Martial Arts for Children


Children’s Programs

Little Samurai Program

The youngest students are in our Little Samurai classes with students as young as 3 years old.  This is a great way for kids to build basic skills and have a head start when they begin Kindergarten.  A central component of the program includes Stranger-Danger activities    intended to teach children how to cope with and avoid dangerous situations    such as potential abductors.  The program frequently includes a variety of team-sports such as capture-the-football, team-tag, and tug-of-war, intended to develop athleticism, friendships, interactions, and social skills.  Each year we plan fun family events such as holiday parties, children’s tournaments, trips to water parks, picnics, and international interactions with Okinawan Masters and students.

Character Development Program

The CNY Karate children’s program is based on a combination of the traditional Karate curriculum in addition to our nationally acclaimed Character Development program. Our Character Development program was developed by Sensei Labbate, working with child psychologists, to provide age-specific lessons in positive character trait development. Taught in a fun and motivational way, these are key traits universally recognized as  important to the future success of your child. Many martial arts schools tell you that they can build skills like Discipline, Respect, and Self Esteem in their students, but Central New York Karate backs that claim up with a documented program on Character Development. Each of our children’s program instructors are mature adults who have been given special training and information on working with children of all ages and developmental abilities. In a fun and motivational way, children learn skills that include:

  • confidence and self-esteem
  • Integrity
  • Respect for themselves and others
  • Discipline
  • Goal setting
  • Effort and motivation

Our goal is to help each student develop into a well-rounded individual who exemplifies integrity, humility, honor, and respect in addition to developing strong physical fitness and self-defense skills.

Parent Testimonial

At the beginning of June, my son Gregory and a friend had their bicycles stolen at knife-point in broad daylight at Barry Park. Gregory had had this bike for only a month, and, because it gave him a degree of independence, he took great pride in it. He reveled in riding to the pizzeria, or in coming by my apartment for a visit, without having to rely on someone else to drive him. His face glowed when he rode the bike.

As you can imagine, this theft hit Gregory pretty hard emotionally. But this incident also afforded him an opportunity for growth, and a moment in which he was able to demonstrate that he could make some very smart decisions. You see, Gregory chose not to fight the boy who opened a knife on him (the kid also flashed a gun, stuck into the waistband of his pants). Gregory chose a method of self-defense – non-violent submission – over a more “glorious” physical confrontation. He lost his bike, yes, but neither he nor his friend was physically injured.

I can only imagine, knowing my son, how difficult it must have been NOT to want to disarm his opponent, NOT to try and defend himself physically. The presence of weapons altered the nature of this potential confrontation, and Gregory rapidly made the wise choice. I am inordinately proud of him!

It is also my firm belief that Gregory’s training at CNY Karate had a lot to do with the level-headedness with which he handled this event. He understood implicitly that the most important value in this situation was to get out of it without injury. Bicycles can be replaced; lives cannot. Though I’m sure Gregory relives this incident in his mind frequently and may wish that he had taken some physical action, he also knows that he did the right thing. His mental strength carried the day, and that is certainly something that Sensei and all the teachers at CNY emphasize. I thank you all for the job that you are doing!

Peter Wozniak

Corporate Testimonial

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter as a testimonial to the magnificent Social Studies lesson presented to my class today by Mr. Marvin Labbate. He spoke about the island country of Okinawa and taught the children about the culture, climate, food, customs, and language of this unique land. Each child was totally engrossed in the amazing stories that Mr. Labbate told them, and they even learned several expressions in the language of the country.

We thoroughly enjoyed every minute and we are so appreciative of the time and effort Mr. Labbate and his coworkers demonstrated in presenting this educational and fun filled afternoon for the second grade children! We are honored to have been instructed by an experienced and enthusiastic teacher!


Mary A. Wyatt
Second Grade Teacher at St. Matthew’s School

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