Frequently asked questions:

I heard that children who train martial arts tend to assume violent behavior, is this true?

Rightly so, one can question if training martial arts will make children aggressive. However studies have shown that people who train martial arts tend to handle aggressive encounters in a calm manner and are able to get out of the situation avoiding serious injuries. This is because apart from learning physical skills, karate teaches self-control, discipline, respect and perseverance.

How old should my child be to start training?

We advise that at least children are 5 years old.  At this age children start to grasp the concept of listening, paying attention to what is happening during class, able to perform what is being taught and interact with other students forming healthy relationships.

My child is 6 years old. Would he/she be grouped with older children?

Children are grouped according to age and grade.  However the instructor could make reasonable adaptations according to needs.

Is regular attendance for the sessions required?

Although not compulsory, regular attendance is of high importance as this will instill the concepts of discipline and commitment in the child.

 Will my child be going through examinations?

Yes. Every so often ‘gradings’ will take place whereby pupils are examined on their knowledge acquired so far and will be given the subsequent belt representing their level. This will provide a goal-oriented setting where the pupils can train with more determination to achieve and enhance their skills.

Can I stay to watch my child whilst training?

You have every right to do so. However, unless it is a very urgent situation, the instructor should not be interrupted during the session and be allowed to carry out the lesson prepared unobstructed.

Who will be teaching my child?

A small group of dedicated black belts will be teaching your child and are guided by Sensei Edward Aquilina (4th Dan Shotokan Karate, P.E teacher & Assistant Headmaster in Public Schools). More information about the instructors could be found in the instructors’ profiles.

Can I speak to the instructor personally?

Yes, this can be done either before or after the session. If you need to speak over a delicate matter, you could ask the instructor to meet you at a set time to be able to discuss things.  However the instructor’s personal time should also be respected.

What will assure me that my child is safe?

The instructors responsible for teaching children will build sessions based on the specific child development needs, always keeping a safety first attitude in whatever they do. This will reduce the risk for both acute and chronic injuries. Moreover, in the unlikely event that a child suffers an injury, a qualified first aider will always be present.

There is a large choice of karate and martial art clubs on the island. Why should I send my child to the Shotokan Karate-DO Association?

This is a very important question, as all club owners would recommend their training. However, what we suggest is that you do your personal research. At the end you want the best for your child, and this should always be the case. First of all one should look at the instructor’s attitude, etiquette and knowledge. This is done by speaking to the instructor before even considering the specific club. An ideal instructor should be smart, polite, knowledgeable about the subject, and love teaching. This would ensure that your child learns the good attitude, etiquette and discipline, along with the body movements. Moreover, one should look for instructor qualifications, other than Karate grade. Most instructors create their own grade, however, being a teacher, doctor, physiotherapist, rescuer, police officer, social worker, health & safety officer, lawyer etc…. will confirm further the knowledge and quality of the respective instructor and association. Price is always in question. Most people think that the larger the monthly fee, the better the level of instruction. This is not true at all. The best instructors are the ones who do not put income as the main aim for teaching. Last but not least, one should monitor the progress of the child after some time of practice. The most important thing is that the child is having fun, however, by time, good manners, obedience and improvement in physical ability should be clearly noticeable. If this is not the case one should consider furthering their research for other clubs.

I am finding it difficult sending my child at the specific location or time. Should I just find another club?

This is understandable with our busy lifestyles. One should discuss with the instructors for other possibilities. Other training locations and training times are possible, however, this all depends on the demand.