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Rich98
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 07 Sep 2015
Posts: 8


PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:17 am    Post subject: Looking for advice on a school for my kids Reply with quote

I recently decided to try get my two kids into a Karate school a bit of a distance from me on the recommendation of a friend. Both my kids have a few issues with confidence and I figured it might help a little with that.

One is 5 and the other is 10 and the initial month went ok but there are a few things that just don't feel right. I would like to say that it seems a little expensive at £130 a month for both of them but from what I've been told this is a good rate considering they can attend up to 3 lessons a week. Its the content on the lessons that seems off and hope someone might be able to help me feel a bit better about it.

The lessons are 50mins each in which they'll do 25 - 30 mins of exercise work like running, jogging, push ups ect. A 5 min break and then 15 - 20 mins of actual Karate which seems so chaotic. What I mean by this is that there are several different groups of people with different belts, each is given something to practise and sent to their corner to work on it while the instructor focuses on the people with higher coloured belts.

At the 4 month marker and my 5 year old no longer wants to attend out of sheer boredom and my 10 year old has grasped some very basic stuff but that's really about it. Is Karate meant to be this drawn out and does that sound right for a normal lesson at a Dojo?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Titanium
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 259
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Styles: Wado-Kai & Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Rich98 and welcome to KF,

The price for both of them training three times a week sounds a fair price to me - for just me training three times a week is costs me £60 - lessons £5 for two hours - 15 minute warm-up deducted from training time.

As with one of your children, it is normal for some practitioners to become a little bored especially at a young age - it is different for older practitioners who can fully grasp the concept.

Basics is normal at this level that the initial sessions can be laborious but I advise your 10 year old to stick-in there. The higher the grade the more interesting principles (so I find).

Now and again the instructor can ask another higher ranking practitioners to teach the beginners while the instructor is teaching more advanced stuff to the higher grades. In my Dojo our instructor ensures he works with everyone and only on Thursday's lower grade class do we split up in two groups; one with Sensei (7th Dan) the other with me (3rd Dan). This is to ensure that the groups still have a Dan grade teaching them.

Which school is it if you don't mind me asking?

Have any of them done a grading yet?

At four months, I would expect a grasp of some of the basics and possibly an introduction to some of the Kata's (at least the basic Kata depending on style of karate).
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Rich98
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 07 Sep 2015
Posts: 8


PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't post the name of the dojo as I don't want to upset anyone just in case any of the more long term members frequent this board. I would question the Sensei but he's rarely there. Training is handled by other instructors atm with maybe 1 lesson with a week taught by him. My 10 year old has been learning a Kata I think which is like a series of punches in various directions and that has been the main focus on and off.

Its kinda of difficult to give more detail as they always seem to be doing something a bit different each lesson. My 10 year old has resorted to youtube to practise at home. He seems to like it but I get the impression he wants to progress but isn't getting much of a chance. There had been one grading but neither was given the option to go for their next belt.

So does 15 - 20 minutes of Karate a lesson seem about right? Is there anything else I should be looking out for or that I can do to try help them enjoy it a bit more?
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muttley
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Posts: 264
Location: United Kingdom
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

does seem strange to have such little time dedicated to actual training to be fair.
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Titanium
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 259
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Styles: Wado-Kai & Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

muttley wrote:
does seem strange to have such little time dedicated to actual training to be fair.

I agree on that.

Rich98, out of the whole lesson duration the actual training is very limited.

With the Sensei hardly being there I think you need to consider another Dojo if you feel that it is not quite right.
I would expect the Sensei to be there all of the time unless illness, courses or anything else become apparent which cannot be avoided.

YouTube is a good idea to get that extra practice in - is there another high grade there that you can talk to about it?

What style of karate is it? E.g. Wado, Shotokan, Shito-ryu, Kyokushinkai etc.
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muttley
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Posts: 264
Location: United Kingdom
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To put this into perspective, my daughter started training in Kyokushin a month ago, she trains at the same Dojo I go to. Being only 7 and a little low on confidence I suggested it and she agreed.

A typical session for her (and please bear in mind, it's a new, small Dojo with few students) goes like this:

10 minute warm up
Some fun and games for skill sets/muscle memory
Kihon practice (she hasn't moved on to Kata yet but will be soon)
5-10 warm down

An hour session is £4.00
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Titanium
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 259
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Styles: Wado-Kai & Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our Dojo:

> 15 minute warm-up
> 40 minutes training (kihon & kata)
> 10 minute break
> 45 minutes (extra kata and kumite)
> 10 minutes warm-down and massage

Ours are based on a 2 hour session.
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Rich98
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Joined: 07 Sep 2015
Posts: 8


PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow both of you have a much different training setup to what my two are doing. Its Shotokan though I'm told that other things are mixed in to help improve other aspects of your fighting ability but my knowledge of it all is a bit limited.

My 10 year old loves it and I'm loathed to take him out and find a new school somewhere else as he's made a friend or two but I want him to have the best possible experience. They also do this additional club for an extra fee that has a few more lessons and they go more in depth (also wear different outfits so make them stand out) which all seems a little odd.

Think I might need to take a look round and see if there any other schools in my area, is Shotokan a good place to start for kids as young as 5 / 10?
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Titanium
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 259
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Styles: Wado-Kai & Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I started Shotokan when I was 6 and I am now 21 and still doing it.

Have a look at KUGB.org, this is Britian's number 1 Shotokan karate organisation - there are a list of Dojo's on that website.

The JKA are also Shotokan, whatever suits you and your kids.

Ours are different, however I am quoting what I do at Wado and not Shotokan.

It does seem strange to wear different Gis, however each Dojo is different.
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Titanium
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 259
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Styles: Wado-Kai & Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Add on ^^

I think it's wise to try another Dojo, even for one lesson to see if your son likes it there too.
If he's made a friend this may be difficult to switch, however I would recommend tasting another Dojo.
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