Find martial arts camps near you
OurKids.net lists martial arts camps across Canada. Click on cities listed below and find camps in your city.
The benefits of martial arts for kids
Martial arts programs for teens and kids camps provide specialized training in self-defence and basic fighting techniques, such as kicking, punching, and blocking. At the training academies and programs listed above, kids can advance through belts but there are many other things they learn and gain from:
Kids grow in personal strength. Through regular class attendance and the training provided, martial arts teach kids self awareness and discipline. The focus here is on individual growth over competition with each other. In classes, kids work together to learn techniques, and each child focuses on, and has responsibility for their own development, and progress through the levels.
Goal-orientation. Each belt acquired requires the achievement of specific skills and techniques. Kids progress at their own pace, and the acquisition of each belt is a tangible achievement. They gain a boost in self esteem and clearly understand the motivation to work hard.
Improved self control and self-discipline. A key aspect of martial arts training is self-awareness. Classes begin with breathing exercises or a brief meditation. These exercises are rooted in traditional Chinese and eastern practices that explore the mind-body connection. Techniques improve kids’ and teens’ attention and focus.
Kids develop their physical awareness, coordination, and fitness. Martial arts movements train kids to become more acutely aware of their body. Of course, classes involve physical activity and movement but martial arts often focus on more mindful attention than many other sports or activities. This can be especially helpful for kids struggling with motor skills.
Camps develop character and maturity. The martial arts are focused on discipline, respect, and honour. They develop respect for others and for themselves.
Learn more about the benefits of camp:
Camps and programs you might also be interested in
OurKids.net lists many kinds of camps and programs related to martial arts. Kinds of camps focused on specific disciplines are as follows:
Karate camp teaches teens and kids skills that have been practiced for millennia. Children learn respect for oneself and others. More so than other martial arts, it focuses on hand and fist movements, developing better hand-eye coordination and faster reflexes.
Taekwondo camp and classes for kids teach the taekwondo philosophy. It's similar to karate with more emphasis on defense through kicking.
Yoga camp and yoga class for kids focuses on this most subtle practice which is considered a complement to martial arts.
Meditation camp is similar in that it offers this activity as a regular discipline of the camp, giving kids an introduction to this technique of calming the mind.
Sports camp comes in a wide variety of options, including soccer camp, ninja warrior camp, and parkour camp, all of these being a worthwhile complement to martial arts training. You can find over 200 options in our advanced search.
Questions parents should ask martial arts camps
When choosing a martial arts camp, parents should be concerned about more than just the camp location. Here’s a brief glance at some other questions you might ask camps:
- How many years’ experience do they have running a camp? If they are a new camp, what can they point to in terms of training in dealing with discipline issues? Make sure that all instructors, teachers, senseis, etc., have been police checked.
- How much dedication do they have to kids’ martial arts and to the camp? Ideally, you want a camp that teaches martial arts full time, whose instructors are dedicated to this.
- How are campers grouped? Find out class sizes, and the ratio of teachers to campers. Ideally, you want a camp that groups kids by age, understanding that, for example, 6 years olds learn very differently from 10 year olds, even when it comes to martial arts.
- How often will my child advance? Camps should answer this question with caution, knowing that each child advances at their own pace. If they make promises about advancement this can, in fact, be a red flag.
- What contracts or waivers do you need to sign? A waiver might be expected but if a camp asks you to sign a contract, this can also be a red flag.
- Are parents allowed to sit in and observe classes? Camps should understand that parents take an active interest in their kids’ development and that they want to oversee the instruction their kids are receiving.
The following are some more general questions that parents should ask about any camp:
- Does the camp have any policies about food, related to allergies or special diets, etc?
- When is the daily pickup and dropoff, and how rigidly are parents expected to follow these times?
- What are kids expected to bring? And what will they take home from the camp?
Those are just a few questions you should be mindful of.
Consult more information in the rest of our guide: