Kid Martial Arts

Thanks for stopping by!  My name is Jeff Giroux and I’m the head instructor here at GBMA.  I offer exciting kid martial arts classes every weekday afternoon in Glastonbury CT for ages 4 and up.

My instructors and I are passionate about teaching authentic martial arts, self defense, and life skills that will help your child well beyond the dojo.

I have over 30 years of experience.  And during that time I’ve learned a few things that have helped me design an outstanding kids program.  I believe that learning is an ongoing process.  I’m still at it and will continue to tweak and adapt.  Here are my key ingredients to a winning recipe.

Fun – most kids just love the mystique of ancient martial arts.  We keep the excitement going by packing classes with action drills and games.

Life Skills – each class starts with a “mat chat” where we discuss topics that the kids will use at practice and beyond. (examples – confidence, positive attitude, respect, goal setting, and dealing with bullies)  The topic changes every month and all information is shared with moms/dads so that we can work together to instill the lessons.  Alex and daddy bow

Physical Fitness – warm up exercise and training games build strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Self Defense – kids will learn on their very first trial class that fighting is wrong and always a last resort.  They will learn and role play how to stand up to, ignore, and avoid bullies.  But if your child finds themselves in a fight they will know practical self defense skills.

Achievement – students are promoted through a series of belts (white to black belt) to signify their improvement.  Promotions occur approx every 2 months and really motivate students.  Kids progress based on their personal progress as a result of attending classes, demonstrating best effort, and proper behavior.

What age is best for Kid Martial Arts?

New students are joining class all the time.  I group the kids primarily by age for ease of learning.  And secondarily by skill level once they have taken lessons for a few years.  For ages 4 and up I have classes every weekday during the week.  Click here for my current schedule of classesNote – some 3 yr olds are ready as well and can try the Pre-K class.

Funny Faces after a Kick-a-Thon contest fr 7-10 yr olds

What martial arts do you teach?

Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are the two pillars styles that I offer.  My approach to keeping kids interested and challenged is to rotate through 3 categories of classes during a 2 month cycle.  We cover “action karate”  (kickboxing and self defense skills), “traditional karate” (performance stuff like kata, bo staff, and nunchaku), and “BJJ” (wrestling skills of jiu jitsu with the focus on escaping any pin down).  Classes culminate in a belt testing week and then we start over.  Kids complete the program when they earn 2nd degree black belt.  At that point they can become assistant instructors and/or join the adult class.

How is GB Martial Arts different?

Well to start this not a “McDojo” so common among franchised martial arts studios.  You do not sign long-term contracts, pay for belt testing, or are forced to buy “required” merchandise in order to progress.   Your guests will not be hounded on the phone if you have a birthday party here.  I want to be known for teaching quality classes that are fun for the kids.  No tricky business or sales tactics.  And over the years I’ve embraced this approach because happy moms and dads will tell friends.

Secondly, I take a NO nonsense approach to teaching kids.  I understand that kids will be kids.  They are unique in their personalities and needs.  Not all students learn at the same pace and most will not make it to black belt.  No problem.  Even if your child enjoys a few months they will have gained some great lessons about confidence, goal setting, perseverance, and self-defense.  And for the kids who desire to earn black belt…I will support and challenge them to achieve their goal.

033And lastly, I invest in membership to organizations that provide added content and value to my program.   I am a proud member of UFAF/Chun Kuk Do karate (founded by Mr. Chuck Norris), and Macarra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (under Brad Wolfson and Gracie Jiu Jitsu master Marcio Stambowsky).

What are moms and dads saying?

“Coach Jeff is like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid.  I brought my daughter into another school nearby and it was Cobra Kai.  I have been very pleased with All Star Kids.”
– Father of (2) girl students

“Jeff is great with the kids.  He makes the classes fun and doesn’t just bark out orders.  He gets out  there and shows them how it should be done.  My son attended a birthday party at another karate school and it was not for us.  My son was intimidated and didn’t really enjoy the party.”
– Mother of 6 year old boy student

“Thank you for being so patient with the kids.  My boys LOVE karate!”
– Mom of (2) boy students

 Coach Jeff

My wife, Veronica, and I live in Glastonbury with our 3 children.  I opened GB Martial Arts (aka – All Star Kids) in 2004 and since then have enjoyed meeting many families and teaching loads of great kids.  Here is some information about my background as a martial artist and coach.  I started judo in 1983 (age 9).  Later that year I added and ultimately switched to Tang Soo Do karate and earned my first degree black belt in 1986.  Although stand up karate was my primary focus, I always loved grappling (probably from those early memories of judo).  I started to built some skills by wrestling in middle and high school.

In the late 1980’s, while my brother and I were still in high school , we were given the opportunity to take over our instructors studio (Eric Breuer) due to his relocation.  Champion Karate Center in Southington, CT  was operated by us until 1994 when Steve left for college.  After college, Steve and I both ended up in the greater Boston area and Steve opened the Newton studio in 1999.  I later moved to CT and opened the Glastonbury studio in 2004.

Since those early years, my brother Steve and I have continued to train and teach.   Steve is a 6th dan black belt in CKD.  I have a 4th dan in CKD and a purple belt in BJJ.  Both of our schools are are active members in the United Fighting Arts Federation (UFAF) and my school is an acive member of Gracie Sports USA under Brad Wolfson and Marcio Stambowsky.

Over the many years I have enjoyed experimenting with different styles and training under a long list of high-level teachers – Mr. Norris himself, Machado brothers, Gene Lebell, David Meyer, John Will, Richard Norton, Benny Urquidez, Fumio Demura, Cung Lee and many CKD champions too many to name.

Coach Patrick

Coach Patrick holds a black belt in Kenpo karate and is a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in my adult class.  Patrick started teaching the Tuesday nite beginners class in 2013.  Patrick is a life-long student of the arts and shares his knowledge of traditional weapons (escrima, jo/bo, and chucks) during class and at special seminars held periodically throughout the year.

About Glastonbury CT

If you live in Glastonbury or a surrounding town like Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, East Hartford, Hebron, Amston, or Portland you probably already know this.  But if you just moved here…Glastonbury CT is a great place to live.  I’ve been here since 2001 with my wife Veronica and our 3 kids.  Glastonbury is located in Hartford County, Connecticut,  and was founded in 1693 when it broke away from being part of Wethersfield, CT. The town was named after Glastonbury in Somerset, England.  Glastonbury is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, approximately 10 miles southeast of Hartford.

Friends Websites

Here are a few links to websites worth checking out.  These guys are my instructors or long time friends in the martial arts world.

Brad Wolfson, Soulcraft BJJ

Marcio Stambowsky, Gracie Sports USA

Jeff Giroux –  GB Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (adult program)

Steve Giroux – Steve Giroux Martial Arts

Call today and take the first step!  Your first class is FREE & PRIVATE  860.633.1466