Stamford and Westport Kids Martial Arts Classes Build Confidence.

The Dojo's Kids Martial Arts Classes Are The Best Way To Help Your Child Reach Their Full Potential.

Imagine Your Child As A Confident, Strong, Self Assured Leader

In Fact, Let's Not Imagine. Let's Make It Happen, Together.

First, A Note From Our Instructor:

Hi, my name is Manny Esmeraldo, owner of The Dojo in Stamford and Westport, CT. I want to take a moment to welcome you to our website and to say THANK YOU for considering Martial Arts for your child. I've taught kids martial arts classes for years and as you can imagine, I've seen every kind of personality you can think of in a child. Rambunctious, shy, defiant, complacent...every child is different, with special gifts to give and challenges to overcome, and I've seen Martial Arts classes help every single one of them find their inner strength, peace, and focus.

We've seen ultra-shy kids burst out of their shell, ADD and ADHD kids learn how to control themselves, socially awkward kids learn how to make and keep friends, and even helped special needs children find a place to fit in and feel accepted. So, what I'll do on this page is tell you a little about what our focus is in our classes, and what methods we use to achieve our results. Take a look at what we do, and see if our philosophy on the Martial Arts mat lines up with your goals as a parent, and if what we teach would be beneficial in your child's life. Again, THANK YOU for considering Martial Arts - it was literally the BEST thing that ever happened to me when I was young, and I think it's possible that it could be the same for your child.

School Pressure, Peer Pressure, Instilling Proper Values, Demanding Extra Curricular Activities

Sound Familiar?

I know what parents like you are facing these days.  I've met thousands of parents just like you and I have to tell you, it's a tough time for kids these days.

Most parents I meet are dealing with these daily 21st Century demands as well as they can, but sometimes the signs of the pressure are obvious. When new students come into our school we often see:

  • Inability to Focus

    It’s usually not malicious, they just have a really hard time focusing

  • Crippling Shyness

    Eyes on the floor, shoulders down, frozen in fear

  • Difficulty Engaging with Peers or Authority Figures

    Parents often see this as a lack of respect (It’s NOT! But it’s still important to overcome)

  • Lack of Follow Through or Perseverance

    It’s really hard for a child to see past the “now” and keep at something consistently

  • Lack of Motivation

    It’s really hard to be a kid and have people telling you all day what to do. Some kids just shut down and lose their sense of personal motivation.

  • Low Fitness Levels

    Childhood Obesity isn’t just a new buzzword. When iPads and Phones are a dime a dozen, getting kids to get off the couch and move is a real challenge.

But There's Hope!

We've specifically designed our classes to help your child build the life skills they need to work through their challenges and become the confident, capable adolescents that we all know they can be.

Get More Info

Learn More About Our Classes, See Our Schedule and Trial Offer on the Next Page, Plus Get A Surprising Report: "5 Things You Should Look For in a Kids Martial Arts Class"

3 Classes + Free Uniform


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It Can All Change

Within a Few Weeks, Parents Say They See Their Children Learn:

  • Increased Confidence

    Confidence, especially in our Martial Arts classes, is the difference between what a child can actually do vs. what they think they can do. You’ll see them grow more and more confident, and confront new challenges both inside and outside of our school with a sense of drive and purpose.

  • The Ability to Defend Themselves Mentally, Emotionally AND Physically

    If they ever need it, your child will absolutely be able to defend themselves physically. But far more importantly, they’ll be able to fend off the mental onslaught of peer pressure and the emotional weight of bullying and unkind behavior. These are things they’ll desperately need as they grow older.

  • Soaring Self Esteem

    The most important thing your child will get in our classes is a tremendously positive sense of self. They’ll be able to objectively recognize things they need to improve (homework, family interaction, physical effort) without feeling hopeless, and they’ll take pride in the things they get right without discounting or minimizing their achievements. This will be invaluable for them as adults.

  • An Appreciation for Exercise

    If you want kids to stay healthy, they have to enjoy their exercise. Our classes are so much fun, your child will beg to come. They’ll actually love doing pushups, jumping jacks and crunches. They’ll take pride in their improved flexibility and stamina, and they’ll leave class everyday sweating and smiling.

