Children’s Karate Program in Manhattan
Shihan Michelle and her team of Sensei have been providing expert quality martial arts training for young people and adults in Greenwich Village since 1998.
Ken Wa Kan Children’s Program
We do not teach kid’s karate—we teach karate to children—and we are really good at it! Read what our parent’s say about our program here.
We love karate and we love teaching it to young people! While our program is specifically designed to engage and develop children beginning at age three, we do not teach a watered down kid’s version of karate. Children receive instruction in the same karate curriculum as adults. However, our unique approach to teaching children serious, practical and traditional Japanese karate combines a wide variety of skill building games and exercises that are lively, challenging and fun. We start small and concise and work our way up and out from there.
GET STARTED TODAY
Children learn: Kihon basic punching, kicking, stances, Kata forms, Fighting skills kumite, Traditional Okinawan weapons bo, tonfa, nunchaku and sai.
Each class includes Japanese terminology and observes traditional karate practices and protocols including meditation, bowing, saying “Osu!” and reciting the Dojo Kun.
Children’s Karate Programs
Ninja Skills (6-12 months)
Basic Level Designed for 3 & 4 year olds
Children take class once or twice a week (30 minute sessions)
The Ninja Skills Program introduces children to the structure, basic vocabulary, protocol and movement fundamentals of karate in a way that is appropriate for their age and social development. We focus on games that highlight and reinforce developmental movement patterns and specific karate skills that develop coordination, balance and strength. At the same time they work on social emotional skills such as self management, social awareness, listening, taking turns and impulse control. Children get to experience their own power in an environment that is fun and disciplined. This program is designed to prepare them for the Ninja Skills Karate Program and to support them in creating an ongoing and regular karate practice.
The Ninja Skills Karate Program (6-12 months)
Basic Level Designed for 4-6 year olds
Children take 2 – 30 minute classes per week.
The Ninja Skills Karate Program is designed to inspire and engage youngsters curious about karate. We teach basic karate skills (punches, kicks and stances) that develop coordination, balance, agility, and strength mixed with games to build, focus, self-discipline and social emotional skills (taking turns, listening, following directions, impulse control, and cognitive sequencing). Children learn Japanese terminology as they observe traditional karate practices and protocol such as meditation and bowing. Our requisite 2-class a week program encourages the disciplined practice and commitment that is fundamental to earning a Black Belt (and what goal worth achieving doesn’t require commitment?) This program prepares children for the beginner and beginner/intermediate Black Belt Prep Course.
Basic Program Kids (6 months)
Basic Level Designed for age 6-11 years old
Children take class twice a week for 40 minutes
Black Belt Prep Program inspires and empowers children ages 6+ years who want to learn karate and develop their ninja skills! The class incorporates basic karate skills (kicking, punching, footwork drills, stances), partnering and pad work exercises with group games that increase strength, stamina and agility. Classes are designed to increase focus, and develop self-discipline, confidence, cooperation and cognitive skills in a responsible and cooperative community. During this program children participate in two-belt promotion ceremonies, wherein they will be promoted from white belt (12th kyu) to blue belt (10th kyu), beginner to advanced beginner level. This program prepares children for the intermediate/advanced Black Belt Program
Children participate in two 40-minutes classes per week.
Black Belt Program
Black Belt Course: Intermediate/Advanced Level designed for ages 6-13
Students take class twice a week for 45 minutes
The Black Belt Course is our intermediate/advanced program for students that graduate from the Black Belt Prep Course. This program is for students that have declared their commitment to achieving their Black belt and are participating in their training with an overall attitude of cooperation, enthusiasm and hard work.
This program is designed to take students from Blue belt through to Black Belt. Students in this program continue to elevate their basic technique while learning more advanced fighting and kata technique and training skills. They learn more complex kata (forms) that include blocks (uke), kicks (geri) & stances (dachi). They begin to partner up to hold pads and practice sparring drills and techniques appropriate for their age and training level. Throughout this program they begin to develop their training as leaders in class. This includes being asked to call out the count and demonstrate form and techniques for others to follow. Throughout this program they continue to develop their training as leaders in class by leading the count and demonstrating form and techniques for others to follow. Classes include a variety of rigorous conditioning exercises to develop strength, stamina, coordination and agility.
Black Belt Master Class
Advanced Level designed for ages 9-15
This Master Class is distinct in that it requires both that the student fulfill the requirements set out in the physical curriculum and that they embody the ethos of being a Kenwakan Black Belt. This is a unique expression for each student and is, for us, the most critical aspect of development. Students are required to demonstrate ownership of their own training i.e. they are asking questions, offering assistance, succeeding at school, cooperating at home and school, and participating in dojo community events.
Students at this level are responsible for maintaining and elevating the skills acquired in the Black Belt Course while learning the new curriculum required for advancement to Brown/Black Belt (Ikkyu) & Black Belt (Shodan). Three months prior to their Ikkyu (black stripe) or Shodan (Black Belt) promotion, they begin training in the Black Belt Master Class in addition to their regular twice a week training in the Black Belt Course to develop the stamina, coordination and strength required to obtain Ikkyu or Shodan promotion.
As part of their leadership training and in the spirit of “watch one, do one, teach one,” students are trained as assistant instructors in their Black Belt Course classes. They share their knowledge with lower ranked students in small groups and lead portions of promotion ceremonies. This is done under the supervision of Sensei and other instructors. This serves to enrich their experience and understanding of karate basics, while providing opportunities to evolve as role models and leaders and be of service in the community. The students in this program participate in evaluations and receive specific and personalized feedback from instructors to help them to continue to carve their path to Black Belt.