7 Ways to Support Your Child in the Martial Arts | 4GK Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for 4GK Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Danna Davis

My 6 year old son has been attending Ninja class at 4GK since August 2018. He loves it and I do too! He loves the skills and games and I love the discipline he is learning. I’ve spoken with a child-behavior doc about what he gets to do in class and the doc was *thrilled*. It’s clear that he believes in the philosophies Sifu and Miss Heidi teach about the importance of play and physical activity for children for all aspects of their development.

Jen Robinson

I took a kickboxing class and it was amazing. I was so pumped and ready to take on the day. Everyone was super nice and the routine was so much fun I would definitely recommend and be back for more!!!

Laura Miller - Owner, Little People's Center reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Had the pleasure of visiting Heidi at 4GK Martial Arts and observing both her EARLY SKILLZ for children ages 3-4 and MOMMY AND ME class for children 18 months and up. The children are guided through the basics of martial arts with hands on gross motor activities set at their own individual pace. It was a pleasure to see.

Di Trudden reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My daughter completed her first group class tonight and I could not be a prouder or happier mama right now! Heidi Burmann and Raquel made Lily feel welcome and were so patient with her as she was learning the kicks and routines. I am so happy that we discovered a healthy and fun new hobby for Lily! If you are looking for an affordable place where your little one can learn and grow then 4GK is for you!

Everyone knows I have been on my own little health journey creating Our Mommy Movement and finding new ways to exercise. I signed up for kick boxing classes through 4GK and am really excited to try them out! Seeing how patient and kind the staff was with Lily I don’t have to worry about being surrounded by people who will judge me while I try to keep up with the moves.

Tina Dos Reis reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great school and awesome team! Everyone is extremely friendly. My nephew Sebastian just loves his Extreme Skill class and after watching the team work together, I decided to try the kickboxing class. Frank put the entire class through a great workout! I can't wait to lose weight and build muscle. It's just the change I was looking for! Thank you 4GK!

Jennie D'Ambroise reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great school! Adult kung fu classes are approachable for all levels. You will learn a lot and you will work hard. Sifu and your fellow students will help you to improve and you will make great friends. Kickboxing classes will also kick your butt. Women, train here, you are welcome at all classes and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive.

Tommy Aliberti reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

This has always been a home away from home! Very much a family, and I have been part of this system for 18 years! Great values, hard work, and many lessons to be learned every time, which I have taken with me in the ring, and in everyday life! 5 Star recommendation!

Donnie Keegan reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My daughter has been studying here for, two months shy of, three years. She still loves it! I my self have decided to join. Love the staff. they are constantly innovating and improving,both the structure of the school and its teachings. I can only hope to improve myself to the degree in which my daughter has been improved herself! Absolutely top notch school!

Rachel Ramsey Weir reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We have had a great experience in the last year that our son has been attending 4GK. He has become more disciplined in his actions, his body has been strengthened and he knows the rewards of hard work. The dedication of the staff is evident in each class. It is clearly a labor of love!

Cheryl Anne reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Fantastic staff !!!!!!!!!! Fantastic fun classes, they know you're name, they know how to make you work while you happily sweat toward a better you !

Katie Bacigalupo reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

LOVE the kick boxing class! It is such a great work out and fun at the same time! I always feel great afterwards and can't wait to get back to the next class!

Michelle McCann reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great atmosphere, awesome staff and incredible workout! Love it!!

Victoria Ingoglia reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I absolutely love the atmosphere. It's clean, friendly n very challenging. I've given some awful dirty looks while stressed n I get high fives later. High intensity fire burning workouts keeps me motivated!!

Rebecca Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

4GK is excellent! I signed up my son for Basic Skillz just a few weeks after his 4th birthday. He loves coming to class to see his fellow ninjas and I really enjoy watching him learn new skills. In a short time, I had already noticed a behavior improvement while in a group setting and the two half hour classes a week are perfect for his attention span. Thank you Miss Heidi and the rest of the staff for your patience and influence on Neil.

Dawn-Marie Francois reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The school is great!!! Classes are manageable and they push you to do your best. Staff is friendly and patient.

Frank Gil reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I wanted to make a change in my life. I was stagnant, not active and unhappy honestly. One day my brother and friend convinced me to take a class at 4gk. That was years ago and thousands of punches and kicks ago and I love it every bit now as I did that first class. The instructors are amazing, knowledgeable, and were always willing to work with me at my level. I've spent a lot of time here and find no matter how my day has been I can't help but smile when I walk through the 4gk doors. It's a great environment for people who want to challange themselves and grow and there is no place else I'd rather be

Roseann Wander Walsh reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I absolutely love it there. Everyone is very welcoming and make you feel very comfortable. I've done kickboxing at several other place and all the people there were very clicky I am very comfortable here and would recommend it to everyone.

Kimberly Lago reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My oldest daughter has been coming here for a year. We fell in love immediately after seeing how wonderful the staff is with working with children of all ages. My second daughter was dying to be in a class also. As soon as she turned 3 we gave it a try and she has blossomed. Seemingly shy I was curious to see how her first class type activity would be. She loved it. Just waiting for daughter number three to be old enough because she is only two, but already feels like she belongs. We absolutely love it.

Shannon Marr reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I love this place. Everyone is super friendly and makes you feel like a part of the family. I get constant encouragement to keep going. And when I had sprained my ankle and couldn't come for awhile, they worked with me financially and kept sending me encouraging messages to take it easy and get better. I get the best work outs and never any judgements.

Leianne Marques reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

4GK is an awesome school. The entire staff treats you like family. I take the kickboxing and skillz fit classes. The encouragement and motivation you get from the instructors makes you feel like you can achieve your goals, do anything you want, even if your first instinct is to say no when they all you to do something. I accomplish something in every class and have learned to think yes I can instead of there is no way I can.... the instructors break things down so you can easily understand each move. Everyone is made to feel important and special in each class, no one is left out. I can't imagine going anywhere else.

Linda Cummings reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We just started the mini skillz program a couple of months ago. I admit, after being in the free play, no rules music program for the entire spring, my 2 yr old granddaughter was starting to rebel against listening. The first day of class I was almost in tears after five minutes when I realized how bad her behavior had gotten without structure. I'm so glad I stuck it out though. The second class was a joy, with her listening intently and using her brain. Miss Heidi has the patience of a saint. She is also on top of age appropriate skills and stresses them at each class. We've learned taking turns, following direction, jumping, kicking and punching, and many, many other useful things. She loves going to her class twice a week and I truly love taking her. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these wonderful people and this fantastic school to anyone.

Danielle Hulse Maloney reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My two sons have been coming here since December 2016. They absolutely love it & have THRIVED since coming! The older one suffers from anxiety & general fear, he has since built up tremendous confidence & has learned to verbalize any issues he may be having. The younger one is a ball of energy that needed direction & a release, he has achieved focus & better listening skills. The staff is AMAZING! They are welcoming, accommodating & listen to any issues you have whether it be with them, the class or your children. I could go to any of them & speak with them about ANYTHING & feel very comfortable doing so. Si Fu teaches the class in a low-key, fun manner that has the children engaged AND having fun at the same time, it's not the typical militant style. We received a military discount since my husband is a former marine AND ... They run a monthly themed Parents Night Out that gives parents a break without their kids from 7:30-10:00! I am thrilled that we found them & highly suggest to anybody looking for a martial arts school to check them out!

Yaoska Fleming reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great team! My daughter loves the school. She has learned so much since she started a year ago. I am so happy I found this place. I am so grateful for Ms. Heidi, Sifu Mike and all the team. Their love and dedication is shown in every class. Good job!!

Neil Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I highly recommend 4GK to anyone considering Martial Arts for their children or themselves. The staff has been doing an amazing job with my 4 year old son. He has a safe and fun outlet for some of his endless energy supply and the staff do a great job keeping all of the students involved, active, and engaged in the classes activities. My son loves it and looks forward to it every week!

Christina Annessa reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We just started a month ago and my kids are in love & can't get enough of it. Everyday they ask do they have class. Its great for all ages and I really like that they split them up. My daughter is 5 and is learning age appropriate skills while in the next class my 8 year is learning different things. The staff is super friendly and always accommodates our needs. I absolutely love the fun nights they do as well, the kids get to hang out & have fun while I get to relax a bit a home. Overall very satisfied with this program.

