Sohail is the founder of AG Martial Arts and has years of experience behind him. He’s taught hundreds of children and adults across the years and has seen different ways that members develop, parenting styles and successful habits. He’s often asked about teaching tips for kids, so here’s a neat little guide for you to check out, based on the age of the child.
Most kids this age experience martial arts and aren’t quite sure of what they’re doing. But that’s not a bad thing! Reality is that they are learning to follow instructions and are taking things in which other kids their age won’t be.
Moves followed by actions – get your child to do the move and then do a simple action. Such as jab cross and then touching the colour pink. And then front kick then doing 3 star jumps
Kids at this age are usually more alert to what goes on. We focus on their ability to follow instructions with more technique. So now they should start to be more wary of their guard staying up whenever we do moves!
Copy cat, copy wrong – take turns with your child doing a martial arts move with the aim of having ONE thing wrong with the move. For example you may do a front kick and drop your hands. Your child’s aim is to spot the mistake, and then show you how to do it correctly. Then you switch and they show you a move with a mistake
Now we start to see kids flourish as they really demonstrate the technicalities of moves. But we begin to see children copying moves rather than seeing muscle memory. So now we want to start doing the opposite of what we usually do, distract them rather than keep them focused! But in a good way. For example, make sure their mind is on something other than the move and try to get them doing moves correctly.
Martial Arts Memory Test – Try to get your child to do a sequence of 6 moves in a row, moves can be repeated. Every time there is a mistake with a move, they restart. This makes them think about which moves are next, so if they fall into a lazy front kick which is knee height, they restart. This is a great cognitive challenge!
This age has a lot of excitement and need to kick and punch as much as possible! We want to refocus and test patience, but also think about moves in a practical sense too.
Ninja Focus, Ninja Battles – get your child to sit arms crossed legs crossed and with their eyes closed in a Meditation Mode for 30 seconds. They should be mentally preparing themselves for what’s to come. After 30 seconds, they need to go AGMA Ninja mode… they’ll pretend like they’re battling ninjas for 90 seconds, and then once defeated they’ll go back to Meditation Mode to recharge before continuing again
Now we see kids move up to the older age group, and their growth will continue, but their flexibility wont! So it’s time to make sure they work on their flexibility. Working on it daily can mean your child will be able to do the splits with ease.
20 seconds stretch – Your child has to come up with a stretch which has to be held for 20 seconds, before moving on to the next stretch without doing one which has already been done. The aim of the game is keep thinking of unique stretches for as long as possible.
An eight year old should now start to learn combinations and flows of movement. This is when you sequence moves together, not just for technique or power, but for things such as foot placement after one move in preparation for a second move. Practicing multiple moves in combination is a great way for kids to understand their flow.
Combination Demonstration – Give your child a target number of moves to do and allow them to come up with their own routine, but try and use as many jumps and spins as possible!
At the age of nine you can expect your child to start building more muscles to support their body, they may be able to do lots of press ups in a row! This is the time to push them to build their strength. You can watch a lot of our fitness exercises that we do in partners, they can be done within your own living room.
Fitness! – Simply enough, get them doing press ups, sit ups, and star jumps!! You’ll be surprised at how most children are capable of exercises but aren’t pushed enough at home. So for this activity, just give them a number of press ups and sit ups to do within your home, and perhaps join in too!
At the age of 10, you have the ability to work on power and really develop technique into movement.
Slow Rise to Power – Grab a pillow and hold it out for your child. Get your child to hit the pillow with 5 strikes, starting with barely any contact, to a much harder strike towards the end. It should be a gradual increase of power. Watch out for technique to make sure it’s still there! But then repeat with all moves to truly combine technique and power.