Youth Karate

What is the Discovery Series?

The Discovery Series is a comprehensive program that addresses mental and physical development, social skills, manners, and etiquette.

It takes time and experience to being to grasp the concepts of the martial arts. The Discovery Series offers that time for both student and parent to understand this concept. When the student is ready to move from the Discovery Series into the Master Level Program, both the student and the parent will have a basic understanding of martial arts training.

How is the Discovery Series Taught?

By introducing many topics and quickly moving from topic to topic, the Sensei (teacher) engages the child for increased learning.

A proper balance of content, structure and humor are the most effective means to teach children. If the child enjoys the content, the child will learn well. With structure, the child will learn in an orderly manner. With humor, the child remains mentally alert.

While doing physical training, we move mentally from topic to topic (mathematics, foreign
language, etc.), to keep the child engaged.

Scottsdale Martial Arts Center uses a stripe and belt color system to motivate students to move to the next level. Students are rewarded a stripe when small, attainable goals are reached.

What is taught in the Discovery Series?

Three primary areas of development are stressed in the Discovery Series: mental, physical, and social.

The mental areas of development are: self-esteem, confidence, emotional control, mental focusing, memorization, conflict resolution, stress reduction, patience, and much more.

The physical skills that are developed are strength, speed, agility, coordination, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular development. An overall healthy life-style is also encouraged.

Developing social skills, manners and etiquette are as important as mental and physical development. Appropriate social skills often minimize or eliminate conflict. The ability to lead, speak in public as well as having cultural awareness and abstract understanding, prepares our students for today's world, above and beyond what other children are offered.

In an attempt to keep our students mentally alert, instructors often incorporate other areas, such as mathematics, geography, grammar, vocabulary, foreign language, and others.

There is no physical conduct between students in the Discovery Series Program. Students who excel in this program will be invited to participate in the Master Level Program where sparring, grappling, and other aspects of martial arts are introduced.

How does a student move through the program?

Our youngest students begin in our Introductory Pee Wee Program (4 to 6 years of age). Students between the ages of 7 and 12 start in our Beginning Junior Program. Both programs have the same structure with the only difference being the length of the class.

Introductory Pee Wee Karate (ages 4 to 6 - white belt)—20 minutes
Beginning Pee Wee Karate (ages 4 to 6 - yellow & orange belt)—30 minutes
Beginning Junior Karate (ages 7 to 12 - white through orange belt) - 45 minutes
Master Level Karate (ages 4 to 6 - orange belt and above) —45 to 60 minutes

After progressing through the ranks, Discovery Program students may be invited to take their studies to a higher level in the Master Level Program.

Introductory Pee-Wee Karate

The Introductory Pee Wee Program is offered as the first step for students between the ages of four and six.

Students in this program begin with no belt. In order to receive their white belt, they must stand in front of class and recite their name, address, and phone number. This is done to begin mental and social development as well as having the child know crucial information for their own well-being. Public speaking ranks as America’s #1 fear: by having young children participate in this activity they are given an invaluable gift that will help them throughout their life.

From this point forward, stripes are awarded for knowledge of basic Karate terminology. Once a student has earned all six black stripes for their white belt, they are eligible to test for their yellow belt by performing our first Basic Form (organized sets of movements). When a student receives their yellow belt, they move into the Beginning Pee Wee Program.

However, the student advances at their pace. Students may spend several months in each program before they are ready to move on. Remember:

“This is not a race.”

Beginning Pee-Wee Karate

In this program, the second step of the Discovery Series for students 6 years of age and under, the student advances to a 30 minute Yellow & Orange belt class.

In this class, the student will learn two additional Basic Forms while continually covering previously learned topics. The student will receive a stripe when each form is memorized. These stripes represent honorary ranks and are offered at no cost.

When a child reaches a three stripe Yellow belt, that child is eligible to be invited to their first internationally recognized belt promotion test for the Orange belt rank.

The student will be formally pre-tested, a practice test for the belt promotion. If the student passes the pre-test, the student will receive an invitation to the belt promotion test. These tests are held every three months with a $35 testing fee. At these tests, the child performs their techniques and forms in front of a board of Black/Brown Belt instructors.

If the child is deemed not ready during the pre-test, the child will wait until the next testing opportunity. With philosophy and humor, the Sensei (teacher) seeks to constantly empower the student: simultaneously teaching the realities of hard work and determination as well as showing the student how to handle disappointment.

Junior Karate

The Beginning Junior Program is essentially the same as the Pee-Wee Program, except Juniors begin in a 45 minute class. Due to their age, they automatically begin as a white belt.

What equipment is necessary to participate in the Discovery Program?

The only item necessary is a karate gi (uniform) which consists of pants, a top, and a belt which can be provided by Scottsdale Martial Arts Center. To purchase a gi, please speak to one of our assistants at the front desk.

What is the Master Level program?

The Master Level Program is a comprehensive, in-depth program that takes the beginning student to black belt. Sparring, grappling, and other self-defense techniques are introduced in this program. However, this program is by invitation only which means that there is limited number of students allowed in the program at a time (15:1 student/teacher ratio).

In order to be invited into the Master Level Program, a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. There must be an opening in the class.
  2. The student must be at least an orange belt.
  3. The student must receive an invitation from the instructor.

Since sparring is introduced at this level, new gear is also required; head gear, body protector, gloves, shin/instep guards, and a mouthpiece/case. All this equipment can be purchased at SMAC.

Safety is one of our highest concerns. Light contact is allowed to the body but we do not allow head contact on any kind. However, incidental contact can occur.

In order for a student to keep their position in this program, tuition must be kept current. A student will forfeit their spot in the program should they elect to withdrawal from the program. If a student does not maintain the high standards of this program, a student will be asked to go back into the Discovery Series Program.

Common Questions

Will karate make my child aggressive and want to fight?
Not at all. Aggressiveness and the desire to fight come from a LACK of discipline. Karate will teach your child self-discipline. In addition, we have very strict rules regarding violent behavior and the general conduct of students outside the school.

Are there any religious teachings involved in karate?
There are no religious teachings in the program. However, social and moral conduct are encouraged and taught.

How long will it take my child to earn a black belt?
The length of training to attain a black belt depends on how old the student is when they start.
Students must be a certain age to obtain certain belt ranks;

  • 7 years of age to test for green belt
  • 9 years of age to test for purple belt
  • 11 years of age to test for brown belt
  • 13 years of age to test for junior black belt

Regardless of age, there is a minimum of four years of continuous training for students that have never trained in martial arts.

How long will it take for my child to be able to defend him or herself?
It is difficult to put a length of time on when a child will be able to defend himself/herself. Each child's
personality and upbringing will influence the choices they make in a self-defense situation. The longer and harder a child trains, the better prepared they will become.