Martial Arts For Kids at the Agoura Hills Recreation Center

My kids can count to 20 in Japanese.

Pretty rad, right?

Thanks to Sensei Laura Cox, who somehow manages to get through hours of martial arts instruction with kids as young as 4 twice a week, the boys are learning things like proper warming up and stretching, core-strengthening exercises, a foreign language, respect and politeness, and some basic Shotokan Karate moves.

My boys have taken two full sessions of classes with Sensei Laura at the Rec Center on Thousand Oaks Boulevard. I enjoy watching them during these classes, while also catching up on Words With Friends and my ever-growing pile of books.

Kid 2 takes a 30 minute “pre-karate” class in which the kids learn moves through games and exercise. Starting at 6 years old, kids learn “kata” – or specific sets of moves, and start sparring and perfecting their stances and basic moves. Kyle is in that first level class, and he just earned his yellow belt.

Here are some photos of the testing and the belt ceremony. He was so proud of himself.