When I first considered opening a school I wasn’t going to offer a kids program. I love kids. I have six of my own but I didn’t feel confident I could communicate a martial art to young minds. My teacher strongly encouraged me to expand my comfort zone. I started by assisting after school programs at the elementary schools and helping my teacher a little with his kids program. It wasn’t long before I gained some confidence in communicating the art with youngsters. I am equally fond of sharing with kids and adults now. I’m very grateful to Sifu Wally and Sifu Kyle for helping me expand my horizons.
I don’t train or teach just so we can learn to defend ourselves. Self defense is only a VERY small part of why I do what I do and hopefully what I communicate to all my students. Kids want guidelines. They want to know where they stand and what our expectations are as parents and teachers. As long as we can be clear and consistent with our expectations and instructions they thrive. Boundaries, patience, movement, freedom (with healthy limits), encouragement, direction, recognition are just a few tools to remember when sharing ideas with kids. Remember to treat them with love, kindness and respect.
For the past 31 years I have been surrounded by kids. I love them! They bring so much wonderful energy and such a healthy curiosity about life it’s hard not to appreciate what they share. Slow down a bit. Take time to really look at and listen to your kids. Be patient and understanding. I believe all of them want to be acknowledged for the good things they do. If we don’t recognize the good things be sure they will find other ways to grab our attention.
Kung Fu teaches kids mental focus, self discipline, healthy ways to live, to breath, to move and to interact with others, not to mention it’s a lot of fun. It’s not just about getting stronger or learning how to punch and kick. It’s about learning to be better people and how to contribute to our universe in a positive way. Thanks for encouraging and supporting your kids in their art. I think they teach us more than we teach them.