Super Class is a games and fitness class we put together for Friday evenings for kids. It's important for kids to let loose and have fun with their fellow students. So Super Class helps our younger students bond and make friends. I think as adults we sometimes don't value playtime as much as we should. This is how kids exercise, build their social skills, and practice problem solving. So even if Fridays seem like a free-for-all, I know the kids are still developing valuable skills.
Parents in particular have a hard time making class sometimes. As a new parent, I understand now why making it to class can be difficult when you have little ones. I own a dojo and I've had to miss training because Asher needed me! But, I think I've got some strategies for making it to class when you've got kiddos.
We are very kid friendly. There are things at the dojo that most kids can't resist, like foam swords, punching bags, a pull up bar, and kick shields. I've seen kids entertain themselves for an entire adult class - and still not want to leave - by playing with those objects alone. Our dojo is one big open space, so you can keep an eye on them while training. Water breaks, class breaks, and partner rotations all give you a chance to check in as well. We also have a desk where kids can work on homework or read while you're training.
Get them Involved
We have a family class that is free for members to attend every Saturday. Kids can practice with their parents and get an idea of what martial arts are all about. We have later kids classes that happen right before adult classes start up. One of our instructors brings his son to the kids class and then stays for the adult one while he watches. It's a great way for the whole family to get involved.
Timing is Everything
There's only so much you can do to time out naps and other activities for little ones. If Asher happens to tire himself out around five thirty, I know I'll make the Basic Jiu-Jitsu class. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. But I do everything I can to get the timing. It isn't a science, but getting him to sleep, or planning other kid activities to allow yourself time to train is possible. We have another student who drops his daughter off at her guitar lessons while he trains.
Managing kiddos and training isn't always easy. We've tried to make it easier with our scheduling and relaxed, kid friendly environment!
There was a time when I felt that "karate birthday parties" cheapened the martial arts and were just wrong. BUT, I have since learned how important and awesome having martial arts incorporated into a birthday party can be. I don't care how people experience the martial arts, it's the exposure that counts. If a child goes to a birthday party and discovers martial arts THAT IS AWESOME!! Their life has just been changed in such a positive way!
Plus, the fact that kids want to share the martial arts with their friends makes me feel so honored and happy. Recently we put on a birthday party for one of our students. Seeing how proud he was to demonstrate and show his friends his skills, it was awesome. That truly made my day.
We are now offering free birthday parties included with our kids memberships. I hope more kids get exposure to the martial arts and learn these amazing life skills. For more information, contact Brennan or myself. We'll be more than happy to help put together a memorable day for your kiddos!
When Sensei Leigh and Sensei Brennan aren't training, we're keeping you updated on the happenings here at Rochester Phoenix Martial Arts!