Your baby just came home from school all excited and begging you for the chance to take martial arts classes for kids. Your innocent little baby has a new hero: B.J. Penn. All of the sudden bloody images come flooding into your mind. Broken bones, ambulance rides, choke holds, and didn’t you once see some guy break his neck? Every ounce of your being is screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” But your baby is looking at you with those big hopeful eyes and you say, “I will look into it.”

 Is it Safe?

The first thing you need to look into is the safety of the school. The school should have small classes, or if larger classes, more instructors. There also should me safety equipment. The equipment should be in good shape and well cared for.

 Martial arts is a sport, and like any sport kids can get hurt. However, with proper precaution injuries can be prevented or at least reduced. Protective equipment should not be optional. The instructors need to make this mandatory when sparring. If the instructors allow sparring without protective gear, take your child elsewhere.

 Can Parents Watch?

As a teacher, I understand there are annoying and overprotective parents. However, any instructor who doesn’t allow me to watch makes me nervous. You need to be comfortable with your child’s instructor and your child’s safety before you miss any classes.

 Benefits of Martial Arts

The most obvious benefit of martial arts for kids is friendship but martial arts classes for kids go beyond friendship. Let’s face it. We are all guilty of letting our children watch too much TV. Our kids need more exercise and martial arts gives them that added exercise, especially since physical activity is being cut out of schools. Plus, it provides your child with self-confidence, and everyone could use a self-confidence boost.

 Basically, martial arts is great for kids. It is no more dangerous than any other contact sport. It will boost your child’s self-esteem and provide your child with much needed exercise. So, before you say no, look into some classes in your area. You just might find a class you are comfortable sending your child to and be happy you did.

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