Karate is a premiere developmental form of exercise for people of all ages, but for children it's particularly appropriate. It provides a broad range of physical and mental skills and disciplines that are not necessarily available in other sports. Karate is a whole-body form of sport which does not emphasise a particular part of the body, as do so many others. It is low impact, and develops arms, legs, torso,and mind evenly. Both sides of the body are used equally, which is good for balance and coordination, and the range and breadth of movements helps develop core muscles.
Children kneeling in "seiza" - the beginning and end of class meditation period
Kuro Obi Martial Arts has age-based classes for children from the age of 5 to 12, allowing them to move between classes as their abilities and ages increase. The structured syllabus starts with the basics and progresses to the more difficult techniques as their abilities improve.
Children as young as 5 can start learning karate, provided they have the right attention span. Even though each child has a different learning rate, they can all benefit from the training provided by karate. It provides them with structure and coordination to their movement, physical awareness, the basics of physical and mental self-discipline, a physical outlet for their energies, elementary self-defense, and most importantly, the beginnings of a culture of exercise.
It's important to remember that enrolling your children in a karate class is not just a one-school-term event. Success in karate is a long term effort. This is one of the places your child can learn about long term goals and deferred benefits. Belts and rewards don't come quick and easy at Kuro Obi dojo. They're not handed out to encourage them just because they're kids. Students are expected to earn them, so they can be proud (but not too proud) of their successes. Ultimately that's where the true satisfaction comes from - knowing that you did it yourself. It can be discouraging for a child to see others getting their belts ahead of them, but they must learn that it is effort and patience that pays off. A black belt is a white belt who never quit.