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Non-Competitive Martial Arts for Children

While people often think of sport martial arts and competitive tournaments when they think of martial arts for children, the more traditional styles of martial arts usually do not involve competition. In keeping with our philosophy at Renseikan Dojo, we teach only non-competitive styles of martial arts.

In today's fast-paced and frenetic world, our children are continuously exposed to competition. They learn quickly that they must be the best, place at the top and always be A # One. It's not surprising, then, that studies show that children today suffer from many stress-related ailments.

This focus on competition and winning has another downside. No matter how you look at it, when being the winner is the goal, there will always be losers. At Renseikan Dojo, however, we teach children that the goal is not to be "the winner", but rather to always win through continuous self-improvement. We achieve this through an emphasis on self-discipline that enables students to do better today than they did yesterday.

We do not believe that competition or tournaments are a productive or long term method of training individuals in karate. It is our belief that sport karate does not truly build self-confidence and self-esteem the way traditional Karate training methods do. Our emphasis is on each child's individual improvement, rather than being based on how well your child performs in comparison to another child.

How do you tell if a non-competitive form of martial art is suitable for your child? The styles of martial arts we teach at Renseikan Dojo provides a number of benefits and builds certain skills:

  • Children are encouraged to train at their own individual pace. This takes into account individual differences and allows children to work on areas which require strengthening without having to worry about a specific timeline of achievement.
  • Self-discipline is essential to mastery of the more traditional, non-competitive styles of martial arts. The training provided at Renseikan Dojo emphasizes self-discipline as the route to self-improvement.
  • We do not see fighting as the answer to problems. Our students are taught that it takes more strength and skill to diffuse a situation or walk away from a fight.
  • However, while fighting is never the solution, our styles of martial arts have their origins in ancient Japanese and Okinawan martial traditions in which every move was a matter of life and death. By committing to their training, our students acquire a self-confidence which forms the foundation that's essential to proper self-defence.
  • Achievements are not based on the skill or power of your opponent, but rather on your own individual strength and discipline.
  • We do not focus on the attainment of the next rank as a goal. Instead, we emphasize training to develop our individual skills and strengthen and improve our weaknesses.
  • Students focus on developing skills rather than muscle power. Our styles of martial art do not emphasize muscle against muscle but rather different methods of harmonizing with our opponents' strengths so that they become our own.
  • With non-competitive training, children with a more aggressive nature learn to channel their aggression in more healthy and productive ways.
  • Sensitive, less aggressive children often find the non-competitive environment more appealing than the sport environment, but at the same time the physical training helps them to develop self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Because of our emphasis on individual development and self-improvement, many children with special needs can benefit from our children's classes.

We acknowledge that sport and competition are wonderful activities for both children and adults to be engaged in but we also believe that many individuals develop both a deeper understanding and more proficient ability by focusing on competing daily with themselves, rather than with others.

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