Do you struggle to get your child 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?
A recent study looking at the health risks of excessive time online in children found that ‘younger children are likely to put their physical and psychological development and general health at risk’.
Sitting still and paying attention for long periods in of time requires significant strength, balance and good posture all of which are developed through movement and play. .At 6-12 years old these children should be active every day.
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 reducing drop out in the years to come.
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.
There are so many distractions in the world our children are growing up in today. Social media and other mobile applications have been developed purposefully to draw their attention ……..and keep it.
Every time a device tings or flashes the child receives a small dose of dopamine which encourages them to check back even more often. These endorphins enforce this habit and make it difficult to focus on anything else.
In the marshmallow test performed by psychologist Walter Mischel in the 1960s, researchers found that the longer a child was able to delay gratification the higher their 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 relationship
Children don’t always do what you ask but they will often follow what you do. Having a positive peer group has always been important but it is just as important that the coaches delivering the activity are good role models for the children.
Social connection is not only important for mental health but is also one of the leading reasons why children continue to take part in clubs and physical activity. Children often start activities because their parents want them to train but they continue to take part due to the friendships they build.
Social and emotional development is not only good for making friends in sport, but also equips the children with skills needed to navigate high school, college / university and work.
Do you often find that activities you would like to sign your children up for require you to sign up for a specific period of time or that you have to buy additional expensive equipment before the child even gets started?
We all understand that sports and martial arts clubs have to turn a profit so they can pay their bills (even if they operate as a not for profit) but year on year, the cost of children’s activities seems to be getting out of control.
While most parents don’t mind paying for high quality service, what they don’t want to pay through the nose for is a sub standard service that tries to sell you something extra at every opportunity.
This is the reason we decided to make the Warrior Factory martial arts centres ‘not for profit’ Community Interest Companies. We find that this allows us to focus on developing great classes and a sustainable martial arts club that will be around for decades to come.
We have been running our children’s Taekwondo programme since 2009 and in 2018 we also added a kids Ju Jitsu programme too. Each of these martial arts has been adapted to be child friendly and appropriate for the student’s stage of development.
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 at Leeds Backket University.
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, but many of our coaches have a degree in either early year’s development or sports coaching. Pairing a research-based programme with qualified coaches helps us to provide a safe, fun and developmentally appropriate service for our young members.
The kids Taekwondo sessions are our busiest classes and run six days a week (though availability will vary). Due to the number of junior Taekwondo members at the Leeds Warrior Factory, we have been able to split the sessions into beginner, intermediate and advance. This keeps all the beginners together and removes the fear new starters have of being the only beginner in the class.
Our target in this programme is to try and get the students to Black Belt by the time they go to high school. This can give them a great boost in confidence while also equipping them with the tools needed to deal with confrontation. When students get to black belt, some will choose to volunteer to help out with the young children’s classes while acting as a role model. Out of these students, some will take part in our Martial Arts Leaders programme. They can take join the level 2 course at 13 years old and the level 3 at 15. These qualifications are nationally recognised and the level 3 qualification even carries UCAS points.
All our Taekwondo kids are registered with British Taekwondo as part of the signup procedure. This allows access to national seminars and competitions while also making sure that all coloured belt gradings are nationally recognised. Being a member of the National Governing Body for Taekwondo in the UK also ensures that any talented competitors have a pathway to the Olympics via Team GB operating out of the full-time national centre of excellence in Manchester.
In our childrens Taekwondo classes students will learn the basics of this this Korean martial arts and Olympic sport. The Taekwondo basics are the foundation of the art.
FUNdamental Movement Skills are integrated into our kids Taekwondo sessions to help the students build the foundational skills needed for future developments.
The PCDEs are a set of 10 important psychological skills that underpin a students behaviour in the pursuit of excellence. This are taught during classes and perfected over years.
When children join our kids Taekwondo programme, they begin a journey towards black belt and beyond. This training includes various self defense techniques they will learn through the belt system
Physical fitness for this age focuses on 8 main skills; locomotion, stabilisation, coordination, strength, speed, flexibility, power and agility. These are developed alongside aerobic/anaerobic fitness.
As part of their training towards black belt and beyond, students will test their skills sparring. Some will take part in national competitions while a few will go on to compete internationally.
Our kids Ju-Jitsu programme is great for 9-12-year-olds looking to learn martial arts specifically to develop their self-defence skills. Set at a slightly higher physical and technical level than our kids Taekwondo programme (available from 6 years old), these classes are not for everyone. Due to the close contact nature of our kids Ju Jitsu sessions, almost all the training is contact based. Although the students will eventually progress through the belt’s, this is the wrong martial art to take up in hope of getting to the Black Belt quickly.
All our junior Ju-Jitsu students are all registered with the National Governing Body for Ju-Jitsu in the UK (BJJA GB) and as such, need to renew their license on an annual basis. This allows our members to take part in national seminars and competitions. This programme can be tough while also building the type of confidence that comes from knowing that you can strike, throw and grapple effectively with people that are physically bigger and stronger than you.
Kids Ju Jitsu is THE martial art for children that are focused on learning how to defend themselves. This includes learning escapes from common attacks.
As many confrontations end up on the floor, the students need to be able to defend themselves and get back their feet as quickly as possible.
Sometimes described as hitting your opponent with a planet, students will learn a full range of throws that will be effective from any standing position.
Students will start off learning basic strikes on pads until they have the control required for semi-contact sparring. Some will even go on to compete.
The students will be introduced to several different wooden weapons traditionally used in the art of Ju Jitsu.
Performing a mixture of striking, grappling and throwing requires different types of fitness. This will be developed through exercises, drills and sparring.