How Karate Helps Kids Learn to Treat People Well

Parents enroll their kids in karate because of one thing (basically): Discipline.

Kids enjoy karate because of one (basic) thing: Fun.

Where does the twain meet between discipline and fun for parents and kids?

There is a happy medium actually. And it’s called courtesy. That’s the Ripple Effect word of the month for February, and it’s a virtue that kids can practice and parents can love. Here’s where it begins.

When kids come into the karate school they’re greeted with a nod from the program directors behind the desk. They’re greeted with a bow from their instructors. They’re greeted with eye contact and a smile by parents and other kids along the benches. Courtesy is everywhere in the karate school, and it’s not by accident.

Courtesy demands discipline, because it’s not natural to be courteous. We’re programmed, biologically, for fight or flight (or freeze). Smiles, bows, nods, handshakes aren’t pre-programmed. They’re learned. And the rewards are huge.

Courtesy is a high-minded concept. And that’s why we try to teach it early in kids’ lives. As one karate dad (Mr. Zac Chase) recently put it, “courtesy is [sort of] being ‘nice’… but it’s so much more than that.”

Karate introduces kids to courtesy as a discipline. We try to make courtesy fun. Please consider trying out a class with your kids if you haven’t yet, and see if you find a greater depth to courtesy through karate.

Close Menu