The junior Christchurch and Burton Karate Club

The earlier you start at any sporting discipline the more likely it is you will succeed at attaining a high level of skill.

Goju Ryu Karate is no different and most of our competition successes have been won by students that started in their early years.

Parents are often concerned about the issue of training youngsters in a martial art that obviously can be turned to naked aggression and bullying outside the discipline of the club's training environment. In all our years of training we have only had to ask one set of parents to withdraw their child for unacceptable behaviour.

In our experience, the instruction we provide seems to diffuse unsocial and aggressive behavior in children. Studying Goju Ryu Karate promotes well balanced and disciplined personalities well beyond their years. And as students progress through the grades, it is as though they recognise they have the skills to defend themselves if called upon, but rarely feel the need to prove themselves in the typical playground scenario.

We also teach them that in any real fight they are just as likely to get as hurt as their adversary. They may well win the argument because of their extra skill and stamina, but we always stress the best way to deal with any form of aggression is to walk away from it if you can. Something we should all try to remember.