How to Teach Taekwondo or Karate to Kids

Think back to when you first started teaching class, as an assistant or a junior instructor. How did you know what to do? Most likely, you started off by copying your own teacher.

Our teachers are usually the first, best source on how and what to teach. Then, when we have more experience, confidence, and the freedom of having our own class, we try out new ideas. We adapt things to our own personalities and interests. We look around at other instructors—our colleagues and peers—and borrow from them as well. We evaluate our students’ progress, and use this to evaluate ourselves. Through trial and error we develop what works, change what doesn’t, and improve ourselves as teachers.

Many of us, though, trained as adults in adult class, and teaching kids seems like a whole different game. What then?

If you don’t have a way to observe or assist with someone else’s children’s class, then imagination, trial and error must be your friends. Go ahead; jump in there. Just be flexible and ready to laugh when things don’t go as you expect.

Books and videos can be good sources of ideas. Some people buy expensive programs offered by successful professionals. These contain good material for those who want to spend all that cash.

I maintain that our best resources will always be (a) our colleagues, and (b) experience (trial and error). Sharing ideas and experience with others who teach kids will keep you on your toes and keep it fresh.

That’s why I want all of you out there who teach kids, or are interested in doing so, to participate in this blog. I’m not asking you to reveal your professional secrets for free. Just share some good ideas, small successes, and enthusiasm for the martial arts. Failures are great to hear about, too: What great idea did you come up with that totally flopped when you tried it in class?

Think of it as sharing selected entries from your teaching diary. You do keep one, don’t you? –Where you write down what you did in class that day, with some notes on how it all went? Or you could describe what you saw someone else do that worked well (or didn’t), or recount something the kids in your class accomplished.

Be sure to take credit, or give credit, where it’s due, and include a link to your blog or website if you have one. You can email your contribution to I’ll compile a few ideas into a single new post, or if it’s a longer piece, publish it as a guest post. Or—you can always send ideas by commenting on an existing post. For example, if you have some favorite martial arts puzzles or games, go to the previous post and leave a comment. If you have a good resource for teaching kids that you’d like to recommend, tell us about it right here.

Explore posts in the same categories: martial arts for kids, Martial arts instruction

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2 Comments on “How to Teach Taekwondo or Karate to Kids”

  1. trainingbuddies Says:

    I currently train hundreds of children. I agree, trial and error. Every day there is something new. The other day I had the kids line up, had them copy their favorite animal….one did a tiger, the next a scorpion, the next, turned around, farted, and ran off saying he was a skunk….thats the fun of working with 5 year olds!

  2. Pat Fineday Says:

    I need ideas to get them to practice at home.

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