Kids at the Western Mass Karate Center
High expectations! That is the first order of business for kids training at WMKC. We believe that self-discipline, self-esteem, and all of the other personal-growth building blocks that parents want their kids to develop from martial practice derive from the actual training, from hard work, and from real accomplishment. We always give our kids an honest assessment of their skills - generally with a dose of humor and always with consideration for their feelings, but with minimal sugar-coating. We hope to provide a bit of an antidote to the current culture that far too often over-celebrates and over-rewards EVERYTHING that our kids do and is frequently afraid to tell them NO or to use that 5-letter word, WRONG.
We expect our kids to know the same material as adults of equivalent rank. Of course, their level of skill and power are not expected to match an adult’s, although some come pretty close! We strongly endorse physicality - sweat and grunt work. Kids who train at WMKC quickly become confident in their strength, their stamina, and their ability to push themselves. For our kids who are not the “team sport type,” the personal challenge of Uechi Karate improves their balance, coordination, and confidence. And for our kids who are active in sports, they find that their martial training at WMKC makes them stronger and tougher than other kids on the field/on the court. Likewise, the mental focus required for training in this authentic martial art helps to improve the concentration and mental clarity necessary in the classroom. And, after having trained at WMKC for a significant period of time, our kids are able to defend themselves.
Finally, the giggle factor and community. As much as we endorse hard work and discipline, humor is a key teaching tool; our kids laugh a lot! Our kids feel safe and very much at home when they are at the dojo. Likewise, because their parents are always welcome to observe class or just sit and socialize, they come to feel at home at the dojo as well. In fact, many parents join the adult ranks. This leads to a strong sense of community at WMKC, of which we are very proud!