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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6423
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:50 pm    Post subject: Anyone teach pre-school or early years Martial Arts? Reply with quote

The youngest students we take at my school are age 5 or 6, once they have started at school, they can join our children's class. However we get a lot of enquiries for younger kids to join and I've been thinking about introducing a Martial Arts style class for the younger ones. We'd then also raise the age for our real-Taekwon-Do classes up to age 7 or 8.

Now the early years program wouldn't be actual Taekwon-Do but would be focused on gross-motor skills, fitness, moral skills (courtesy, integrity etc.) with a few very basic stances and techniques thrown in.

Does anyone do anything similar? What do you include in your program?

I don't want to be a daycare service but ideally this would give younger children a taste of Taekwon-Do and set them up strength and flexibility-wise before joining the main classes.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1871

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever it is, at that age martial arts skills are not a reasonable goal. The best thing that can be done is anything that will prepare and develop physical abilities in a general sense. Things like basic coordination, balance and dexterity. In other words, everything that a child might be expected to train for general physical education and sports. Above all, whatever it is, it must be fun and the children must enjoy it otherwise nothing will work.
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6423
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Whatever it is, at that age martial arts skills are not a reasonable goal. The best thing that can be done is anything that will prepare and develop physical abilities in a general sense. Things like basic coordination, balance and dexterity. In other words, everything that a child might be expected to train for general physical education and sports. Above all, whatever it is, it must be fun and the children must enjoy it otherwise nothing will work.

Yes it'll loosely be Martial Arts inspired movements but on the whole the goal is general motor skills and coordination etc. A few kicks and punches thrown in an "belts" (not the same colours as our regular curriculum, at the moment the plan is for white belts with various colour tags).

We already have some younger ones start the main Taekwon-Do programme and they do fine, albeit mover slower up the ranks. I just feel like a dedicated program would yield better long term results.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1871

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not integrate it with what the youngest students in the main curriculum? It could be structured as an introduction to the children curriculum the same way children’s(school age) or junior lessons are for the general/main curriculum.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28975
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a "Little Lions" program that is basically that. Each class usually has a focus, like balance, memorization, teamwork, etc, and works pretty much the way you've described it. I think the youngest we take is 6.
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6423
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Why not integrate it with what the youngest students in the main curriculum? It could be structured as an introduction to the children curriculum the same way children’s(school age) or junior lessons are for the general/main curriculum.


So it kinda will be.

The plan is a rotating curriculum over 2 years with a students progressing on to the next belt every 3 months regardless of what order they do the 3-month modules in. To graduate the program and move on to the Junior curriculum they have to do each module over the full two years. There will be 3 things per module to learn: some Korean, a physical skill (e.g. balance, basic punches or stances), and a life skill (teamwork, leadership etc.)

But I don't want to teach our actual beginner curriculum to this age group as feel we'll get better results in the long term developing more general physical and mental skills before moving them on.
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6423
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
We have a "Little Lions" program that is basically that. Each class usually has a focus, like balance, memorization, teamwork, etc, and works pretty much the way you've described it. I think the youngest we take is 6.

This is pretty much what we want to do. How many would you have in a class? (and how many adults?)
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28975
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
We have a "Little Lions" program that is basically that. Each class usually has a focus, like balance, memorization, teamwork, etc, and works pretty much the way you've described it. I think the youngest we take is 6.

This is pretty much what we want to do. How many would you have in a class? (and how many adults?)


It was probably the most consistent program our school ran, mainly because parents are always looking for some activities like that for their little ones. I wasn't usually a part of it, but did fill in to teach it from time to time when we were short-handed on the other instructors. Some days we'd have 8 students, and some days we'd have 10 or 12 in class, and usually two instructors. Your mileage may vary, depending on population availability, etc. And our school only ran the class for about 30 minutes, four days a week.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15455
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take students as young as 4 years old; why not, I'm a kid at heart myself.

At that tender and quite impressive age, my curriculum is more geared towards 30 minutes of play with the basics interwoven. Nothing overly serious and nothing over-the-top.

Kata at that age is more an act of mimicking, whereas no Bunkai is very seriously taught at that age. No more than Taikyoku Shodan is taught for those students, as well as that Kata isn't even on their Testing Cycle, if and when they are approved to attend.

While their class might be scheduled for 30 minutes, their class pretty much ends when their attention span has reached its limits.

Of all the classes, the 4 years old classes are one of my most favorite. I don't ever want to grow up. As I've stated before, kids are grandmasters at play, so why not let them do that which they excel at....playing; playing and learning, especially for kids, goes hand in hand.




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The Pred
Green Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 385

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
I take students as young as 4 years old; why not, I'm a kid at heart myself.

At that tender and quite impressive age, my curriculum is more geared towards 30 minutes of play with the basics interwoven. Nothing overly serious and nothing over-the-top.

Kata at that age is more an act of mimicking, whereas no Bunkai is very seriously taught at that age. No more than Taikyoku Shodan is taught for those students, as well as that Kata isn't even on their Testing Cycle, if and when they are approved to attend.

While their class might be scheduled for 30 minutes, their class pretty much ends when their attention span has reached its limits.

Of all the classes, the 4 years old classes are one of my most favorite. I don't ever want to grow up. As I've stated before, kids are grandmasters at play, so why not let them do that which they excel at....playing; playing and learning, especially for kids, goes hand in hand.





Awesome, do you do a separate rank program for little kids or do you have them get white to junior black belt?
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