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Columbia Kids Martial Arts Classes Build Confidence

A Note From Our Instructor

Sensei Charles Harriday

THANK YOU for considering Martial Arts for your child.

I’ve taught kids martial arts classes for years and as you can imagine, I’ve seen every kind of personality you can think of in a child. Rambunctious, shy, defiant, complacent…every child is different, with special gifts to give and challenges to overcome, and I’ve seen Martial Arts classes help every single one of them find their inner strength, peace, and focus.

We’ve helped ultra-shy kids burst out of their shell, kids with ADD and ADHD learn how to control themselves, socially awkward kids learn how to make and keep friends, and even helped special needs children find a place to fit in and feel accepted. Take a look at what we do and see if our philosophy on the Martial Arts mat lines up with your goals as a parent and would be beneficial in your child’s life.

Partipating in Martial Arts was literally the BEST thing that ever happened to me when I was young, and we think it’s possible that it could be the same for your child.

Charles Harriday, Head Instructor of Harriday’s Karate & Fitness in Columbia, MD

the pressures kids face

I know what parents like you are facing. I’ve met thousands of parents just like you and I have to tell you, it’s a tough time for kids these days.

Most parents I meet are working hard to foster their child’s mental and physical growth as well as they can, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to do this alone. When new students come into our school we often see:


Inability to Focus

It’s usually not malicious, they just have a really hard time focusing.

Crippling Shyness

Eyes on the floor, shoulders down, frozen in fear.

Difficulty Engaging with Peers or Authority Figures

Parents often see this as a lack of respect (It’s NOT! But it’s still important to overcome).

Lack of Follow Through or Perseverance

It’s really hard for a child to see past the “now” and keep at something consistently.

Lack of Motivation

It’s really hard to be a kid and have people telling you all day what to do. Some kids just shut down and lose their sense of personal motivation.

Low Fitness Levels

Childhood Obesity isn’t just a new buzzword. When iPads and Phones are a dime a dozen, getting kids to get off the couch and move is a real challenge. Many After School Programs just throw a TV on the wall and put a video game controller in your child’s hand and call it a day. Your child needs fun and engaging activities that will keep them healthy for life.

But There's Hope!

We’ve specifically designed our classes to help your child build the life skills they need to work through their challenges and become the confident, capable adolescents that we all know they can be.

Within a Few Weeks, Parents Say They See Their Children Learn

Increased Confidence

Confidence, especially in our Martial Arts classes, is the difference between what a child can actually do vs. what they think they can do. You’ll see them grow more and more confident, and confront new challenges both inside and outside of our school with a sense of drive and purpose.

The Ability to Defend Themselves Mentally, Emotionally AND Physically

If they ever need it, your child will absolutely be able to defend themselves physically. But far more importantly, they’ll be able to fend off the mental onslaught of peer pressure and the emotional weight of bullying and unkind behavior. These are things they’ll desperately need as they grow older.

Soaring Self Esteem

The most important thing your child will get in our classes is a tremendously positive sense of self. They’ll be able to objectively recognize things they need to improve (homework, family interaction, physical effort) without feeling hopeless, and they’ll take pride in the things they get right without discounting or minimizing their achievements. This will be invaluable for them as adults.

An Appreciation for Movement

If you want kids to stay healthy, they have to enjoy their exercise. Our classes are so much fun, your child will beg to come. They’ll actually love doing pushups, jumping jacks and crunches. They’ll take pride in their improved flexibility and stamina, and they’ll leave class everyday sweating and smiling.

We Treat Children Like They Matter

Karate Students ClassWhat Does That Mean And Why Does It Help?

Kids don’t really go along with the whole “children should be seen, not heard” thing. They want to participate, contribute, and be accepted. But it’s not always a kid-friendly world, even places that claim to be focused on children’s’ well being-like School, extracurricular activities, daycares, etc. want kids to be quiet, not ask questions, and not make waves. Even most Martial Arts schools operate from this well-meaning (but really flawed) mentality.

Instead, we’ll treat your child like they matter and that they’re worthy of respect. We don’t treat them like adults or let them run free, but we do things like give them information and then the opportunity to make their own choices and decisions based on that information (so that when they succeed they know it was THEIR success, and if they fail, they’ll be able to take responsibility and try again).

We Give Respect To Get Respect

This kind of “Guided Respect” helps to show your child how THEY should treat OTHERS. If kids are always getting yelled at, told their ideas aren’t important and not allowed to make decisions for themselves…. why would we expect them to treat others any differently?

The point is, we know deep down that every child is a really cool, really important person, and we’ll help empower them so that they believe it too. Over time, your child will learn to move through their lives with a level of confidence that will inspire others.

We Don’t Change Your Child

Our Martial Arts classes Take Your Child’s Natural Disposition into account. Instead of working to “fix” them (to change who they are), we can work WITH their natural physical and emotional energy, enhancing their strengths and working to shore up their weaknesses.

Now, of course, kids need rules, boundaries, and limitations. But we enforce these necessities with kind, assertive leadership exercised in a fun, high energy environment (so that kids are already excited to be there).

