Peak Performance Shotokan Karate – Information for Parents
Peak Performance offers a number of ways to introduce karate in a safe, encouraging environment. The options range from a six week introductory class for youth as young as 4, to adults of any age. The Dojo is operated by Chris Johnson (Chief Instructor and 5th Dan) and Gene Smith (5th Dan). Several other black belt level students also assist with the instruction.
The introductory youth classes are a good way of letting your child test the water, and see if this is something they would enjoy. There are two introductory levels available through the New Brighton/St. Anthony Community bulletins. To find out the starting dates, please check with Community Services, leave a message at the Dojo phone (651-231-2379) or check us out on Facebook, under Peak Performance Karate Studio New Brighton.
For the youngest students (4-6 years), the six week program runs on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:15. The lessons involve some basic techniques, karate manners, and of course, there are games as well. There is no uniform required, but program t-shirts are available for $12 and they have a space to write the child’s name (always helpful for us instructors!)
We ask that parents make sure their children are comfortable on the first night, and then we find it is often easier for the students to focus if the parents aren’t there during the class. The students receive a workbook with some of the lessons we are working on, and they are encouraged to review them with mom or dad, color them, draw in them, and bring them in each week so we can see their work and give them stickers. Each week they will get a new page to add to the book.
On the 6th week, we invite the parents, siblings, and any others interested to watch the students perform the techniques, display their new skills and have fun in the process. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera!
If students enjoy and do well in the pre-karate sessions, a more advanced opportunity is also available. Students who have completed the pre-karate session and receive the Chief Instructor’s approval can attend advanced pre-karate classes. Students in these classes do wear the karate uniform (gi), and are preparing to move up to the older youth classes where they can begin formal testing. We still play some games, but develop new basic skills and stances. Students are always welcome to come to more than one of the introductory six week programs before moving up. Comfort level and the ability to focus well are as important to the next step as age or skill level. Feel free to talk to the instructors at anytime if you have questions or concerns.
For older children (7-12 years), the introductory classes are also a six week program, that runs on Monday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30pm. No uniform is required, but the gi (white uniform) is available for $25. Students will learn some fundamentals, stances, basic techniques, and Dojo etiquette. They will also have a better understanding of the training involved if they wish to pursue obtaining kyu ranks (belt levels). Typically a child that completes the six week program would have 2-3 more months of practice and additional skill training before testing for their first belt.