18 answers

Karate for 5 Year Old

My daughter is five and a half and has been asking to take karate lessons. I was wondering if anyone knows of any good karate schools in the Crystal Lake area (or even bad ones that I should avoid.) Any help is appreciated.

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I don't know of any in Crystal Lake, but there is a great one in Wauconda. It's Gangi's mixed martial arts on Rt 176.

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My son has been at AKF Martial Arts Academy for the last 11 years-he started when he was 6. I cannot say enough about the good that has come from this experience. This is not your typical 'black belt factory'(it took him six years to earn his black belt and he is now a second degree black belt in kyu kido). AKF Martial Arts Academy is a place where children can learn not only martial arts, but also respect, focus, and positive self esteem. The atmosphere is relaxed and non-threatening with an emphasis on doing your best and helping others to do their best. The Academy is near the intersection of 31 and Rakow Rd in Crystal Lake(actuall on Pingree just north of Rakow.) I'm sure you and your daughter will love it there.

You should definitely check out AKF Martial Arts for several reasons...they are really concerned with your child's development as a person; the Master teaches the little ones as well as the big ones and he's really great with the kids, it's a new space and very clean in there. I hate walking into a gym-type place and smelling the sweaty mats (yuck).
I got a real kick out of noticing that Master Cantin is actually pictured in the Academy's Instruction Manual for one of the belts! My daughter started there when she was 6 but she was a very "young" 6. A very distracted little girl. But to see her now going in there and owning her progress is just so great to witness. Husband and wife owned, both of them black belts...very very cool place. Also, you can bring her for free the first time to check the place out and meet the instructor. Anyway, just a super place. Good luck deciding!!!

I just started my son in karate. I looked into a few in our area. The majority seemed to be very commercial. I signed up with AKF. The instructors seem to be more concerned with teaching and respect. The enviroment is very clean and orderly. My 4 year old son loves it. Just what I was looking for. Good Luck!

I don't know of any in Crystal Lake, but there is a great one in Wauconda. It's Gangi's mixed martial arts on Rt 176.

My son is 9 years old and he's going to AKF Martial Arts (American Kyuki-do Federation) on Pingree and McArdle in Crystal Lake. We started him in the classes a little over a year ago, and he loves it. Such a difference in his self esteem and fine motor skills. The teachers there are great. Master John Cantin and his wife run the school, and they are the nicest people and so easy to talk with. All the kids just adore Master Cantin, he seems to have an act with the kids and they just click with him, which is important because you want your child to have that relationship with the teacher otherwise they won't take it serious. We tried the YMCA for about 3 months, and it's just not the same as being in the real Karate School. There was a tremendous difference in my kid the moment we walked thru the school doors versus the YMCA doors, like he was in la la land. He got more enthusiastic and curious with the school.

Hi! I would like to recommend a martial arts studio in Crystal Lake that we've patronized for 10 years. It is called "AKF Martial Arts Academy" and it is located in a nice new facility on McArdle Rd., just off the intersection of Rakow and Pingree roads. It was previously located near Andy's Restaurant for many years prior. My son, who is now 15, first took instruction there between the ages of just turning 5 to six and a half. He picked up soccer at that age & did not have time for both. At 13, he wanted to go back and we were quick to choose AKF again. The instructors are a married couple with 2 daughters of their own, ages approx. 12 and 10. Very nice people and more important, excellent instruction in a positive atmosphere. Young children all seem to be comfortable with the style of teaching and the staff they employ. I would definitely recommend you try them, and I know you can go in and have a few "trial" lessons before committing. Their phone number is ###-###-####.

I would recommend the American Kyuki-do- Federation Martial Arts Academy in Crystal Lake. It is just off Pingree between Rakow and Northwest Highway. It enrolls children beginning at age three. In addition, it is possible to get a month of free lessons to see how your daughter might like martial arts. You can call Master John Cantin at ###-###-#### to talk about what the school has to offer.

I also suggest AKF in Crystal Lake. My four sons attend and the instructors are excellent. Patient and firm regarding how to behave and how to excel. The facility is outstanding. Check them out.

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