Toddler KarateNorthern Liberties Rec Center 321 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123, Mary Kerr (215) 686 – 1785 visit website>
For the past four months we have been taking Karate at the Northern Liberties Rec Center and I have dubbed it “My First Karate.” Teaching a group of toddler boys (there just happens to not be any girls) a discipline like karate for 30 minutes is kind of a big undertaking. But it is all about expectations. This class is a good way to gauge where your little one is with this type of class. If we would have thrown Henry in with a more serious program at first I don’t think he would have been ready. This class for him is about learning simple karate techniques and having fun with his friends.
The class is broken down into different sections and the 30 minutes is a mix of technique and fun. Which is really typical of toddler type classes. The boys all have their favorite parts of the class. The stick / sword part is where the boys have to move faster then a large stick by ducking, jumping and moving side to side. The animal sound part is where they have to sit in sayza, kneeling position, while their Sensie creeps up behind them with different animal noises.
The Sensie is excellent in dealing with rowdy boys. He lets them be boys and puts them in their place. It is a good mix and never in a million years would I take on six toddler boys.
So, do I think you should try it? Yes. If you are okay with a mix of karate basics and fun you will be fine. If you are okay with a rowdy group of little boys, you will be fine. If you child is timid I think this class would be tough. I know the instructor does let parents try it if they want to see if their child would like it. The room is a basic and small and let’s put it this way they can’t break anything. After seeing Henry in this class I know he is okay to move to the next level and Ollie is not. I always like when I can learn that stuff without spending a fortune.
Toddlers have a fear of commitment. Which is why it is so hard as a parent to sign up for a class that is 6-8 weeks long. Henry is a class machine but for Ollie I still ask if we can try a class first before committing to a full session. Even on the ones I think he will love eventually you will find him keeping me company on the sidelines as Henry does his thing. Ollie likes this class but prefers to sit out for half of it. The Sensei is very nice and lets Ollie jump in during the parts he likes.
The class is only 30 minutes and some parents stay and some step out during class. It all depends on if you little one does better with or without you there. Either way pack water for them b/c they all get thirsty.
The cost of the class is $44/ month and the 4-5 age range is at 5:30 twice a week. There are class for older age groups available.