Goju Karate held a special Pre-K(arate) Sibling Class for younger brothers and sisters of our Pre-K students on Wednesday morning, August 13th.
The idea for the class came from parents who have kids in the Pre-K and Junior program. Most of those kids are in the 4-6 year old range, and some of them have brothers and sisters who are two and three years old. Parents requested the chance for these kids to try karate, even though realistically they were too young to start training.
Sensei explained: "Generally what happens is that these younger siblings come to the dojo and watch their 4-6 year old brothers and sisters do karate and have a great time... But they can't participate because they're too little. And for many of them, that's incredibly frustrating."
"We wanted a way to give these two and three year olds a chance to get out onto the dojo floor, kick some blocks, play some of the learning games we do in regular class, and for a short time, be karateka just like their older brothers and sisters," continued Sensei.
The class was free (part of Goju Karate's community program series), and ran about twenty minutes. It featured a range of different activities, including kicking targets and navigating through an activity tunnel.
At the start of class, all the younger siblings received white belts to wear (and keep), and a few even wore their own (size 0000) gi.
"Probably one of the biggest joys for these kids was the chance to actually be on the dojo floor, doing anything. Usually, they're spectators, but this time – just like their big brothers and sisters – they were able to run, kick, and participate," observed Sensei.
Many of the kids participating were accompanied by their mom, dad, or caregiver. In fact, in some cases, a parent who trains at Goju Karate was actually participating in the class with their youngest child.
And at the end, all of the younger siblings sat seiza, and with the help of older students, finished class by bowing out. Afterwards, participants in the class received souvenir "puzzle" erasers to take home... Just like their older siblings occasionally do!