All the information you will ever need when your child is ready to start Taekwondo, locate a suitable club in your area, and find out how to best support your child, build a positive relationship with their instructor and coach and support your kid's club.

Getting Started

If you are studying a martial art, or if you are thinking of starting in any of the many and varied martial arts, then there are a few questions that you need to ask of your Instructor to ensure that you can training safely and with peace of mind. Here are a few basic questions to ask.

Are you qualified to teach me and where did your qualifications come from?

Many styles of Martial Arts are break away groups from their original style and any qualifications achieved through these groups are frequently not recognised once you walk out the door. Ensure that your instructor and club have an affiliation with a recognised national body such as Australian Taekwondo. 

Do you hold a National Coaching Qualification? 

All Martial Arts Instructors should hold as a minimum a Coaching Accreditation issued through Australian Taekwondo to ensure that they have the proper qualifications to teach you competently and safely - request to see it.

Do you have any Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance?  

For your own financial being, ensure that your instructor and club have an adequate insurance policy that provides protection for you should an accident occur.

Will we be insured while training?

Taekwondo is a contact martial art and sport and while injuries are not common they can nevertheless occur. Make sure that you have adequate sports injury insurance, and if you are employed it also provides income protection. For a school child the insurance should also provide for an inhouse tutor if your child sustains a long term injury.      

Is there participation insurance for me if I help out at the club? 

Many parents like to help out at clubs in various ways, or attend club socials and displays. It is important to know that should you be accidentally injured when helping out that you are also afforded a good level of insurance cover. 

In all instances, ask to see the club's insurance Certificate Of Currency and a copy of the policy. All Taekwondo registered clubs are issued annually with a Certificate of Currency and the insurance schedule which details the level of cover.  

If your sights are set high and your aim is to represent Australia in the Olympics, then as a combat sport you need to do either Taekwondo or Judo. If you are training in Taekwondo, then you need to be training with a club that is registered with Australian Taekwondo.

Role Of Parent

Parent and Athlete

As the parent of a student of taekwondo and athlete, your major responsibility is to provide a stable, loving and supportive environment. Check out some articles that will help you become the best parent possible to your athlete.

Competitive Taekwondo programs provide many benefits to young athletes including self-discipline, good sportsmanship, and time management skills. Competition allows the athlete to experience success and to learn how to treat success and failure as two sides of the same coin, while becoming healthy and physically fit. As a parent, your major responsibility is to provide a stable, loving and supportive environment. This positive environment will encourage your child to continue. Show your interest by ensuring your child's attendance at training, by coming to gradings or tournaments and volunteering for your club at competitions, or by participating in fundraising, etc.

Parents contribute to the success experienced by the child and the team. Parents serve as role models and their children emulate their attitudes. Be aware of this and strive to be positive role models. Most importantly, show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents and teammates. Remember that you are teaching your child at all times.

Are You a Pressure Parent?

The following survey has been taken from the Amateur Swimming Association of Great Britain. If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may be in danger of pressuring your child. It is important to remember that the parents' role is critical and should be supportive at all times to ensure a positive experience for your child.

  • Is winning more important to you than it is to your child?
  • When your child has a poor grading or fight, is your disappointment, such as through body language or vocal tones, obvious?
  • Do you feel that you are the one to have to 'psyche' your child up before a grading or competition?
  • Do you feel that winning is the only way your child can enjoy the sport?
  • Do you conduct 'post mortems' immediately after competition or training?
  • Do you feel that you have to force your child to go to training?
  • Do you find yourself wanting to interfere with coaching and instructions during training or competition thinking that you could do better?
  • Do you find yourself disliking your child's opponents?
  • Are your child's goals more important to you than they are to your child?
  • Do you provide material rewards for performance?

Be Enthusiastic and Supportive 

Remember that your child is the martial artist or athlete. Children need to establish their own goals, and make their own progress towards them. Be careful not to impose your own standards and goals. Do not over burden your child with winning or achieving high scores. Let them know that first they are the child you love, and second, a Taekwondo practitioner or athlete. Tell them you will love them whether they grade or compete well or not, and ask only that they give their best effort. Learning about oneself while enjoying the sport is the most important part of the Taekwondo experience. The Taekwondo environment encourages learning and fun, which will help your child develop a positive self-image.

Positive Parenting Tips 

Your child needs your emotional, physical, and financial support. 

  • Be liberal in providing this support
  • Support but do not push your child
  • Understand development – long-term development as an athlete, and growth and development as it impacts performance
  • Be realistic in terms of expectations; factor in age and skill level; be aware of your child’s perception of your expectations
  • Emphasise performance and effort, not just outcome. The athlete only has control over his or her performance. Define and measure success as giving maximal effort and as personal improvement
  • Keep winning in perspective
  • Do not bribe
  • Give plenty of encouraging and rewarding statements. Criticise sparingly
  • View Taekwondo as an arena in which to teach your child about commitment, hard work and coping with adversity
  • Work to form an effective Coach-Athlete-Parent Triangle

Some Useful Resources

Click on the tiles below to access more useful information including finding a club registered with Australian Taekwondo, Sport Australia's (formerly Australian Sports Commission) excellent information on children participating in sports, and a useful ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency) guide on how parents can assist to promote safety, good health, integrity, and enjoyment of clean (drug free) sports.