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Karate & Martial Arts Class
updated: Feb 19, 2013, 11:44 AM

My 5-year-old is very interested in taking karate/martial arts classes. Any suggestions on local availability/advice concerning this would be appreciated.

Places People Are Talking About:

Macomber KarateSino West Studios United Studios of Self Defense

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 376156 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 11:53 AM

My son takes lessons from Martial Arts Family Fitness, we really like the instructors and he has always really enjoyed going. They have extra community events such as picnics, charity fundraisers, and they work on subjects that are also relevant such as at school and at home. They also offer fitness classes for adults. I highly recommend it!


 COMMENT 376157 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 11:53 AM

Aikido is a great martial art, especially for youngsters. Check out Aikido Kenkyukai Santa Barbara.


 COMMENT 376165 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 12:07 PM

Valhalla Elite Training Center in the 1100 block of state street has a phenomenal kids program that includes Kung Fu, Russian Sambo and Jiu Jitsu. The head instructor Mike is one of the nicest pepole I know and is great with the younger kids. I would highly recommend you go by or give them a call.


 COMMENT 376168 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 12:10 PM

South Coast Karate. The owner, Brian Jordan, and his instructors are all great, enthusiastic role models.


 COMMENT 376181 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 12:47 PM

My son loves South Coast Karate. The instructors are great.


 COMMENT 376250 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 02:58 PM

An interview with South Coast Karate's Brian Jordan, including film footage of his class and comments by parents may be found at the website of "Just Between Us!"

Do a Google search on "Just Between Us! Santa Barbara"; click on the "Directory of TV Interviews" page and click on Brian Jordan's name.


 COMMENT 376257 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 03:09 PM

Another vote for Valhalla!


 COMMENT 376266 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 03:45 PM

Aikido Santa Barbara (on Milpas) has some great kids classes. Really gets them rolling.


 COMMENT 376296 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 04:36 PM

Another vote for Martial Arts Family Fitness. Great instructors, wonderful supportive environment. We checked out several other studios before deciding on this one.


 COMMENT 376304 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 04:50 PM

I agree with South Coast Karate. Brian and his instructors are fantastic! They really care for and guide the children.


 COMMENT 376307 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 04:53 PM

At south coast karate you are free to try it out with no pressure to join. All cost are up front and on their website.


 COMMENT 376308 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 04:53 PM

Valhalla is great.


 COMMENT 376315 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 05:19 PM

Krav Maga is the best self defense martial arts you can find in town...they are in Goleta. Everyone is so awesome there and they accept all ages.


 COMMENT 376318 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 05:23 PM

Martial Arts Family Fitness have a great program for 4-5 year old called "Lil' Ninjas." In that program they have a lot of fun learning great values like courtesy and perseverance. They exercise their motor skills and coordination skills through kicks and hand techniques. The best is hearing your timid kid stand up to a stranger and using their loud voice saying "No stay back!" This lets me know my child is learning some great basic self defense skills he will need to utilize when dealing with strangers and bully's in the future. Call Martial Arts Family Fitness, Master Austin and Sensei Karina and Andrew are spectacular with the kids! They let you try the first class for free!!!


 COMMENT 376345P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 06:23 PM

Having extensive experience in martial arts I can authoritatively state that every one of the recommendations so far are good ones. The only exception would be 315's statement that any particular martial art is "the best" martial art.

I would also add Macomber Karate in Goleta and Kenji Ota's Aikido with Ki, also in Goleta.

At 5 years old the things to look for are the instructors ability to maintain the attention of the entire class and how engaged the students appear.

If you see an instructor working with one or two kids while the others are flossing their toes you might want to find another class.

Price is a big issue for me and while I won't name specific studios, anywhere from 60-80 per month is the absolute TOPS I would pay for a 5 year old's classes (which should run 30-45 minutes) I talked to one place in town and they wanted $225/month. Sorry, thats marketing, not martial arts.

Good luck!


 COMMENT 376350 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 06:37 PM

NRA membership card.


 COMMENT 376387 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 07:49 PM

United Studios of Self Defense.. Both of my children attended and my daughter received her Black Belt. great instructors and two locations in our area..


 COMMENT 376407 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-19 08:24 PM

I highly recommend Sino West Performing Arts Center across from the Goleta Valley Community Center. My daughter has been taking Kung Fu from Master Dragon Sun and he is by far the best instructor I have ever seen. I have had the honor and privilege of watching him teach my daughter for the past 1 1/2 years. We have taken classes from one of the above mentioned places and it didn't even come close. In my 30 + years of gymnastics/dance experience I have yet to find a more talented instructor. He is beyond gifted; a tremendous talent. His students love him. He is very dedicated and committed to their success, no matter their level. He brings out the best in them. The first class is free so there is absolutely nothing to lose by trying. You won’t be disappointed!


 COMMENT 376436P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 12:35 AM

My son went to South Coast Karate classes several years ago when he was a little guy. The sensei, Brian Jordan, was great with the kids!


 COMMENT 376490 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-20 08:49 AM

Dave and Michelle at Macomber Karate on Hollister at Fairview were wonderful when my son was that age. He loved it there. I'd say, go visit a few and see what feels right.


 COMMENT 377860 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 12:29 PM

I highly recommend Sino West studios too, located across the street from Goleta Community Center on Hollister. My 6 yr old daughter took classes at South Coast Karate for about 8 months and liked it very well. The instructors there are very good. But when we found Master Dragon Sun at Sino West she LOVED Kung fu even more and responded to Dragon's teaching style very well. She loves and enjoys the kung fu forms, kicks and animal like poses such as "eagle crouch". Dragon teaches shaolin kung fu and is a talented kung fu master/teacher for children and adults. He makes learning fun for the kids without sacrificing form and technique. Your first class is free to try. :)



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