Karate/Tae Kwon Do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-22-2012, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I am interested on getting so opinions/advice on either activity for my 12 yo DD( and/or my 4 yo DS).


My DD hasn't been involved in any sport/activity in a few years - she played soccer for about 5 years and after waning interest and lack of advancing ability, she decided to give it up.  But over the last year, she has gone to a friend's Tae Kwon Do class, has enjoyed it, and has asked me about signing her up.  But given a few factors, such as her age at starting the activity, and the negative atitude with regard to what the lessons would actually cost (can't get a figure for the cost without going in person to discuss), I put the thought on the back burner.  But as she will be attending MS in the fall, I am once again thinking about the positive benefits of having her join some sort of activity like this, for both the physical activity, as well as the self-confidence boost.


Does any of your DCs participate in either Karate or Tae Kwon Do? If so, how would you answer the following questions?


What have you seen as the benefits for /negative aspects to your DC participating? 


How did you pick the place where your child went? 


What are some of the things to look for/questions to ask to figure out if a place is right for your DC? 


How much does it cost you for the activity/wardrobe/equipment? 



Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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#2 of 5 Old 06-22-2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by oaksie68 View Post

Does any of your DCs participate in either Karate or Tae Kwon Do? If so, how would you answer the following questions?


What have you seen as the benefits for /negative aspects to your DC participating? DS 11 started at age 4. He's had the same instructor since age 5. It's taught him coordination and discipline. I really like the multi-age relationships and lots of excellent modeling for good sportsmanship and restraint. When DS was getting bullied at school, he had another adult to go to and his instructor really worked with him on how to keep those kids away. I'd say the only negative is that it's a year round commitment. They can miss lessons but they must make them up in the weeks to follow by attending other belt level classes.


How did you pick the place where your child went? What are some of the things to look for/questions to ask to figure out if a place is right for your DC? We initially looked at several martial arts gyms in our area but all wanted not only a large sum of money monthly but also expected our little child to be at the gym 3 to 4 times a week. Joining the gym meant he'd have to give up everything else (music, sports, theatre.) So, we took a look at the community center which had a weekly Tae Kwon Do class. It's not as fancy but the instructor really knows his art and how to teach it along with having a large organization behind him for support. The negatives are that they move much slower going only once a week. They only test every 12 weeks and so it's taken my DS many years to reach black belt. However, I'd say his ability is as high as black belts from the martial arts gyms we've seen. Something I looked for was continuity. At the community center, kids stay with the program through high school graduation even if they've had their black belts for many years! I liked that focus on continued learning and commitment.


How much does it cost you for the activity/wardrobe/equipment? 10 dollar registration every quarter, 7 dollars a week lesson (year round... no breaks,) 20 dollar testing fee (new belt and awards included in that price,) 25 dollars to participate in optional tournaments a few times a year, 30 dollars for outfit and I'd say we invested about 100 bucks in pads/helmets/mouth guards in the last 7 years. It's still a pretty great deal when you consider our local martial arts gyms wanted hundreds of dollars a month and for is, it's broken up into small fees over time as opposed to large lump sums.


Many martial arts gyms and programs offer free trials and sessions. This may be the way to go if you are unsure.



Married mom, DD 18, DS 15, and a Valentine's surprise on the way!
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#3 of 5 Old 06-22-2012, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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whatsnextmom -THANK YOU! for the community center suggestion - I just signed up both kids for karate classes starting in a couple of weeks (5 weeks long)!  I figure that will give me an idea whether or not it's a good fit for them.


As I don't know what the format for getting belts will be, or the continuity of the program at the community center, and assuming one or both want to continue, I'm still interested in finding out more about other's experiences with karate/TaeKwonDo centers.

Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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#4 of 5 Old 06-23-2012, 08:45 AM
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Dsd started when she was about 9.  Dp and her mom did the research on the place, so I can't comment on that, but I know he was looking for a place that emphasized "real" marital arts philosophies, not just glorified fighting. 


I have noticed a marked increase in confidence since she began. 


It is very expensive, but I don't know if that is the norm or because it is an expensive school and high COL area where we live.  It is $150 a month (they want you to attend at least twice weekly) plus a $50 fee every couple of months for belt promotions plus the cost of uniforms, supplies, etc.  I think it usually averages out to almost $200 a month.  The only way this is even partially feasible is because we split the cost with her mom, and even that is pretty far out of our budget honestly.  There are also tournament fees etc. that pop up every now and again.  We will only continue it as long as dsd is really excited about it and committed to it, and as we continue to see a positive benefit from it. 

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
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#5 of 5 Old 07-29-2012, 09:38 AM
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I am just seeing this, hope the information is still useful!


My 16yo DSD has been doing TKD for 3 years now and going into her 4th year.  She is a red belt.  We think she will see it through high school and obtaining her black belt.



She loves it, really, really loves it.  I think that is has helped her a great deal with stress and anger that occur day to day, and from various family issues.  She can be in a terrible mood, and attend class and be in a much better mood. 


She has a great deal of confidence due to advancement and increase in skill.  It has become a huge part of her identity.


It is the first time in her life she has found something she is passionate about.




It is costly.  We pay $150 a month.  I would love to start my 4yo DS, but I can't afford to, with paying for DSD.


Time commitment. She attends 3-4 times a week, and sometimes 5 times. Up until a month ago, the dojo was walking distance from our house.  Now they moved, and I have to drive her 3-5 times a week, at 5 or 6 pm, which is when my 2 and 4 yo are melting down from their day and I am trying to cook dinner.



Other stuff

We like the facility and instructors, but in general, wish they were more professional.  They are last minute in planning and do not communicate with families, unless we nag.  Recently, there was big trip to nationals to compete and the planning was terrible.  If you are looking for your kids to get this involved, be ready for the possibility this.


More $$-We had to pay $800 for nationals.  Spring is competition season, and it usually costs up to $120 for each competition (sparring, forms and entry fees) at least 7 times over the course of the season.  It is painful for our budget.


Uniforms-this has been very low cost.  We got a uniform for free when we signed up, and have needed a new pair of pants. 


Injuries-DSD has had minimal injuries.  Bruises and rolled ankles.  At one point, she thought she had fractured a bone.  I do think this is due to the quality of instruction, they are very careful and make sure no one does things they are not ready for. 




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