Many people recognize karate from its collage of colorful belts, board breaking demonstrations and often aggressive competitions. True martial arts, however, use these tactics as constructive learning tools to teach life lessons. These lessons show children how to approach demanding obstacles with a proper mind-set, teaching them to win and lose with honor and self-respect. Schools do not educate children in how to cope with stress and anxiety, which inundate today’s fast-paced society; nor do schools ingrain healthy habits of the mind and body. These life-habits require deeper learning than simple regurgitation of facts and information. Children must develop and apply their mental, physical AND emotional I.Q. in order to succeed. Besides great exercise and self-defense training, Karate teaches children how to approach stressful situations with a calm heart that exhibits confidence, focus and compassion. This attitude lays the foundation for positive wellbeing, as well as developing the attributes of an effective leader.
Our karate kids classes aim to instill traditional martial art values that will translate inside and outside the dojo. Class etiquette and manners foster a child’s understanding to know when it is appropriate to play and when it’s time to get serious. Children begin to recognize how self-discipline and challenging oneself can bring the greatest rewards in life. These accomplishments inspire a sense of self-respect and self-confidence that both children and adults can appreciate. In addition to character building, students will enhance their muscle tone and flexibility, allowing for more advanced body movements such as aerial techniques, gymnastics and ground tactics. The belt-system is designed to create short-term goals, which build self-esteem, and long-term goals that help children project a vision of their future. Each successive belt requires greater accountability for behavior and more determination and effort as the curriculum becomes increasingly more difficult.
Beginner’s White Belt
Kaikudo’s Beginner White-Belt program is designed for new students to become familiar with Kaikudo’s class etiquette and basic techniques. The Beginner’s class develops a new student’s physical coordination and mental focus so they can excel in the more advanced classes. Focus drills, listening skills and basic Japanese language are also used to enhance concentration and engage the mind. In addition to karate techniques, the class also incorporates fitness, tumbling and skills training to build their foundation for karate movements. Class will typically always start in the back court for fitness, tumbling and skills; then move to the front court for technique and form training.
New students must join during our “2-Week Open Enrollment” period, which occurs every 6 weeks, however, you may schedule a FREE Trial anytime!
Yellow Belt and Above
The Advanced Class is for students that are ready for higher level techniques, sparring and leadership training. Advanced students should demonstrate great self-control, self-discipline and physical abilities that allow for advanced techniques. We do not allow sparring in the Beginner/Intermediate classes, because we need to test a child’s understanding of self-control before they use their karate on others. Sparring and advanced technique training requires maturity and trust. As “upperclassmen,” they are taught to lead by example with quiet self-discipline and active compassion for their peers. That is a baseline for all Advanced classes.
Kaikudo’s Top Gun Academy is an advanced curriculum that exposes children to higher levels of martial arts training, as well as incorporating life skills that will teach students how to apply their martial arts in all walks of life. Children will learn leadership skills, public speaking and stress-management tools to control their emotions. Top Gunners are training to become “peaceful warriors” adept in the art of conflict resolution and peacemaking. In addition to martial arts, Top Gunners must understand Japanese culture. Classes will include lessons in basic conversational Japanese, Shodo (Brush Writing/Calligraphy), Sado (Tea Ceremony) and Origami (the Art of Paper Folding). Students will also study the Samurai (Japanese warrior) to better understand their way of life, code of conduct and their historical role in Japanese society. Finally, they will be exposed to Japanese cuisines as part of the off-campus experiential program.
The Top Gun Academy is intended for students that excel in three main qualities: self-discipline, leadership by example and respect for others. It is integrity and determination that defines a Top Gun candidate, not physical strength and skill. All students over 8yrs old are eligible; however, students are accepted by invitation only. It is our goal that all students eventually make it into the Top Gun Academy. Good Luck!
Benefits of Karate
The earlier children start exercising, the easier it will be to maintain healthy habits later in life. If your children reinforce muscle development and fat-burning pathways now, then they will get the “best-bang-for-the-buck” when they exercise later in life! The key is to train the body early and keep moving from childhood, so that the body effortlessly reverts back to a healthy “natural-state.” Karate is an excellent form of exercise that not only improves cardiovascular health and muscle development, but also fortifies the tendons and ligaments, increases flexibility and lowers stress that causes inflammation. Research has shown that mind-body practices can effectively reduce the body’s inflammation, which lowers the risk for developing chronic diseases and mental health problems later in life.
Kaikudo promotes the values of honesty, respect, fairness and compassion through modeling and class conduct. High standards require that students try their best at all times inside and outside the classroom. In order to implement these values, children must learn self-control in the face of emotional outbursts and desires. Because karate is prone to violence, under controlled settings, it is the perfect training ground for children to overcome their aggression and learn to use karate for constructive purposes. Children learn early in their education that Kaikudo can only be used to help others and protect themselves in extreme circumstances. Kaikudo students will become loyal friends worth having and develop positive social circles that inspire team work and mediation to resolve conflicts. Ironically, true martial artists never have the desire to fight and, as a result, rarely do so. Practicing these principles is what makes Kaikudo students future leaders in conflict resolution and peacemaking.
Karate enhances children’s ability to concentrate and focus despite environmental distractions. This training is essential to martial arts and even academics. The ability to focus on an assignment regardless of surrounding noise, friends and distracting thoughts can lead to accelerated learning and improved test-taking skills. In Kaikudo, children are taught to maintain focus of their center-line (nose to navel). Center-line training is the beginning of sustained-attention practice. Starting at white-belt, students learn to project their center-line on the far wall and not take their eyes off it, no matter what happens around them. This practice not only trains the mind to maintain focus on one object in spite of diversions, but also to still the mind from distracting thoughts. Stilling the mind is a powerful tool in the face of danger or unnerving experiences, like a school test. Fear and stress can cause irrational behavior or careless mistakes if one does not know how to remain calm and take appropriate action. Children must learn to channel their nervous energy into focused attention by calming the mind and fully engaging the test as though it were a target on their center-line. This ability is a natural outcome of martial arts training that will constantly develop in children and improve overtime.
Kaikudo Karate has the added benefits of developing agility, balance, flexibility, mind-body coordination and stability at the center-of-gravity. These added benefits are the key to movement coordination for all our daily and extracurricular activities. Kaikudo is the perfect cross-training exercise for developing athletes in the off-season. In Kaikudo, we encourage our students to use their superior coordination and agility for other sports that they enjoy. To reduce the likelihood of injury during their active childhood, Kaikudo teaches children, first, how to maintain balance and, second, how to fall gracefully. These balancing/falling techniques, combined with the added flexibility and coordination of acrobatics, will make your child feel confident and prepared for any physical activity or sport, inside and outside the dojo!