Is Virtue A Part of Karate For 5 Year Olds In Knoxville?

Newer sport and mixed versions of martial arts today are examples of good ideas that have gone too far or astray in many ways. Though the words 'new' or 'modern' are used, the concept of blending styles is ancient in origin. So, how do these newer mixed martial arts sometimes go wrong?

Children at age 5 need to be taught virtue, history, and tradition along side martial arts techniques. Not doing so could make them dangerous to themselves and others. Modern mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sometimes strip these necessary components from child based programs.

The Samurai Code found most notably in the Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, speaks of the goal of individual Samurai in terms of proficiency in many forms of martial arts as well as many related skills. Unlike today, this ancient form of mixed martial arts was coupled with a strict code of public conduct and private discipline.

What Defines Martial Virtue For Children At 5 Years Old?

There are traditionally major and minor virtues, but many of them are in the broad philosophical sense. To understand how virtues are an integral part of Karate instruction for 5 year olds, more modern terms can be used.

Children's Karate classes for 5 year olds should instill virtue by teaching the proper amounts of self control, self discipline, care for the plight of others, and proper treatment of others. These are best expressed for children as: Patience, Focus, Kindness, and Respect.

At Master Booe's Karate Kidz in Knoxville TN, I strive to make these the four pillars on which I build all martial art and self defense curriculum. Virtue is not something added back into Karate as a style or system. It has been sadly stripped away in many contexts and lost.

Ancient philosophers knew all too well the dangers of martial strength without a moral compass. Aristotle noted on many occasions the need for this sense of virtue in daily life, politics, and even military endeavors.

In an academic journal article entitled The Aristotelian Philosophy of the Martial Arts, the author finds through Aristotelian philosophical arguments that martial art study creates a focus more so on the perfection of the individual than the defeat of anything exterior.

This is the key element in Japanese culture that created many ancient forms of martial arts from a handful of Chinese or native techniques. This pursuit of perfection is the ultimately unreachable goal that we should instruct our children to follow.

Their happiness, accomplishments, and quality of life will all be the better for it.


Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it, you cannot consistently perform the others. ~ Aristotle

Is Karate Good For 5 Year Old Boys And Girls In Knoxville?

Now that we know how important virtue for 5 year old Karate instruction is, does this apply equally to boys and girls? Is a Children's Karate class good for both boys and girls alike?

Children's Karate is excellent for 5 year old boys and girls. They both develop different needs as they grow. Yet at age 5, boys and girls are very similar in their physical and mental development. This even makes what they can get from Karate the same in most cases.

At this stage, as with younger children the CDC has outlined major milestones that we can expect most 5 year olds to reach some time during their fifth year. We can look specifically at many of them and see explicitly how Children's' Karate classes can help them even surpass most expectations.

These milestones are a great indicator if a child is able to grasp and follow virtue related thoughts and actions, as well as Karate techniques and instruction. There is a mental, physical, and social element to these short and long term goals.

Let's look at some of them and how a well run Children's Karate class can help a 5 year old address these benchmarks.

  • Follows the rules of games and takes turns with other children naturally.

- In a play as learning environment like mine at Master Booe's Karate Kidz in Knoxville, techniques and concepts are all delivered in game format. This affords 5 year olds ample opportunity to develop the sense of boundaries and giving others respect.

  • Can act out parts for spectators.

- This happens regularly in a martial arts class for children. A good portion of their time is spent acting out scenarios with partners as they help each other with situational actions and reactions. There are also demonstrations in front of strangers that happen periodically that they can participate in for much more concentrated practice.

  • Can handle simple chores at home.

- As students progress to intermediate belts and make martial arts a larger part of their lives, chore lists are required of students to instill a sense of helpfulness towards their families.

  • Can answer simple questions about a story or scenario after hearing it for the first time.

- Roleplaying is a central theme in a children's Karate class. Kids tend to help one another by playing the aggressor, bad guy, or others in order to help partners learn how to deal with potentially dangerous situations.

  • 5 year olds can use simple rhymes and even come up with basic ones of their own.

- In my Knoxville children's Karate classes, everything is delivered to the children in the form of games. My motto is Fun, Fit, and Functional. The games even extend to hellos and goodbyes. I give a string of rhymes when they enter the dojo and when they leave connected to hellos and goodbyes. The kids quickly start trying to come up with their own.

  • Can count to 10 or higher.

- Not only can my 5 year olds count well past ten, I teach them in several foreign languages. This not only helps their mental development, but also gives them a sense of connection to the languages and cultures of the founders of some of the styles we study.

  • Attention spans on a single activity reach above 5 minutes.

- I teach on a 4-6 minute rotation cycle. Most martial arts instructors simply make class progression models up as they go along. I have deliberately tested out many different patterns of time and found that changing the technique, game, and teaching method every 4 to 6 minutes works the best.

  • Can hop on 1 foot.

- Not only can my students at this age and younger hop on one foot, they can jump off of one foot and kick with it before putting the other on the ground. We race on one foot, throw our throwing dummies while on one foot, and even act like chickens hopping on one foot.

As you can see, my children's Karate class in Knoxville goes way beyond the basics in virtue, cognition, sociability, and physicality for 5 year olds.

If you want your 5 year old to thrive, set up a FREE class today and I can help you start them on their martial arts journey.

Can A 5 Year Old Learn Taekwondo Or Karate In Knoxville?

I have spent much time here on the 'why' for 5 year olds when it comes to Karate instruction, but some parents still want to know if they 'can' learn Karate or Taekwondo in Knoxville. So, can 5 year olds thrive in Taekwondo or Karate?

A Children's Karate or Taekwondo class is a great environment for 5 year olds and they can most definitely learn with the right instructor and school. At this age they will learn valuable skills in physical defense, social interactions, and cognitive reasoning.

Playing is an integral part in a child's development socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Those that are underdeveloped in these areas due to the lack of proper environments that are conducive to constructive play are at increased risk of criminal and antisocial behaviors.

In a study focusing on the social and emotional skills of at-risk Hispanic youth in Miami-Dade County in Florida, researchers found that a well run Karate program helps the students participating with controlling aggression and anger.

University faculty studying the results further stated that the improvement shown by youth Karate students in the areas of persistence, self-control and social competence were significant. These measurable increases in control and self regulating abilities were greater than other activities tried with similar children.

If Children's Karate instruction can help these at-risk kids and they are able to thrive through martial arts training, 5 year olds from nearly any environment can as well. With even minimal support from parents and guardians, they can go on to become black belts and life long students.


Sign up for a free class today.