San Francisco Martial Arts for Youngsters

Preschool isn’t the only place where you child can learn social skills, boost their motor development, and gain important life skills before school.  Have you ever considered martial arts training? San Francisco martial arts students say that there’s no such thing as too early to start classes. In fact, they’re grateful they started training as young as they did; the life lessons they learned from their instructors proved to be invaluable at school, not to mention that their classes fill in the gap where a physical education class should be. Consider taking your tot to one of these martial arts gyms in the city.

Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy

Let your child develop confidence, concentration, and discipline while getting a great workout at the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy. Known for being one of the best kung fu schools in the city, Tat Wong offers a curriculum rich in kung fu’s traditions of inner strength and respect.  Their children’s classes are organized according to skill level, age, and are scheduled at convenient hours during the week, making them the perfect extracurricular activity for school-age kids.

Kids as young as three years old can start their martial arts training at the Little Pandas program, a 40-minute parent-participation class held once a week.  This wonderful bonding opportunity allows you to help your child learn basic behavior and motor skills needed for more intensive training in the future.  Another great foundation class for young students is the Tiger Team program for kids ages 4 – 7. Here, children learn the foundation for healthy self-esteem and discipline through games, drills, and fun exercises.   For kids ages 7 to 11, there’s the Juniors class, which improves upon the skills they learned in Tiger Team.  Kids will also learn the forms and start doing partner drills to improve upon their fitness, focus, and technique.

San Francisco Zanshin Center

Goju ryo karate is a Japanese martial art that’s perfect for kids who need self-defense training and general physical conditioning. Let your child benefit from this technique at the San Francisco Zanshin Center.  The Zanshin Center is a member of Japan’s international Goju Ryu Karate Federation, which will allow your child to train in various schools all over the US and attend special training camps by karate masters from Japan. Of course, beginning students have to master the basics first! Kids ages 4 to 6 start out at the Little Ninjas class, where they learn the fundamentals of karate as they work on their motor skills, attention span, and listening skills.  The Little Ninjas program follows the traditional belt system, but there’s no pressure for your child to progress – he or she can go along at a pace that’s comfortable. At 7 years old, kids can move up to the Children’s Program for more intensive training.

Karen Merring writes for Bay Area For Kids, the premier resources guide exclusively for parents living in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more about San Francisco martial arts, visit
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