Do you struggle to get your 5 or 6 year old off their games console or iPad? When you think back to your own childhood, do you see a significant difference between how active you was as a child compared to that of your son or daughter?
At 5 or 6 years old these children should be active every day. In fact, current guidelines from the NHS suggest that children 5 years and above should be taking part in at least one hour of moderate-intensity exercise every day. The recommendations go on to suggest that the children should experience a variety of different exercises and intensities that increase bone density, build strength and develop movement skills.
Taking part in exercise from an early age is important and research suggests that the development of FUNdamental Movement Skills in early childhood has a dramatic effect on future participation in physical activity.
When it comes to taking part in different activities with people outside of their regular bubble, children can find a new environment a little challenging. Does your son or daughter sometimes tell you they don’t want to take part in new activities due to a lack of confidence rather than not enjoying the activity?
Every time a child tries a new activity there is a risk of them failing. This can often cause them to not try so there is zero chance of them failing. The children that think their intelligence and abilities are fixed are described as having a fixed mindset. A Growth mindset is a belief that with effort, we can improve our abilities and intelligence.
Developing a growth mindset has been proven to help children take on new challenges, reduce stress, enhance self-esteem, build intrinsic motivation and improve confidence.
Do they often run out of patents when a task is challenging and find it hard to delay gratification? Are they easily distracted and often fail to complete tasks they have started?
In the marshmallow test performed by psychologist Walter Mischel in the 1960s, researchers examined the tactics children would implement to resist eating a marshmallow so they could receive a second after a period of time.
Decades later Mischel performed a follow up study that found that a longer delay in gratification correlated with a higher sense of self-worth, lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse, lower levels of obesity, higher levels of education, they pursued their goals more effectively and also enjoyed better quality close relationships.
Do you want your child to have the ability to drop into different environments and make new friends easily? Are you looking for an activity with a positive peer group?
As the saying goes ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. Having great communications skills, understanding people, showing empathy, respecting other children’s personal space and understanding how to work with a partner or as part of a group is all skills that can be learnt.
Social connection is not only important for well being but is also one of the main reasons children enjoy physical activities. Children start activities for many different reasons but one of the reasons they continue to take part is the friendships they develop.
Do the activities you look at for your child often require you to sign up for a term or purchase expensive equipment before your child has even taken part in a session?
It is important for all clubs to make money (even the not for profit clubs) so they can pay their bills and reinvest in their facilities and their service. While most parents don’t mind paying for quality service, what they want to avoid is paying a small fortune for unqualified coaches delivering substandard programmes.
The Warrior Factory martial arts centres are run as ‘not for profit’ Community Interest Companies. We find that this allows us to focus on developing great classes rather than making as much surplus profit as possible.
We have been running our children’s martial arts programme since 2008. Based on the MAPLE framework (Martial Arts Physical Literacy Engine), the system is focused on delivering fun sessions that are psychologically, physically and socially age-appropriate for your child
After leaving a career in IT around 2008 to concentrate on coaching martial arts full time, Phill started looking for ways to upgrade his coaching skills. He noticed that most martial arts instructors taught their children’s classes just the same as their adult classes. He knew there must be a better way but just didn’t know where to look to find the answer.
This search led him to attend a course to become a Personal Trainer, before going on to study for a BSc and MSc in sports coaching. The MAPLE system is the result of over £40,000 invested in education and 10 years of development.
In most martial arts, students have been able to progress from student to coach just by passing a black belt exam based on their ability to perform the martial art, with non of the test focused on coaching ability. With a sector almost zero regulation, at Warrior Factory we do things a little different.
Not only do our venues use a research-based children’s programme (MAPLE), but many of our coaches have a degree in either early years development or sports coaching. Pairing a research-based programme with qualified coaches helps us to provide a safe, fun and age developmentally appropriate service for our members.
Our kids martial arts classes teach various techniques and combinations from our Taekwondo syllabus including strikes, kicks, blocks and stances.
FUNdamental Movement Skills games are integrated into our kids martial arts classes to build the foundational skills needed for all physical activities.
Our Dragons programme includes a key skills programme to help them develop positive psychological characteristics
At this age the children have moved on from learning the basic social skills and are now learning how to work efficiently in pairs and small groups.
Physical fitness for this age focuses on 8 main skills; locomotion, stabilisation, coordination, strength, speed, flexibility, power and agility.
The aim of this programme is to help the students understand the benefits of training and how it can improve their cognitive development.