The best age for kids to start learning Taekwondo is at the age of five or older. By this age, they are able to listen to their instructors and are able to follow simple instructions. At this age they can better execute basic techniques and even be able to memorize how to do most of them.
The result is a more positive experience in their first Taekwondo class that will encourage them to continue learning.
When parents consider enrolling their kid in Taekwondo, they usually and rightfully so, have many questions and reservations before enrolling them in their first Taekwondo class. Therefore, in this post I will answer some of the more common questions and try to give parents the information they need to know about before signing up their child in Taekwondo classes.
Why not enroll kids in Taekwondo before age 5?
Putting your child in Taekwondo before they’re five could have more negative than positive effects. Before the age of five, they still may not have developed the cognitive ability to participate in a Taekwondo class.
Not yet able to process the instructions in a Taekwondo class and reacting poorly to the experience. If they have a bad introduction to Taekwondo, they may never want to try learning the martial art again.
What’s the best class format for young children?
A good class structure is extremely important when you’re teaching kids around the age of five. Due to their young age, you will have to alter your class format in order to cater to them. They will require a different approach than how you teach your older students.
Taekwondo students around the age of five are not suited for a traditional one-hour class like their older teammates. For these young students to get the most out of Taekwondo, they will need shorter classes.
The best time limit for a Taekwondo class for kids ages 5-7 is between 30-45 minutes. This time frame will be just enough time for an instructor to keep their attention without making them bored or tired.
Keep It Basic
When teaching young beginners Taekwondo it is always better to keep what you’re teaching as basic as possible. They won’t be able to grasp or perform any moves that are or seem overly complicated.
Here are some of the basic elements of Taekwondo that you should implement into your beginner lesson plan.
- Gym Etiquette: How to enter the mat, how to stand in line, bowing, addressing the instructors, etc.
- Tying Their Belt
- Basic Punches
- Basic Blocks
- Basic Kicks
- Poomsae (Patterns): Only the most basic poomsaes broken up into segments. They will not understand any high-level patterns that are long or with complicated movements.
Break Classes Into Segments
Breaking up a Taekwondo class for young children into segments is extremely important for the flow of the class. Instructors will only have their attention for a short time, so they must be on the ball.
Once an instructor fixes their students’ uniforms, gets them in line, and settled down, they can bow them in. The first segment of a class should be a fun warm-up that burns some of their energy, followed by stretching.
After the stretch routine, give the kids a water break for a few minutes and call them back to the mat. Once they return to the mat, the technique portion of the class will begin.
Remember to keep the technique extremely basic and not overlong. Around 10-15 minutes will be enough to keep their attention and retain at least part of the presented technique.
When the technique portion of the class is done, send the kids for one more water break before playing a game. It’s always good to end classes with a game to reward the kids and keep them entertained.
Have Assistants Present
A Taekwondo class of 20-30 five-year-olds can be a daunting task for one instructor. That is why it would be a good idea to have one or more assistants present to help with the class.
These assistants will help keep a portion of the kids on task while the instructor minds the other half. This will help ensure that the class doesn’t go off the rails and there’s a semblance of order.
Common Questions From Parents of New Students
Parents of new or potential students generally have a few questions about the Taekwondo classes. Here are the answers to some of those common questions.
When should we arrive before class?
Always aim to try and arrive ten minutes before your child’s class starts. This will give them time to prepare their uniforms and settle into class.
How many times a week should my child attend Taekwondo?
For a five-year-old student, between one to two classes per week is sufficient. This is a good average to keep them from getting burnt out and having time for their other activities during the week
Will my child participate in sparring?
There is no sparring in the beginner kids class. Sparring is reserved for the older students with more experience.
When will my child be promoted?
The timeframe of your child being promoted will depend on their attendance and what Taekwondo school they’re in. Each Taekwondo school does its promotions a bit differently from the other.
Where do I buy the uniform and gear?
All Taekwondo schools have their uniforms and gear available for purchase within them. The uniforms are only available for purchase within the school, but any of the other gear should be available on Amazon.
Improve Your Child’s Growth with Taekwondo
Martial arts training, in general, has numerous positive effects on the growth of children and one of the best martial arts for kids to learn is Taekwondo as it has a wide variety of benefits that will help your child’s growth.
Along with knowing proper self-defense, they can become better students and learn to treat others with respect. I strongly consider that you enroll your child in Taekwondo to give them a chance at not only a better present but also set them up with a better future.