If we want children to be compassionate, polite, patient and calm, we have to set the example by treating them that way!

We Bring Out Their Best

So yes, we while do have rules (and they’re important), our classes are far from your average run-around-screaming, coach-pulling-his-hair-out, free-for-all kid’s activity. You’ll immediately see your child enveloped in a culture of excellence, a place where we expect the best out of our students. This actually makes it EASIER for your child to reach the kind of goals we all want. When they step onto the mat they’ll be surrounded by other children who are on the same path of excellence, and that’s more helpful than you can imagine.

Where You Come In

Parents Have a Vital Role In This Success. You MUST Follow These 4 Steps


Take Action

Sign your child up for our No Obligation Trial.


Observe Objectively

Watch your child closely and decide if what they’re doing in class will benefit their lives.


Be Involved

The most successful children in our program have parents who are committed to their child’s success. They regularly watch classes and try to understand what their child is learning. Be involved and watch your child grow exponentially!


Help Them Follow Through

There WILL be things your child encounters that challenge them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Together though, you and our team of instructors can help keep your child on track. We regularly hear Black Belt teenagers (who started as young children) tell us that they credit their martial arts training, specifically learning to push through challenging times, with their high school and college success.


If You Can Commit To Those 4 Steps, We Can Help Your Child Become The Best Version Of Themselves

Confident, Successful, and Most Importantly, Happy

Take Step #1, And Try Our No Obligation trial

Trial Offer

Frequently Asked Questions


My Child Needs Help Controlling His Actions. Will learning Martial Arts make it worse?

Actually, no. I know it seems counterintuitive, but the reality is that because our Martial Arts students like the physical portion of our classes (the kicking, punching, blocking, pushups and everything else) SO much, they’re willing to listen and apply the Character Development portions (patience, control, thinking before acting, etc). It really does work. Our students don’t WANT to use their Martial Arts moves outside of the class, because they don’t want to disappoint us as instructors. You really have to see it to believe it.

How often do we need to come to class and when are your classes?

Our programs fit into almost any schedule (remember, ALL of the families that already take classes with us are super busy too!). We have students who are successful in our program at only one day a week, and we have students who love classes so much that they beg their parents to bring them every time we’re open.

Can we try it before we sign up?

We always start with a Trial Program. It’s really important not only for you to be able to make sure our program will be beneficial, but for us to be sure we can appropriately meet your goals as parents. We’ll be teaching life lessons, challenging limiting beliefs, and setting short & long terms goals, so it’s important that our values are congruent before we begin that life-changing journey. However, because this introductory time is so important, we limit the number of new students during each trial period. So if you want a space, please be sure to sign up for one! If there are no spaces, we’ll put you on the waiting list.

My Child is PAINFULLY Shy, I feel like there’s no way she’ll start something new like this.

We see that day in and day out, and honestly, it can certainly be a challenge for all parties involved. We see it day in and day out and *It’s our job* to help your child learn to overcome their fears. In other activities, shyness and hesitation is a real crutch; the coach or teacher is often frustrated, and the shy child holds the class back. But because of our focus on the individual, it doesn’t hurt our class at all. When your child starts to trust that we’re going to help her regardless of whether she’s shy or brave, she’ll open up and it’ll start a chain reaction of confidence building that’ll drop your jaw. We know because….we do it every day!

You talk about Character Development and Life Skills; How do you teach that in class?

Just like our physical curriculum works to improve your child’s fitness, flexibility and strength, our Character Development curriculum improves your child’s Life Skills. We have a curriculum that rotates through really important subjects like Respect, Discipline, Focus, Patience, Acceptance, Kindness, Compassion and more. It’s really cool, and all of our instructors feel lucky every day to be able to pass these skills on to a younger generation.

Will my child get hurt? Is it safe?

Safety is always our number one priority. Although you risk injury anytime you choose to get out of bed, in our experience, we see far fewer injuries in our classes than in other kids’ activities (baseball, softball, football, etc). It’s actually frustrating because we occasionally get calls from parents that their child can’t come to class because they hurt themselves in a different activity.

What should we wear/bring to class?

Your child should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing; something they can move easily in. Also, a water bottle is a great idea. Remember, we’re going to be moving our bodies big time!

If we like it, how does the signing up work?

If your child enjoys the classes and you think they’ll be beneficial, we will show you our different program options (there are multiple different scheduling options, payment options, and attendance options). We’ll look together at what option works best, and get you enrolled.

What is your class schedule?

Times vary depending on age, skill level, etc.View our Schedule

My child isn’t super athletic, is that ok?

We understand how you feel, but we see kids every day that REALLY struggle with connecting their minds to their bodies. Coordination is something we work on every day. Your child doesn’t need to be good to start, but they need to start to be good.

Contact Us

This Could Be The Best Thing You've Ever Done For Yourself

Many of our Students say that their lives wouldn’t be the same without our classes. So don’t wait! Contact us today for more information.

Harridays Karate and Fitness This Could Be The Best Thing You've Ever Done For Yourself