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Martial Arts for Kids

By Karen Carreon, red belt, CTI LeAD Team Member, 08/04/20, 1:45PM MDT

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How do you know which martial arts is right for your kids?  When I began the search for a marital arts program for my kids, I really had no idea where to start.  At first, I looked for a school that was close to home.  There are so many schools and styles of martial arts to choose from.  Proximity may be important, but it is not the only consideration.  Of course, you want to make sure your child is safe.  How well are the instructors trained?  How much experience do they have working with kids?  What age is appropriate to start?  How fast will my child advance?  Will the classes fit our schedule and budget?  Are there other lessons to learn such as discipline and motivation?  Will my child fit in?  There are many questions to consider.  

A very important aspect to consider when choosing a school of martial arts for your child is to make sure that the environment at the school is safe.  At the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, a.k.a. CTI, students start at the beginner level regardless of past experience in martial arts or in other sports.  CTI instructors will ensure that each child receives instructions in basic training including proper warm ups, stretching, and beginner level self defense moves.  Progression in levels of difficulty and belt rank depends on each individual student based on their abilities, attendance, and attitude.  Rules of etiquette are strictly enforced during class to keep it fun and safe for everyone.  Everybody adheres to these rules of etiquette from the beginner student to the master instructors.  CTI promotes respectable behavior and good sportsmanship.  At the end of every class it is boldly and proudly said, “self control before self defense.”  Students are sometimes encouraged to give examples of this in their everyday life such as, “I help with the dishes after a meal without having to be told to do so or, study extra hard for an upcoming school exam.”  These examples tie into the five tenets of taekwondo which are: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit.  CTI has each student based on their age and rank complete monthly homework to help the student to understand these concepts and how they apply to their martial arts training and to their personal lives.  The issue of safety is not only limited to class time at CTI but in all areas of the students experiences.

Another consideration in determining the right marital arts school for your child is how are the marital arts instructors trained to work with students of various ages and abilities?  Instructors at CTI have mastered skills and have passed rigorous testing protocol in order to advance at the instructor level.  Specialized classes for teaching methods have been developed and utilized and are in constant review and scrutiny by the master instructors.  The mission statement of CTI is, “to encourage world class leadership through educational excellence and Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts traditions.”  Top students through many years of hard work and dedication begin to learn the methods of teaching, assistant teaching, judging at tournaments.  Some have the ultimate goal of teaching their own classes within the CTI’s many campuses.  CTI has campuses in Golden, Westminster, Green Mountain, Littleton, and Conifer.  CTI has some after school programs at area public and private schools.  Families are encouraged to join together if possible to make it fun and exciting for the whole family.  With regular and consistent participation, kids learn in a safe and productive environment with a qualified black belt instructor dedicated to the high standards of CTI.  

You may wonder, at what age can my kid start classes?  Kids at CTI have started as young as 2 years old.  This all depends on the individual child.  A private session may be set up with the campus coordinator to get an idea if the child is mature and ready to begin classes.  The very youngest (Tigers) generally start with a half hour class and the older kids start in a one hour class. 

CTI offers an opportunity for a potential student to attend 2 classes with a school issued uniform as an introduction to the CTI Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo.  Parents may view their child in class from the lobby viewing area.  Students are encouraged to participate in class twice a week to stay on top of their training since consistency promotes success in their martial arts training.  Each campus has a schedule with classes offered for different age groups with young kids (tigers), juniors, and adults.  

Joining The Colorado Taekwondo Institute has brought me and my family many years of fulfillment.  Each belt level brings new challenges both mentally and physically.  I get a great workout while concentrating on my moves and techniques.  I don’t have time to think about anything else.  This gives me a mental break as well as a mental challenge.  The time passes very quickly as there are many various aspects of the training.  In other words, it’s never boring.  Warm-ups, basic training, “poomse” which is a choreographed patterned movement, point sparring, board breaking for age appropriate students, and more.  Students at CTI  train for promotion rank tests to advance to the next belt.  Students train for tournaments which are held 4 times a year.  There are summer expo’s, day camps and week long camps, symposiums, clinics and workshops.  There are many opportunities to learn and to make friends.  For the more advanced students there are opportunities to travel.  I’ve noticed my very shy daughter breaking out of her shell and becoming stronger in spirit and she is doing very well in her studies.  CTI instructors encourages kids to be the best student in their martial arts school and strongly encourages scholarly endeavors elsewhere.  I’m so glad my family participates in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  You and your family will enjoy it too!