Newsletter 823 ~ Subscribe now!
Here’s How You Teach Martial Arts to Youngsters
‘Karate is the best thing you can do for your child.’
Who said the above quote?
The answer is at the bottom of this newsletter.
We didn’t have much of a kids class
back when I was learning at the Kang Duk Won.
There weren’t many schools back then,
and there was no shortage of adult students.
schools can only survive if they have children’s classes.
But how the heck do you teach a child?
Children have short attention spans,
they tend to whine,
and they don’t remember everything you say!
Which brings us to the solution.
don’t try to teach classical forms,
just keep working on the basics.
Teach them basic kicking,
and do lots of freestyle ‘games.’
Here’s a couple of things to illustrate what I mean.
I went into a school, a pretty good school,
and noticed a healthy sized kid’s class.
there was a riot of color when it came to belts.
white, yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, red.
All with stripes of…
yellow, orange, purple, blue, green, red.
This school had an amazing amount of belts,
and I asked the instructor about it.
and when I watched a class,
I suddenly realized what he was doing.
He was teaching nothing but basics.
But there was a method here.
Kids can’t remember things,
so he just kept emphasizing basics,
and waiting for an individual child
to reach the point where he could accept instruction.
Until that point was reached,
it was calisthenics,
though there wasn’t an emphasis
on teaching classical forms and techniques,
children who were wild and wooly
began to calm down.
The exercise tired them out,
and made them amenable to reason.
The discipline of just doing the basics,
made them more able to focus.
And when were they ready?
When they stopped trying to interrupt the class,
when they began to focus on what they were doing,
when they became aware
that there was more than a game going on.
Here’s something to think about:
I have seen young children
who were mature beyond their years.
I have known adults
who were nothing but children.
The key word is responsibility.
So you teach things like
kicks and shoulder rolls,
basic one step sparring games,
breakfalls and punches,
and you back everything up with
don’t let them rest.
Don’t make them cry,
don’t drive them like an adult,
make everything fun and laughs,
but don’t let up.
It is an interesting line you walk with this method.
When a child starts to look at you,
to understand what you are saying,
and especially when he is willing to help younger students,
then he is ready for instruction.
It might take a month,
it might take years,
but you just have to watch and wait.
You have to keep them there with games and fun,
until they can string a half dozen moves together,
and remember them,
until the light of awareness enters their eyes.
Here’s what you are actually fighting.
Parents that don’t feed their children properly,
that send them off to school
Electronic games that consume children,
and drive them to frenetic activity.
Peers that squash children.
Drugs that are handed out freely
by adults who don’t understand
what the real solution is.
or any martial art,
can be part of the solution.
In many cases,
it is the only solution that is needed.
We live in a weird society,
a place where values have been forgotten,
where parents have never been parented themselves,
and simply don’t have a clue,
where teachers are guided by psychological interests,
and the simple fact of raising a child
has been forgotten and neglected.
As a martial arts instructor,
you may be the first sane person a child has ever seen.
You might be the only sane person a child has ever seen.
Yet your small influence,
being based in common sense and good values,
may be the difference.
Who gave the quote at the beginning of this newsletter?
Check out this link:
This is the course that makes an instructor.
Not a boot camp approach,
but a method of knowledge.
have a great work out!
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