What makes a Culture of Safety Kids’ karate program different? 

Our karate classes for kids focus first on the kids, then on the karate.  At Culture of Safety/Jin Sei Ryu Chicago, we know that each child comes to us with their own unique strengths and challenges. For one child, they may struggle with flexibility and coordination, but have excellent focus and discipline. Another may have excellent physical abilities, but struggle with discipline or focus. Some kids might struggle with self-confidence, or emotional regulation.  A child may be developmentally “behind” based on multiple (arbitrary) benchmarks, or “ahead”.  Regardless of their individual strengths and challenges, all children deserve the chance to learn and grow, and all children deserve the chance to face their challenges in a supportive and encouraging environment.

There is no one-size-fits all approach to teaching that best supports every child. Instead of choosing one method (and watching while some children fall through the cracks), our karate classes for kids allow us to work individually with each child and their family to assess what is the best class to support their needs.

In addition to increased coordination, fitness, strength, and flexibility, our karate classes for kids also support our young students’ inner lives and mental and social development.  Through Senpai Amy’s background in social work and Senpai Kyren’s background in mindfulness, together we create a space ripe for supporting kids as they practice important life skills: asking for what they need, standing up for others, mindfulness of space, how to handle strong emotions, and more!

Karate Classes for Kids at all Ages and Stages

We know that each student is different and may require more (or less) support. For this reason, our age/grade divisions are guidelines.  Each program has slightly different expectations in terms of what they need to learn to progress in rank and how they show it.

Younger Kids

Peewees– Generally best program for 4-5 year-olds (or pre-K and K)

Juniors – Generally best program for 6-year-olds through 2nd grade (1st-2nd grade)

Peewees and Juniors start at the same time on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Warren Park; the Peewees class is first on Saturdays, followed by the Juniors class.

Older Kids  

Youth – Generally best program for 3rd grade through age 11.  Senior youth students have the option of becoming volunteers to support the younger kids classes.

The Youth class is after the Juniors class on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays


Generally for ages 12-18. These classes are alongside  Adult classes and are done in a format that creates structure for adults and teens to interact safely and with appropriate boundaries in fun, and mutually supportive ways. Younger Teens have the option of receiving mentorship to become volunteers to support younger kids classes.

What if my child has done karate or another martial art before? 

Welcome! We’re always happy to support children who have trained in other arts. Reach out to us directly (info@cultureofsafetychi.com) and we’ll have a conversation to assess what class options are the best fit for you.

What are the costs?

We are committed to equity and transparency. We offer tiered pricing for students of all ages, and steep discounts for multiple members of the same household.

Over time, there are additional costs for uniforms  (approximately $20- $30), and promotion test fees ($20-50 in most cases). We will always be clear about costs and expectations.

Additionally,  there will be annual international membership fees ($12 each), which gains you access to Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do International’s online repository of online videos and materials for your rank level.

Part of our commitment to equity means that we don’t turn people away because they can’t afford karate. We work with you to find a way. If our membership fees don’t work for you or your household, email us (info@cultureofsafetychi.com) we’ll arrange a time to chat to make it work.

Our commitment to health and safety

Our priority will always be the health and safety of our students and families. Accordingly, we craft our classes in strict adherence to current guidelines by the CDC in accordance with Cook County and/or City of Chicago guidelines . Email info@cultureofsafetychi.com for more info. Read more about our commitment to health and safety during Covid-19.

How do I sign up?

Fill out the form below to let us know you’re interested!  Currently (summer of 2021) we are accepting both rolling admissions (start anytime!) as well as enrolling a kids beginner series that will start just after school starts, on September 13th.

Choosing Between a Beginners’ Series and Starting Now

Benefits of starting now:

  • Instant (or at least quick) gratification!   Your child can start karate next Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday.
  • Try Before You Buy  Beginners who start over the summer can take a free trial class before signing up
  • More Individual Attention  Because you’re likely to be one of the only beginners in the class, you’ll have the benefit of individual attention

Benefits of Beginners’ Series

  • There’s safety in numbers: It can feel hard to be the only new person in a group.  The Beginners’ Series means your child will be surrounded by other beginners, which can feel less intimidating to some folks
  • Free uniform:  The Beginners’ Series is 8 weeks, and towards the end of that 8 weeks, we’ll give you a free uniform (a $20 value)
  • Time to Plan:  By signing up now for the Beginners’ Series, you give yourself the opportunity to have something coming up to look forward to!  The Beginners’ Series also coincides with a change in our class schedule, so by starting with the Beginners’ Series, there’s no need to remember about the schedule change!