• Shad

The Benefits of 3 and 4 year olds in Martial Arts

Children this age are entering the “magical years” in their growth and development. They will for the first time experience rapid growth and development in the early stages of many skills. Martial Arts will help them kick-start their growth and development in a positive and constructive atmosphere. Keep in mind that schools that use the “old school” method and combine 3 to 6-year olds together, they are limiting their results.

Top three PHYSICAL milestones for this age are:

1. Upper body, core, and lower body muscles developed to remain in one position for 10 seconds or longer. 2. Alternating feet and hands for 10 reps for longer. 3. Spatial awareness (where their body exists in space/ how far or close things really are) to catch an object from various directions 5 times in a row or longer.

Top three INTELLECTUAL milestones for this age are: 1. Following directions with verbal cues only. 2. Processing 3-step or higher commands. 3. Repeating process of 3 consecutive routines of more.

Top three EMOTIONAL milestones for this age are: 1. Demonstrating a “can do” attitude. 2. Controlling their emotions when they are challenged. 3. Facing fears such as trying new things and meeting new people.

Top three SOCIAL milestones for this age are: 1. Taking turns. 2. Sharing attention. 3. Enjoying activities with other people.

For example: Skill: Kicking Drill: Kicking the target while walking down the mat and counting each kick.

Benefits: In this drill the students will practice the early stages of kicking while walking, counting and striking a target.

Many children within this age group have a hard time kicking while walking, alternating legs, counting, and striking a target.

They have a tendency of favoring the dominant leg. They also tend to kick higher with this leg, so this drill will help them PHYSICALLY

increase the power and flexibility in their non-dominant leg by having them hit a target set up at a higher than normal level, which is at waist level or higher.

To make it even more challenging, they usually don’t have the INTELLECTUAL capacity to both focus on counting and striking a target while walking and kicking.

This drill enables them to practice EMOTIONAL development by persevering through a task that is challenging for the average child in their stage of development.

This drill also improves their SOCIAL development as they practicing taking turns.

As you can see, we know how to take a simple drill and turn it into a drill that has VALUE.

It’s all in your mindset about drills and how they target age-specific benefits

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