It is easy to train kids, but only at a first glance. In fact we have a delicately organized child's psychology, specific physiological traits, different health nuances and a field of interests that is tied to kid's age. It is not sufficient to simple repeat the exercises if we want to achieve any progress, but it's essential to find an approach for every kid and to the whole training process. We take this all into account when building a training program. It includes: full warm-up for joints that is tuned accordingly for the age-specific traits; working on the physical parameters of the body; developing strength, speed, stamina, flexibility, coordination; acrobatics; basic kung-fu technique; basic weapon wielding. We also have regular tea parties, thematic talks and lectures on the topics of health and good nutrition. We also hold parties! All in all we concern ourselves with our students' well-being and future. So we've learnt the main principles behind the planning, so now let's look closer at an actual kids' training. Exercises for general stamina: jogging, skipping-rope. Physical stamina: push-ups, squats, trunk curls.
Specific stamina in martial arts is developed via working with various assets (punching bag, mannequins, punching pads etc).
For coordination training we do the warm-up for joints and then technical elements, starting with the most simple ones and steadily developing them into more difficult combinations.
An essential part of the set is the flexibility training. Arms stretching, different exercises aimed at developing the flexibility of the spine, leg stretching, splits. Acrobatics are the important part of the training as well. Tumbles, roll-overs, various falling techniques, jumps, “wheels” and many others.
The technical arsenal includes at the first steps the basic hand punches, leg kicks, elbow work, blocking moves with palms and forearms, combinations of punches with arms and legs with blocking moves. These combinations are performed not only “at the air”, but also in pairs, which teaches the kids how to punch and how to defend oneself. Further in the training we also add the training sparring.
Apart from that kids learn different animal styles (tiger, crane, praying mantis, snake, dragon etc. We'll deal with them in more detail in another article). It's worth pointing out another time that a training for kids is not just a way to teach them how to fight. First of all it's a full and complex system of physical development, work on child's psychology and one of the ways to let her become more confident, get rid of fears, aggression and just to make a kid healthier.