West Coast Martial Arts Academy 4S Ranch > Pre-Teen Kickboxing/Self Defense

Pre-Teen Kickboxing / Self Defense

We have a firm belief that martial arts need to be rooted in being effective. That’s why once our kids reach a certain age, we try to incorporate as many realistic training modalities as possible.  There is an aspect of martial arts that requires focus of mind while performing movements that are complex, but these moves aren’t always effective for fighting.  We encourage our students to practice what they like, if they enjoy the performance aspects of training that’s great.  But at the end of the day, what we teach daily in classes needs to be effective for fighting.  If you’re not getting better at self-defense while you are training, then how are you supposed to gain real confidence?

Does Your Pre-Teen Struggle With:

  • Mood swings that make it difficult to control their actions or emotions 
  • Being bullied or peer pressured into doing things they don’t want to do
  • Academic pressure that leaves them mentally exhausted without any coping skills
  • Symptoms of anxiety or even depression like irritability, low self-esteem, inability to focus or concentrate, or always seeming tired
  • No Self-Control when it comes to eating or just not getting enough physical activity

Kajukenbo For Self-Defense

Our base self-defense system is more than a style, it is a philosophy. Kajukenbo originated with an idea, bring different styles together to try to create the most effective self-defense style possible. Although the idea seems commonplace now, during its time when you weren’t allowed to share your martial arts techniques with outsiders it was taboo. Now you can go online and learn almost anything, and that’s what is truly great about this style. Kajukenbo is a fantastic starting point for someone who is getting into martial arts. You learn to strike self-defense, throws, locks, vital targets of the body, and grab escapes.  All of these things are built around concepts that hopefully will help you further your understanding in the martial arts as you continue to grow.  

The philosophy of Kajukenbo is to take what works for you and leave the rest behind. For that reason, our head instructor has trained in multiple styles of Kung-fu, stick fighting, Thai boxing, and Brazilian jiu jitsu to try to offer a wide variety of self-defense techniques. Some students prefer to use strikes in a situation, others want to use a throw or a lock.  A wide variety of technique options are available.  


Every week we alternate the curriculum between self-defense techniques and kickboxing/sparring techniques. Sparring is a great physical activity meant to develop kids physically and mentally. Kids will have to learn to deal with bigger and faster opponents. They will also need to develop the focus and timing to make their strikes effective.  

Confidence comes from kids facing down other students who have been working on the same techniques they have been. Kids learn to strike with speed, but also to have control.  We aren’t training amateur fighters, but we do want them to have the skills they need to protect themselves.

Pressure Testing

All 4S Ranch and Rancho Bernardo martial arts schools are teaching students self-defense, but we like to think we do a better job of pressure testing our students. We want our students to feel the tension and aggression from their partners. We want them to feel the adrenaline rush, so they can learn to focus on what they need to succeed in each moment. That’s why we try to get our students to spar as competitively as possible without someone getting hurt.

We also attack our students in a riot suit. Doing different drills and scenarios to try and push them. We black the lights and make them walk through a dark alley, we try to get them to run across the room avoiding the attacker. We do drills where 2-3 people will charge them across the room, forcing them to think quickly and try to survive. We want them to learn self-control and be able to defend themselves against a giant juggernaut parading toward them.  

Can My 7-Year-Old Train With Their Older Sibling?

Most of our pre-teen students are 10-13 years old. We have many 4S Ranch and Rancho Bernardo Kids who started karate young and have moved through our younger kids’ curriculum.  These kids may be nine years old at the youngest, but have developed the spatial awareness and ability to survive in this older kids’ class despite being younger.  

We know the focus for 4S Ranch parents is convenience. There are already so many activities to “uber” your kids to and fro, we offer private lesson programs that allow students to train with their siblings for convenience. That way, you can keep your kids’ martial arts classes together without having to drive to the 4S Ranch business park 4 times a day.  

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