Zen Martial Arts Center

Sacramento Martial Arts and Karate

Little Dragon Curriculum

The Little Dragons karate class is designed to teach your child the fundamental skills of karate in a safe, challenging, and fun environment. In addition to teaching the self-defense skills of the martial arts, we also teach our Little Dragons the life skills that the martial arts are known for—self-discipline, respect for others, self-confidence, and more. Our instructors have been teaching children like yours for many years and are certified in Isshinryu Karate, Verbal Judo, and Nutrition.


Belt and Grading System

All Little Dragons start by earning their White Belt. The belts that follow are white with double colored strips stripes in succession until reaching their Little Dragon Black Belt. After receiving their Little Dragon Black Belt, students are eligible to move into the more advanced Junior Isshinryu class.


Each class, students will receive a colored class stripe after completing a small in class or at home activity. These activities can vary from week to week but some examples include using self-discipline at home, greeting each other with a good handshake, and using good manners. On the first week of the month, a student with at least 8 class stripes will receive a solid black stripe on the other end of their belt. After two months, a student is eligible for a new belt if they have a solid black stripe and at least 8 class stripes



The kata (forms) that we practice in the Little Dragon class are designed to develop focused technique and good stances. We regularly practice these kata and your child will have spent many months on them by the time they test for their Little Dragon black-belt. 


Star Blocks - basic blocks done from a horse stance

Nine Ten Kata - blocks, punches, and kicks put together into a more complex form



In class, we regularly review some karate history and knowledge questions. Some of these questions will be asked at the Little Dragon black-belt testing so it’s good to get them memorized early!


Little Dragon History - basic set of history questions that all students should know



We have embraced the concept of Project-Based Leadership at our school. These projects teach leadership by actually getting the kids out into their communities as a leader. Before your child is eligible to test for their Little Dragon black-belt, they must complete a community project that they take a leadership role in.


Project Guide - a short guide on how to run a successful leadership project.

Project Ideas - a collection of journal posts that serve as outlines for projects

Project Portfolio - get ideas from previous student projects are collected here

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