My son Jack was 4 years old and I was the stay at home Dad and I saw an advertisement in a magazine for Karate classes in Oxford for children 4 years and above. I’d never been that interested in Martial Arts as a kid as I was passionate about rugby having grown up in Cardiff. There wasn’t much choice was there.
Anyway so I booked Jack in for 2 trial classes at Oxford School Of Martial Arts I was totally impressed with how organised they were I’d taken Jack to just about every kids activity in Oxford, Tumble Tots, Energisers, Oxsrad, Busy Bees, Monkey Music, Splat, Baby Swimming, Ducklings so I was well versed with what is on offer as far as children’s activities in Oxford was concerned.
What impressed me the most was the attention to detail and the organisation. In Jack’s first lesson Sensei Rob King spent about 5 minutes eaching the group of 4-7 year olds how to remember different parts of the body, he had a box of toys, a quad bikewas run up the front of his legs as a memory hook for the quadriceps muscle and a chicken was produced to ‘Peck’ at his chest for the pectoral muscles. I think the class happened to be learning about what to say if someone bigger than you grabs you, as in a stranger trying to abduct you. As adults our immediate reaction would be to to shout help.
It’s what I’d probably taught Jack, however Rob explained why it’s going to get a better response to shout ‘He’s not my Daddy’ or @She’s not my Mummy’ . I asked myself the question which would I be most likely to respond to if I heard a child shouting that in the street. In the classes there was lots of running around and I noticed that there was a well defined system that rewarded the students with a stripe as they mastered a new skill.
What’s more Jack seemed to love it and was excited about going. It was a brainer to make the decision to join and everything went smoothly until it was time for jack to take his first grading. When we took him to that there were some higher grade adults sparring / fighting to get their next belts. It looked pretty exciting to me so I decided to check things out and sign up for 2 trial lessons myself.
I was excited to see that the adult lessons were really fast paced and exciting we practiced skills from other martial arts forms like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which I really enjoyed, we did elements of Body Pump for conditioning and the sparring was exciting, I soon realised how slow I was and how good some of the higher belts were. I’ve been to some other clubs in Oxford and talked to members of some as well and I’m really pleased that we choose to start with Oxford School of Martial Arts and if you’re thinking about karate in oxford then I suggest you look them up first.