What is the purpose of Kid’s Kung Fu classes?
To produce quality martial artists, and introduce students broadly to the notion of developing Courage, Compassion, Community, Competency, and Confront while exploring various aspects of martial arts and fitness. Students are held to high standards, and challenged to strive towards self-improvement in a supportive group environment. Instructors are likewise held to extremely high standards, and as dedicated professionals are invested in providing students with a long-term education in martial arts, practical and profound in scope.
The martial aspect begins with an introduction to basic protocol, and strikes and blocks. As they progress, students are exposed to grabs, throws, sparring and grappling as well.
The fitness aspect is intended to assist in the learning of martial arts. We believe a well conditioned body is better able to respond to the needs of a rigorous martial arts program. For younger students we primarily use body weight exercises (squats, pull ups, push ups, sit ups, running, animal walks) to help develop motor skills and foster an understanding of body mechanic. Students likewise may achieve greater academic skills, and a grander sense of good health through movement.
What are the age ranges for students in the program?
Students can begin as early as 4 years old and may remain in the children’s program until they are comfortable switching over into the adult program. This change over typically happens between the ages of 12-15. Talk to Sifu Wally to determine which class your child should start with if their age falls within this range.
The program is broken into three age categories: 4-5 year olds, 6-8 year olds and 9 and up. The purpose of this breakdown is to ensure that students may benefit from peer groups that share common learning schemes and developmentally appropriate content. In addition, there are classes for students ages 6 and up, which allows younger students to interact and observe older students, and gives elder students the opportunity to set the tone and example for younger students. At advanced levels, all students in Mo Duk Pai are eventually challenged to help pass learned information along to peers of junior standing. The belief is that material is better understood and retained when a student shares it with another through teaching.
What if my child has special needs? Are they welcome in the program?
We have worked with many different students over the years – students with autism, asbergers, ADD and many others. If you have concerns, call or email us before coming in and ask. We’ll do our best to let you know if we can help.
Check out our requirement page to make sure they know all the requirements for their next rank. If all skills seem mastered and you’re still left wondering why your child hasn’t progressed, please feel free to approach the teacher with your concerns, (or even better) have the student address him or her directly with, “What do I need to do to earn my next rank?”
What sorts of things should I (as a caregiver) be doing to encourage my child in their training?
- Set a regular schedule and stick to it.
- Arrive to class a few minutes early, and stress the ethical value of punctuality.
- Talk to them about class content and what they find interesting about training.
- Encourage pride in accomplishment, and in proper care of their uniforms.
- Set aside time each week for them to “show what they know” to family members.
- Acknowledge that the work they do in class is highly challenging.
- If unsure of content or confidence falters stay in communication with instructors.
- Encourage a mind set that helps them to identify and embrace personal growth.
- Likewise help them to view mistakes as important pieces to learning.
- Set a good example by engaging in exercise yourself.
If you find martial arts interesting and have the time and health to do so, we will support you in attending the family classes on Wednesdays, and the adult program in general. Having a common interest to discuss, where they can learn from your example in being challenged, and striving to achieve your personal best (just as they do)…is an invaluable life experience that can be of great benefit to your entire family.
Will martial arts help with my child’s discipline/focus/confidence issues?
If the student is motivated to study the art, qualities like discipline, focus and confidence often improve. If the student is being compelled to study the art, it is guaranteed to be a much murkier path. When your child tries out a free week, please honestly express whatever reasons or inspirations you and your child have for training. This will help the teacher understand how to guide them through classes.
Whatever the case, when a student engages in something that challenges them both physically and mentally, they often rise to meet that challenge in amazing ways! In all classes we work to ensure that each student is being challenged, yet not overwhelmed. That ‘slightly confused’ feeling of challenge is the place where learning occurs, while panicked feelings can result in shutdown, and a general lack of learning. Please stay in strong communication with instructors so that all involved may help support students in learning the positive aspects of engaging in challenging work, and to report or ask for help if feeling overwhelmed.
To restate, our primary goal is to develop quality martial artists – a goal that takes time and patience while fostering qualities of good focus, disciple and confidence in students, as well as strong lifeskills such as Courage, Compassion, Community, Competency, and Confront.
Will martial arts training help resolve the bullying issues my child is experiencing?
Ideally, yes. We encourage students to consider not only the hows (techniques) of using force, but also the ‘whens’ and ‘whys.’ Some examples of this are: When is it okay to stand up for yourself verbally? When is it okay to walk away? When is it okay to stand your ground physically? When is it okay to run? Why do some people bully? Why do we learn how to kick, punch and grapple? The purpose behind raising these questions is to get students to contemplate the consequences of both their own and other people’s actions.
This understanding of consequence (specifically the consequences of the use of, or the threatened use of force) in tandem with the development of Kung Fu skills often inspires increased confidence and a sense of security in students – qualities that function to adeptly keep bullies at bay without engaging in or relying on physicality. The confidence derived from being experienced in the martial arts ultimately leads one to understand that while they could likely overpower another, that the very best solution is always the one in which you can manage to avoid unproductive conflict completely.
Who are the instructors?
Check our instructor page.
Are there private Kung Fu lessons available for children?
Absolutely. Check our private lessons page.