Karate Teaches Kids A Lot...
Focus. Respect. Self-Control. Self-Discipline.
Karate Makes It Fun To Learn.
"Dominic has been part of the ABD family for 3 years now. Over this time he has grown in many ways- thanks to Mr. Hesser, Ms. Whitmore and the ABD team. Martial arts has become a wonderful outlet for him when he is stressed, upset or just has "too much going on". A few months ago Dominic was going through a tough situation- a situation that would have been a lot to deal with for an adult, let alone an 8 year old boy. But he turned to ABD- took extra classes, and punched and kicked his way through the stress. He triumphed, and has really come into his own in the past few years. Hr has learned self discipline, respect for himself and others and many other things that have come from the instructors at ABD! I cannot thank them enough for everything they do."
-- Cari Burdick, "D's"
America's Best Defense of Colchester teaches a special, Character-Based system of Martial Arts to Kids. Yes, your child will learn to kick, punch, and defend herself--but at ABD, martial arts skills are the tool to accomplish more important things: Goal-Setting, Confidence, and the lifelong benefit of Self-Discipline.
Josh Hesser has been a professional martial arts instructor for 12 years, serving as Chief Instructor at America's Best Defense Martial Arts in Norwich, Connecticut. Teaching hundreds and hundreds of Norwich-area families, Mr. Hesser excelled at communicating the mental aspects of martial arts to children - the importance of self-discipline, self-control, and focus - both at school and home. With the ability to instruct Hartford Dignitary Protection Officers, all the way down to five-year-olds, Mr. Hesser has a very unique approach to providing your family a solid martial arts education.
Frequently Asked Questions
Karate is a “boy thing” right? Do you teach girls?
Karate is not a “boys only” thing. In fact, girls excel at martial arts, sometimes more than boys. I have quite a few girls in my classes, and they do great.
Will karate make my kid aggressive? Will he fight a lot?
It’s a little counterintuitive, but kids who are very “hands on” or often get into fights usually do so far less after getting involved in martial arts. It’s simple: that aggressive urge is positively channeled in karate class. Whatever they’re trying to prove in the neighborhood or schoolyard is dealt with in the structured environment of our classes. Not to mention, self-control is constantly reinforced in our classes.
Do you work with ADD/ADHD kids?
Definitely. In fact, referrals to my Dojo by school counselors and therapists are huge. Some of our most talented kids are ADD/ADHD. And by the way, we don’t judge it as a disorder here, just a difference. It’s interesting to see how many ADD diagnosed kids are also the most intelligent and gifted.
Do you work with children with Autism/Aspergers?
Yes, and often. Because martial arts is an individual "sport", it's based on the child, not the group. Kids within the Autism spectrum tend to work well with the structure of martial arts, and given long enough, form strong relationships inside the community of the school.
I heard that Tae Kwon Do / Kung Fu / Kenpo / Judo / Whatever is the best/worst for kids. Is that true?
No. I’d go so far as to say that the style doesn’t matter that much – it’s the Instructor that counts, and his or her ability to motivate and communicate with your child. You should never join a dojo just for the style. And you should never, NEVER enroll at a school if you don’t trust or connect with the Instructor. Take your time choosing the right one.
I want my kid to be a Cage Fighter. Will you help me?
No. And yes, we actually get asked this.
Karate is good for kids getting bullied. But my kid IS the bully. Will karate make him worse?
No way. Here are a couple things I’ve learned about bullies over the years and it also applies to “class clowns” and “problem kids":
1) They’re almost always smart. 2) They’re ALWAYS way more sensitive than they seem. 3) They’re usually bored in school because they’re smart, or sensitive to not getting enough attention. 4) They’re usually hurting. 5) Their parents and/or teachers acknowledge their “problems” and “labels” in front of them (something we never do here). 6) I’ve mentioned “Bully Radar.” I have bully radar too. I can sense these kids, but you’ll notice when they get into my school, they’re NOT THE SAME KID as they are elsewhere. That’s because we give them a “new name.” Kids who used to act out usually become “stars” at my school.
How much does it cost?
We have different options to choose from, but most professional martial arts schools in the area charge between 99 and 180 per month. We find ourselves somewhere in the middle.
Is your school right for my child?
Honestly, maybe not. Here are a couple reasons you may want to look elsewhere: 1) We’re not a “hobby” school. We’re not here to fill the space between soccer and baseball season. We’re year round, and we’re more involved than a simple after-school activity. 2) We’re not a tournament school. If your ultimate goal is to see your child win tons of trophies and medals and stuff, our priorities probably don’t match. 3) We don’t give belts away. Your child will be held accountable for earning what he or she receives. The higher in rank your child gets, the more demanding the requirements. We’ll help as much as we can, but ultimately your child’s success is up to them.
Because your child's education is so important to you, it's critical to make the right decision when looking for a martial arts school. If my school is not the right fit for you, I'll be more than happy to recommend another school in the area.