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Teaching Children with Mike Turbitt (podcast)

In this podcast I chat with Mike Turbitt about his 10 precepts for teaching children. Mike runs a very successful school and the quality of the karateka he produces speaks for itself. It was also Mike who convinced me to start teaching children again. This is a fascinating and information packed discussion that is sure to be of interest to all instructors! Enjoy!

All the best,


Mike’s 10 Precepts for Teaching Children

Precept 1: The aim of Karate is to the improve lives of its practitioners. You have a responsibility to your students and child welfare, which far exceeds your responsibility to your style, system, sensei or tradition.

Precept 2: Understand karate’s values, understand your values, understand children’s values.

Precept 3: Karate takes a lifetime to master, so teach children by meeting their needs not yours. If they don't attend, you can teach them anything. 

Precept 4:  Make them feel fantastic in every lesson and they come back.

Precept 5: Discipline is correct behaviour at the correct time.

Precept 6: Children’s education and lives are already structured; it is advantageous to work within that structure.

Precept 7: Programs - Follow the school system, they are the experts.

Precept 8: Teach the same thing, to the same class, at the same time.

Precept 9: Public praise. Private correction.

Precept 10: Parents stay during the class.

About Mike:

I started training at the age of fifteen back in the days of the BKA under the instruction of Barry Tatlow Sensei. I was awarded 1 dan in 1981 as part of the Tera group under Takamizawa Sensei. Second Dan followed a couple of years later, and then a small twenty-something year gap until 2005 when I achieved 3rd Dan.

It was at this grading that I met up with an old training partner, Nigel Davison, who invited him to his dojo in Northampton.

It was the cleanest brightest dojo I had ever been in the teaching and the atmosphere was electric.  I knew instantly that’s what I wanted to have and do.

That was the second week in December, on the third week I attended another old training partner at his school and after training he told me it was to be the last session at that venue as he had had enough. I took over the venue from the 3rd of January and so Team Black belt was born.

My son Mitch was Seven at the time and to keep his interest I had to create high energy fast paced lessons; I knew if I could keep him motivated, I could keep anyone.

We grew and grew; Team Black Belt now has had its own full-time dojo for the last 14 years and regularly (pre covid) teach 300 plus children a week. 

Oh, and I only teach 4 evenings a week and have holidays!!!

Teaching Children with Mike Turbitt
Iain Abernethy and Mike Turbitt