Are There Kids Self Defense Classes In Knoxville?

Though all martial arts have elements of self defense, not all of them are equal in high percentage (most useful) moves. This is further compounded when considering the limited moral compass and ability of children. So, are there kidz self-defense classes in Knoxville?

There are Kids self defense classes in Knoxville at Master Booe’s Karate Kidz. Through the arts of Karate, Judo, Kali and others, self defense is taught in age appropriate formats to kidz ages 2 and up. Though martial art traditions are key, and virtue is central, self defense is the foundation.

I have told everyone throughout the years that wanted their own goals met through the martial arts. Self defense is one of the main goals, but without the art, tradition, and a strong dose of enjoyment, it doesn’t matter. You or your child won’t continue to get to the self defense if you don’t have these.

In my classes we base the curriculum on virtue and fun while learning self defense and the traditions in the arts.

What Are The Ages For Kids Self Defense Classes In Knoxville?

Most Karate schools, Jiu Jitsu gyms, and Taekwondo studios in Knoxville have trouble with the younger ages. The owners may not have the experience or be comfortable with those ages. They tend to hire teens or college aged assistants with even less ability to handle them than they have.

Kids self defense classes in Knoxville exclusively for children are found at Master Booe’s Karate Kidz. Developed for ages 2 years old and up, our self defense is only taught by Master Booe, with 30 years of experience, using virtue based curriculum with only age appropriate techniques.

There are good schools in Knoxville for teens and adults. There are even classes that kids can take at these schools that are fine. The problem is that their focus is split and their facilities and classes are not specifically designed for kids.

They are modified adult programs that can even teach joint locks and strangle holds to kids. It is not that the instructors think they are teaching dangerous techniques to minors, it is that they haven’t been trained for these ages and don’t have the experience. There are many techniques kids should not learn.

If you are wanting a celebrated child’s only program designed with developmentally appropriate techniques only for children, the answer is Master Booe’s Karate Kidz. There are no adult programs to get in the way and teens are kept separate.

Classes are grouped by age, advanced techniques for upper belts are taught separately, and all are still age appropriate. Self defense for your kids no matter the age are defense only, non-aggressive, and taught with a character based system that keeps virtue at the core of how your children act.

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When Should I Start My Child In Self-defense?

Granted, most kidz grow on their own timeframes. On the other hand, there are set milestones that many of them will follow pretty closely. They are defined here by the CDC. With this in mind, when should a parent start their child in self-defense classes?

Children should start self defense classes as early as 2 years old. Parents should make the decision themselves since they know their children best, but most 2 year olds can do these classes and all 3 year olds and up are great at them. Self defense takes time to learn, so the earlier the better.

As long as the instructor has enough experience in life, martial arts, and especially with young kids, toddlers and preschoolers both can start self-defense classes. Keep in mind, as the parent you should judge not only if your child can handle the classes, but the appropriateness of how and what is taught.

What Is The Best Way For Kids To Learn Self-defense?

Many studies have been done on young children and play. ‘Play as Learning’ is a well documented strategy to reach the most amount of children. In a study done by Göteborg University, Sweden researchers found that learning and play for children are an integrated whole.

Fun, Fit, and Functional are the best ways for kids to learn self-defense. Active play to learn effective skills will outperform any other form of delivery, especially for young children. With fun at the center and play as the method, kids will stick with it for the years it will take to learn these skills for life.

Find an instructor that understands how not to just entertain kids or simply teach, but knows how to utilize the two together. This is how kids learn self-defense and anything else for that matter. My wife Jackie and I have developed this method over decades of teaching in classrooms and on the mat.

Jackie has multiple degrees in the field of education and 20 years of experience as an elementary and middle school teacher. I have taught the martial arts for over 30 years to children and developed a Fun, Fit, and Functional class format that combines active play and high percentage effective self defense.

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What Is A Kids Defense Class Like?- Knoxville

For many martial arts instructors, their introduction into the martial arts came from military members returning from Japan, the Philippines, and Korea. Because they were used to the military style of delivery, the martial arts have taken on a militaristic format with lineup formations and simple repetition.

What a kids defense class should be is more like games infused with practical techniques that inspire repetition and understanding rather than required rote memorization. This takes a Karate teacher, grappling instructor, or weapons guro that knows how to use the ‘Play as Learning’ model.

A class should consist of:

  • a warmup and stretching portion in the beginning
  • introduction of selected self defense techniques and situations
  • description of the game/drill rules and guidelines
  • game/drill implementation
  • description of the next game/drill rule set
  • this continues until the recap and question section at the end of class

Of course, this is a simple outline of how play as learning can work, but its use can vary greatly depending on the techniques to be taught and the goals of the instruction. What is important here is that the class be structured expressly for how children learn and not simply a modified adult class given to children.

How Do I Prepare My Kids For A Self-defense Class?

For a first self-defense class, parents should do their homework before the class time comes. There should be research into the styles being taught, how the class is run, and who the teacher of the class will normally be. Then there is the actual class itself.

To prepare a child for their first self-defense class, parents should select loose fitting, comfortable clothing and bring them early to give time for paperwork and uniform sizing if applicable. Children should also be encouraged to stay on the mat and participate in the entire class.

If the class is set up to use fun as a learning tool, it won’t be much of a chore for the kids or parents wanting to see how they do on their first try. Assure the children on the way to the school that the environment is safe and exciting. Of course, you should ensure this is the case beforehand.

Can Your Kids Practice Self-defense On Their Own?

There are two ways to look at a question like this.

  1. Can a child learn completely on their own?
  2. Should a child practice what they have learned on their own?

Children cannot effectively learn self-defense on their own, but practicing self-defense when not at their weekly class is essential to owning the techniques. Though defense can be practiced alone, it takes an experienced instructor to teach the movements safely and effectively.

There are online videos that some schools offer that can help with practice, and some instructors offer extra or private classes to help, and many parents get their kids home training equipment. The one thing that all of these have in common is a basic self-defense class attendance each week.

Kids Self-defense Wrap Up

If you are looking to get your little ninja into a self defense class for one of the many benefits they have to offer, Master Booe’s Karate Kidz in Knoxville has the class you are looking for. If you are in the Knoxville area, fill out the form below and you can set up a FREE class to see the fun for yourself.