Why We Love Teaching Kids Martial Arts
Why We Love Teaching Kids Martial Arts
For some, teaching kids martial arts may seem like a daunting task. And it would be if we didn’t have a plan and enjoy teaching children. However, we know exactly what our objectives are and our goal is NOT to develop the next 6-year-old Bruce Lee.
This particular age group is at a different stage of development and should be handled accordingly.
5 areas that our kids’ martial arts program focuses on:
- Improve their ability to learn by teaching them to pay better attention.
- We help your child develop better coordination and body awareness.
- Teaching them how to be respectful and courteous to others.
- Help them develop their social skills through teamwork and cooperation.
- And, basic martial arts skills
As experts in kids’ martial arts education, we understand the needs of parents and kids have changed a bit over the past year. With virtual learning platforms and socially distanced in-class instruction, martial arts instructors have had to adapt as well. We’re parents too, so we know how classes should be conducted to keep your child’s attention in a positive learning environment… especially for the younger age groups.
Budo Shingikan Instructor Guidelines for Teaching Kids
1. FUN is the Name of Game!
Making learning fun is important in the development of young students. For younger kids, their lives revolve around “playing”. Since we want our students to excel in the dojo, it’s crucial that they have a good time. As instructors, we know that the students are influenced by our mood and actions which is why you’ll see us having a blast teaching in class. Just because we’re all having a great time doesn’t mean it’s done at the sacrifice of respect, discipline, and class structure.
2. Our Focus is NOT on Perfection
We don’t make a fuss over the details at this stage. Sure, over time we clean up techniques but in the beginning, it’s about getting them to try the moves and to have fun doing so.
3. We Demonstrate the Drills Often!
Young children learn by copying and this is where our senior students enjoy stepping up as leaders. They will often demonstrate the moves, the little ones follow along, and they get to be inspired by the older student. It’s a win-win.
4. Keep The Lesson Fresh by Changing Drills Often
It’s said that adults have the attention span of a goldfish now imagine the attention span of a young child. That’s why the drills we do are in shorter segments, and we like to disguise the same technique by showing it done in a different drill.
5. Praise Efforts – Encourage Participation – Celebrate Often
Initially, whether the move is “right” or not, is not the focus but rather the effort is. We just want them giving their best effort. As for the shy kids? They must be encouraged and never forced to give an effort. This is important for building their self-esteem. Of course, we want to celebrate their efforts, but we don’t want to give “false praise” because it doesn’t do the child any good, and…they know when we’re full of it.
6. Focus is on Effort, not Result
Whether it’s a game in class or a tournament, regardless of the place they came in we want to acknowledge the effort they gave, and that is something to be proud of and learn from.
7. For Students: Don’t Compare Yourself with Others
When students compare themselves with others, one of two things happens:
- They get a false sense of superiority.
- They get a false sense of inferiority.
Remind your students that they win whenever they give a good effort.
8. Set SMART goals and Provide Feedback
It’s important for students to have a goal to work towards which is why we want them to set SMART goals. So what are SMART goals? That stands for:
Many adults already know this acronym but it’s a great thing to share with kids too. If we help them set focused goals that are attainable but still come with a bit of a challenge then this is going to have a compounding effect on their confidence and self-esteem.
These are just a few reasons why parents love our kids’ martial arts program at Budo Shingikan Dojo and we love teaching children… it’s our specialty. We hope you give your child the opportunity to try martial arts out. You’ll be amazed at what your child is capable of just after a few classes.
Come join us!