The instructor will benefit from the parents helping their children with difficult techniques.
  • Given the potential for lawsuits, you should make parents aware of the risks associated with martial arts training and consider asking them to sign a waiver form.
  • Focus on child safety. Consider removing objects and modifying exercises that could lead to potential injuries or accidents. Adult students generally understand that injuries are a risk associated with martial arts training. Parents of children are less willing to accept training accidents.
  • With children, you must be ready for potential injuries, allergic reactions, etc. Therefore, you need to develop a safety plan for your staff. You should consider having a first aid kit, learning CPR, having emergency phone numbers posted in prominent locations, etc.
  • Develop a plan to avoid any potential adult improprieties towards children or allegations of impropriety. This should include staff, parents and adult visitors.

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