...But How?

How? The Answer isn’t rocket science, and honestly, We feel blessed to have discovered it. It's simple and subtle, but when you see it in person (especially as a parent) It’s almost Magical. "The Answer" solves every one of the issues we mentioned, and more.

Class Reviews from Real Parents

We Think It's Great, But What About Regular Parents?

Suzanne M. Cheruk

Best decision I made for my then 4 year old son. Shihan has been an important partner in reinforcing the man we'd like our son to become. Consistency, commitment, strength, determination, focus and follow-through. Our son is now 14 years old and still insists on spending at least 2 days a week at The Dojo. Thank you Manny.

Suzanne M. Cheruk, (Mom)

Our Classes Are Specifically Designed for Kids

And That's Really Important

How children are treated and taught makes a huge difference in their experience, and therefore their ability. When they're engaged and excited, children learn really well. It seems obvious, but so often kids are "forced" to learn. At our school, they LOVE learning!

A "Group Sport"

With An Individual Focus

Your child will interact with others, work with partners and listen to the instructor as a member of the group; but they'll never "ride the bench".  They'll be held to their own standard; no one else's. Every child is unique and our Martial Arts classes offer a fantastic opportunity to capitalize on their natural strengths to bolster their Self Esteem so that they have the emotional and mental capability to tackle areas that need work.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Child Needs Help Controlling His Actions. Will learning Martial Arts make it worse?
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Actually, no. I know it seems counterintuitive, but the reality is that because our Martial Arts students like the physical portion of our classes (the kicking, punching, blocking, pushups and everything else) SO much, they're willing to listen and apply the Character Development portions (patience, control, thinking before acting, etc). It really does work. Our students don't WANT to use their Martial Arts moves outside of the class, because they don't want to disappoint us as instructors. You really have to see it to believe it.

How often do we need to come to class and when are your classes?
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Our programs fit into almost any schedule (remember, ALL of the families that already take classes with us are super busy too!). We have students who are successful in our program at only one day a week, and we have students who love classes so much that they beg their parents to bring them every time we're open. If you enter your email we'll send you to the next page where we will show you our schedule and trial offer. If you have questions about the schedule (it may not be obvious which class is appropriate for your child), there's a contact for you on that page to ask questions.

Can we try it before we sign up?
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We always start with a Trial Program. It's really important not only for you to be able to make sure our program will be beneficial, but for us to be sure we can appropriately meet your goals as parents. We'll be teaching life lessons, challenging limiting beliefs, and setting short & long terms goals, so it's important that our values are congruent before we begin that life changing journey. However, because this introductory time is so important, we limit the number of new students during each trial period. So if you want a space, please be sure to sign up for one! If there are no spaces, we'll put you on the waiting list.

My Child is PAINFULLY Shy, I feel like there's no way she'll start something new like this.
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We see that day in and day out, and honestly, it can certainly be a challenge for all parties involved, but like I said, we see it day in and day out, and *It's our job* to help your child learn to overcome their fears. In other activities, shyness and hesitation is a real crutch; the coach or teacher is often frustrated, and the shy child holds the class back. But because of our focus on the individual, it doesn't hurt our class at all. When your child starts to trust that we're going to help her regardless of whether she's shy or brave, she'll open up and it'll start a chain reaction of confidence building that'll drop your jaw. We know because....we do it everyday!

You talk about Character Development and Life Skills; How do you teach that in class?
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Just like our physical curriculum works to improve your child's fitness, flexibility and strength, our Character Development curriculum improves your child's Life Skills. We have a curriculum that rotates through really important subjects like Respect, Discipline, Focus, Patience, Acceptance, Kindess, Compassion and more. It's really cool, and all of our instructors feel lucky everyday to be able to pass these skills on to a younger generation.

Will my child get hurt? Is it safe?
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Safety is always our number one priority. Although you risk injury anytime you choose to get out of bed, in our experience, we see far fewer injuries in our classes than in other kids activities (baseball, softball, football, etc). It's actually frustrating, because we occasionally get calls from parents that their child can't come to class because they hurt themselves in a different activity.