I have taught children’s classes for the last 32 years and they are still some of the best classes to teach in my week, don’t get me wrong they are always challenging but are so rewarding.
We take children from the age of 4 and teach them small bite size pieces of martial arts in a half hour class, so that they can take it in easier and retain it so they can show us at grading times. This 4-6 years of age class are called the Terrapins (or tiny terra’s if you forgive the play on words).
I love to see them develop from children that won’t pay attention and twirl around when they should be doing a stance, to watch them sit at the head of the class and start and finish the class with perfect Geordie Japanese. As they are taught how to interact with others and in our anti-bullying term what to do if people are not nice to you. They also are taught basic Ninjutsu and groundwork, even breaking down armbars into easy to remember titles such as backpack, horsey and surfer.
Then they move into the Tiger’s class; This is a 6-8 years of age class.
In this half hour class, we start to develop the skill sets of the basics we taught in the Terrapin’s class. They start to have more contact with other children so they can learn control and to be respectful while training. The syllabus leads to groundwork grappling and boxing where they use controlled sparring and learn to use adrenalin, this is where they learn no to be huffy Henry or Henrietta’s; because sometimes they will lose or feel that it is too difficult for them, so we teach them not to go into a huff and storm off!
This is an amazing life lesson to learn at such a young age that will help them a lot when they move into the Dragon’s class.
The Dragons class is one hour long but because we have built the conditioning up during the Tigers class, they can use this to do heavier work with more complex syllabus; This class age range goes from 8–12 years of age.
In the class we teach unarmed skills such as throw work, wrestling and weapons training such as stick work and sword. This gives the children a wide range of knowledge and prepares them from moving on into the teen classes of Kickboxing, Ninjutsu and MMA.
The journey teaching and training the children’s class is a little adventure into their lives and it is an honour and a privilege to be part of the journey.
Big love from the AFC x