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!
Having moments of dread is something I'm getting used to, being a new business and dojo co-owner. It doesn't matter if it's an exploding toilet or a surprise class full of brand new students: Sudden moments of fear seem to pop up on a semi-regular basis. One of those moments happened to me Sunday evening after watching an episode of Star Trek.
I suddenly found myself wondering if the only way to be successful as a business owner was to compromise and become a McDojo. One of those schools that hand out black belts like candy, that breed overconfidence and sloppy technique, one of those schools that gives Karate a bad name. I started picturing classes that resembled a Saturday afternoon at Chuck E Cheese. What if that was the only way we could make it?
Things have a way of working themselves out. We had our first kids BJJ testing and decided to test our kids the same way adults were tested. The students had to get out of a difficult position. Pass or fail, they would either succeed and break free of the hold or they would give up and fail. I was nervous about it. This was a difficult test and parents would be watching. However, the students were phenomenal. They worked incredibly hard and refused to give up, even when class technically ended. Brennan and I were incredibly proud.
It was then I realized that I didn't need to worry about becoming a McDojo. While some students may want to be placated with advanced belts without the time or work, I believe most do not. Parents and students alike are not dumb. They know quality. Deep down they know if a rank was truly earned or just handed out. While it may seem difficult at times, most students want the work that comes before an accomplishment. They recognize when a rank is truly earned and when they are being patronized. I struggle sometimes trying to find ways to make the hundred thousandth time a student has done Seisan Kata interesting and engaging. But students like the journey. They enjoy putting in the work and then seeing the end result.
There will be some students who just want the belt. They will train for a few months and inevitably leave and find a dojo that will provide them with a pat on the head and a belt around their waist. There will also be students like our kids who recently tested in BJJ. We don't need to compromise our standards, in fact we refuse to do so and it isn't even necessary.
We will be offering 2 summer camps!
Kids will have a chance to train in Karate, Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Sword! We will also have teambuilding and leadership games and activities. This is perfect for kids already in our program, it will give them more intensive training in the arts they love. However, the camps are open to non-members as well. This will give your kid a chance to experiment and try out a variety of martial arts.
The camps are:
July 20th - 24th
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
August 24th - 28th
9:00 AM - 3:30
-Kids need to pack a peanut free lunch
-Snacks and drinks provided
-Regularly scheduled classes will continue to meet
Family Discount Available: 15% off one full camp membership or when registering for both camps
Call us to register! 585-354-8946
You can also stop in and meet us. We love visitors :)
For the past few months Brennan and I have been playing the role of construction workers more than martial arts students. We are thrilled to finally put our hardhats away and tie our belts back on! It has been a long journey to get here, and we have overcome burst water pipes, exploding toilets, stacks upon stacks of carpeting, and the exciting world of Certificate of Occupancy inspections. We've also learned a lot. I now know how to tile floors, build walls, and the difference between an impact driver and a drill! :) :D
I want to thank everyone for their support through this process! We could never have done it without the help and encouragement from our fellow training partners, friends, and family.
Classes have finally started! All our active martial arts programs are accepting new students. Karate, Aikido, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu are steadily growing. We are also working with some truly awesome kids in our Karate, Aikido, BJJ, and Sword Kids Programs.
Here are some pictures of our progress. The dojo still isn't exactly where we want it to be, but each day we get a little closer to our final vision for Rochester Phoenix Martial Arts.
When Sensei Leigh and Sensei Brennan aren't training, we're keeping you updated on the happenings here at Rochester Phoenix Martial Arts!