Little Tigers

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by ETinCYQX, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    What do you guys think? I think it can be a positive influence on kids at the very least. I don't plan on awarding belts at all, they'll hold white belts and I'll grade them when they transfer to the youth class most likely. I'm thinking from like 4-8 years old; kind of implanting martial arts in kids and all the values, tenets, respect, etc that's important to us as martial artists and as people. I planned on a basic white belt curriculum fleshed out with a lot of games and team building type exercises. How do you guys run these programs? How would you like to see it run?

    Just in case you're interested, I have been asked about this and the ones who have asked are young parents who trained TaeKwonDo themselves as kids and want to see the benefits in their own children. :)

    Thanks again,
    Ethan
     
  2. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    We do not have a program like that, but I can see the benefits of having one. We generally don't accept anyone under the age of 6, but we've had plenty of parents bring in their 3-5 year olds looking to start them in a ma class. It certainly provides a service and supplies a marketable niche. Let us know how it works out if you integrate it!
     
  3. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Thanks Dr. Rush, I can see the market for it as well...I'm hoping it's actually an effective learning service for these kids but at the very least, they can have fun and I can get paid. I'll be sure to keep you updated.
     
  4. rlobrecht

    rlobrecht Brown Belt

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    The school I attends has Little Ninjas. Ages 4 - 6. It sounds about like you describe: no belt tests, no patterns, just techniques, games, and requests. The classes are only 30 minutes. One of our branches only has 1 class a week, and the other has 2, but kids only come once a week.
     
  5. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

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    I have worked with 4-6 year olds for 22 years. They are easy to teach and enjoy a fun class. Lots of moving around, target drills and appropriate games that relate towards what you are teaching them. I do not reccomend too many games. Work with them and "feel" their mood. If they are getting bored switch drills to make it more fun/different. Don't sit them for longer than 30 seconds and keep the basics simple.
     
  6. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Thanks msmitht. I'm going to sit down and write a curriculum for them tonight I think
     
  7. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    Our Little Tigers program is for 4-5 year olds, a half hour class one day a week right now. They start with an obstacle course circuit for warmup, with all obstacles made from materials and equipment already in the dojang. Ours do have belts and forms that are 5-7 actions with minimal footwork to start with. It's vital to keep them active and not require too much attention span or complex coordination--they're very much still learning to use their bodies, but they love activity. We do teach basic techniques, with, for instance, the first kick being a stomp. It helps a great deal to have enough assistants to have one assistant or instructor for each student when doing any technique work, as almost everything is on a shield or paddle. Our classes are usually 4-5 students.

    Carl
     
  8. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    FWIW, the focus of our activities is on building focus and coordination so the kids can integrate into the regular kids' classes. We do a lot with gross-motor coordination and simple balance games. It's surprising how many of them, after just a few weeks, can kick at their head height on Billy (yes, kicking him in the head), the little BOB (have to take him off the stand to get him low enough)...we're also building class routines, though at first it's "bow to the flags" rather than the Korean language. It's important to keep it in your head as a readiness program, like a Taekwondo pre-school. Done right, I think it's a big head start and just plain good development for little kids.
     
  9. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    yep, it's a great thing if you are into it.

    Some of the goals are coordination, discipline and naturally basic skills.
    Along the line are some basic self defense skills as well (but usually it's stranger danger, we all know how few kids are really snatched by the boogie man....)

    Part of the 'games' are things that teach coordination and discipline: have them stand still for 30 seconds - the parents will be in AWE!!! balance on one foot, hop on one foot, follow the leader and a version we called 'Black Belt says', Simon says with TKD stuff.

    We taught things like how to introduce yourself to a new class mate, contact of the family members, like name of parents and phone numbers. I think the 'don't touch me you are not my parent thing would be a good idea, too.

    basic kicks, punches and blocks (think front snap, knife hands strikes and high block/low block....)

    You can give them stripes on their belts for having 'mastered' a requirement.

    in the end they started learning the whitebelt form and the graduates had to know all of Chung Ji. Nt sure how valuable that is, since they did cross into the regular Whitebelt class, only having 'cub graduate' embroidered on their belts....
    it's a fun way to draw shy kids out of their shell or channel active kids.
    Of course you will find the parents that let the little monsters walk all over them and expect the TKD instructor to snatch a knot in them.... :rolleyes:
     
  10. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Thanks Granfire.

    I'm not exactly light on kids, so I don't expect a problem. Stripes are an excellent idea, didn't think of that at all. I'll probably come up with a patch of some sort for the little tigers who move on to youth or adult classes as well.123
     

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