4GK Martial Arts Patchogue Martial Arts & Fitness for Kids and Adults!
Call us today to get started 631-776-8060
Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

7 Ways to Support Your Child in the Martial Arts

Reprinted with permission from the Pride Martial Arts  July 2009 Newsletter

A while back, a parent asked, “What is the best way to support my child in martial arts? What is my role? How do I strike a balance between being supportive and understanding on one hand…and making sure my child shows enough discipline to reach his or her goal?”  That’s an excellent question. In this article, I’m going to pass along seven “little pointers” that will help you and your family benefit the most from your child’s martial arts training. Chances are, you are already doing some of these things. But it’s always good to keep these pointers fresh in your mind, because the way a parent approaches martial arts can often be the deciding factor in a child’s success.  All these pointers boil down to one thing: taking an active role. This is no different than a parent who gets involved in normal school. It’s the kid whose parent takes an active role who achieves the most academically. The same idea applies in our academy. So, here’s my first tip:

Tip #1 – Watch as Many Classes as You Can

Listen: I know it’s tempting to use your child’s class time for a quick break or as a chance to run some errands. We all need a little extra time now and then. But actively watch as many classes as you can. That’s because watching your child’s class is the #1 most important thing you can do to support them. Something magical happens when you watch your son’s or daughter’s class. They’ll glance over their shoulder and see you watching. They’ll do their best to impress you. They’ll take a greater interest in class themselves and they’ll try harder. Your son or daughter feels visible when you watch class. And while we don’t recommend that parents give “tips” or “corrections” from the sidelines, your child does appreciate hearing you say “good job!” and seeing you flash a big thumbs-up when they’re on the floor (always focus on the positive).

Also, watching class keeps you in touch with what is happening in our academy. You’ll hear all the important announcements, get a copy of our newsletter, stay on top of upcoming events and discover which life skills you should reinforce at home (more on that in a minute). And you might be called on to hold bags or get involved in other ways. Keep showing your support and make your presence felt.

[For tips on helping your child succeed in class, check out 4 Positive Things You Can DO or SAY When Your Ninja Has a Challenge in Class]

Tip #2 – Reinforce Life Skills at Home

By now, you realize martial arts is not just about kicks and punches. Sure, the self-defense techniques are valuable, but we also view them as a way of teaching life skills such as discipline, perseverance, respect, courtesy and leadership. These life skills are everything – it’s what sets martial arts apart from every other activity out there. So discuss these life skills at home and reinforce them . For example, at dinner you can say, “What did Mr. Berry say about courtesy today?” or “What was the biggest lesson you picked up in today’s class?” You can talk about life skills at the park when observing other children or you can discuss them at the grocery store. Use all these situations outside of our academy as “teaching opportunities” – a chance to drill these positive messages home. If you don’t have a lot of time with your child, use “drive time” (to and from our academy) to back up the life lessons we teach in class. Talk about the word of the month (if you don’t know what it is, ask us). Ask questions to stimulate conversation and get your little martial artist thinking. Reinforcing the life skills your child learns in class is a great way to support your child’s martial arts journey!

Tip #3 – Encourage Practice at Home

I recommend two or three days a week in class for the average student. But like any other athletic activity, your child will benefit from at-home practice. Now don’t worry: You don’t have to go crazy and construct your own dojahng [dojahng = kwoon or dojo ~Sifu Mike] in the basement or install Zebra mats in the living room. Any open area in the home will do just fine. Or, if the weather is nice outside, have them practice in the backyard or at the park (forms look really cool outdoors!).

A good guideline for at-home practice is a couple hours a week…spaced apart in small sessions. See, studies prove that students retain information better in frequent, short bursts. So instead of a three-hour “marathon training” on a Saturday afternoon, space home practice sessions into short half-hour or fifteen-minute sessions every other day or so. Frequent practice helps develop “muscle memory” and instant recall in any situation.

Tip #4 – Err on the Side of Commitment

Repetition forms the basis for true mastery. This is true on the job, in academics and in any sport, for that matter. Martial Arts is no different. Routine in martial arts helps develop a student’s “reflexive skills” and the muscle memory I talked about a minute ago (for example, if somebody throws a punch, the student should be able to instinctively block without thinking about it). But – when the repetition part of learning kicks in, a student’s feeling of “newness” or “excitement” can start to wane a bit. This simply means they’re entering a new phase of their training. It’s also a signal you should remind them of the goals they set early on.

When your child reaches this phase, encourage them to stick with it. Remind them of the goals they set and the commitment they made. And, once again, use this as a learning opportunity. Explain to them the importance of showing perseverance and focusing on their goals. Give them examples of how YOU had to persevere to achieve something you wanted in your life. Remind them it’s not always “fun” or “exciting” to demonstrate discipline and commitment. However, achieving anything truly great in life will have periods of routine and repetition. Life is not a video game!

How hard should you push? Most parents feel they push “too hard” when in reality, they really don’t. I say, “Err on the side of discipline and commitment”. For example, a parent at another school recently said, “I don’t push my kid. If he doesn’t want to come to class, I don’t go”. I don’t think that’s a good policy: it goes too far in the other direction. Why? Because it allows a child’s emotional whims to determine their behavior and actions. Explain to your child what would happen if this were applied in other areas of their life: What if they didn’t “feel like” brushing their teeth every night? Or didn’t “feel like” doing their homework? Or they didn’t “feel like” going to college? Or they didn’t “feel” like getting a job? What would happen? Help your child understand that the lessons they’re learning now carry over into their adult life – and the sooner they start building their “discipline muscles” the easier life will become. (And isn’t building discipline one of the main reasons you enrolled your child here, anyway?). Encourage your child to go to class every chance he or she gets. Besides: it’s always the one class they don’t want to attend that ends up being the most fun!

Tip #5 – Attend a Tournament or Two

If you haven’t done so already, attend a tournament or two. Not only is it a lot of fun, but your child will meet new friends, hone their moves against new opponents, take their skills to a new level…and maybe come home with a new trophy to show off to their friends! Tournaments also rev up a student’s motivation level. They act as short-term “mini-goals” which channel a student’s focus and direct their energy. Students know they have a month or two to prepare for the tournament, so they work extra hard on their forms, practice their sparring with more gusto and take more pride in their techniques. I suggest families attend at least one or two tournaments to get an idea of how much fun they can be.

Tip #6 – Compete, Don’t Compare

Martial Arts is tougher than almost any other sport. It’s mind, body, spirit, emotion, everything – wrapped up into one. And techniques that are difficult to execute look simple from the sidelines. Because of that, in the past I’ve seen some parents expect too much – especially at the Tiny Tiger level. You can’t expect a Tiny Tiger to execute a perfect side kick or jump front kick. In these lower levels, our goal is to make sure your child can follow instructions, develop gross (and some fine) motor skills, increase their confidence, have fun and prepare for the next level. Our Tiny Tigers program helps us build a foundation for later success. It makes no sense for us to refine six or seven-year-old’s techniques. There is plenty of time for that later.

So if you feel yourself slipping into the mindset of “my kid’s technique should look a lot better”, try this: Get out on the floor and try it yourself for one class. Or even just try holding a deep middle stance for a few minutes. I’m serious. If you’ve never done it before, you’ll have a new-found respect for your kid! So don’t pressure them when it comes to technique. Keep the focus on having fun, staying committed to their goals and getting to class. It’s fine to encourage your child to compete with other kids in class, but don’t compare them to others. It sets up unrealistic expectations because every child progresses at his or her own pace. Appreciate your child’s abilities and eventually, they’ll hit their stride.

Tip #7 – Take a Cue from Other Black Belt Parents

Finally, understand this: The skills a martial arts student needs to reach the rank of black belt are the same skills a parent needs to guide their child to that same rank: Discipline. Sacrifice. Perseverance. Stick-to-it-ness. Focus. Commitment. Approach other “black belt parents” and ask them how they achieved their goals as a family. What was the journey like? What sacrifices were required? Was it worth it? (I think you know the answer to that one already!). Other black belt parents will help you crack the code on what it takes to get your child to the ultimate level…black belt!

Try these seven tips today and watch your child’s motivation and skill level skyrocket! And finally, THANK YOU for everything you do. The parents here in our academy are the “unsung heroes” of our programs and the driving force behind all the life-changing success we have in our academy! Enrolling your child in our school is one of the most valuable investments, greatest gifts and best decisions you’ve ever made for your child’s future. Great job!