Children have an enormous capacity to learn new things. However, when their minds are not stimulated, they subconsciously erect walls that prevent the absorption of these concepts. The same is true when teaching kids Martial Arts.
Many Martial Arts schools teaches children as a sidelight to their main focus: adults. They are not that interested in children or have inadequate capability to teach children, and only do it because it represents a sizable chunk of their school’s income. Children are routinely thrown into adults classes or treated as “miniature adults.” It is important to recognize how teaching them differs from the teaching of adults.
While the physical activity and techniques in Martial Arts offers a tactile experience which aids the learning process, the routine can quickly become monotonous. When it does, a child can easily lose interest; they may go through the motions during their classes, but fail to truly absorb and memorize what they’re learning.
Science supports many of our intuitions about the benefits of games in Martial Arts training. Playful behavior appears to have positive effects on the brain and on a child’s ability to learn. In fact, games may function as an important, if not crucial, mode for learning.
Keeping children interested in their Martial Arts training requires an element of fun and games. Traditionalists are usually only concerned with the discipline and structure of their training, but incorporating fun games involving proper techniques will add to the value of training and keep the kids interested.
Some research suggests that the way kids play contributes to their ability to solve problems. For instance, in one experiment, researchers gave preschoolers time to play and then were tested on their ability to solve problems. The results showed that the kids uses more creativity in their attempts to solve problems (Pepler and Ross 1981).
Games is self-motivated and fun. Thus, anything learned during games is knowledge gained without the perception of hard work. This is in contrast with activities that we perform as duties. When learning is perceived to be arduous, our ability to stay focused may feel like a limited resource that is drained over time (Inzlicht et al 2014).
It also suggests that some important rules about social interactions are learned through play activities, especially rough-and-tumble play that involves pretend aggression (Smith, Smees, & Pellegrini, 2004). It also helps the child to build awareness and discipline.
Recent survey conducted at Kidou Academy revealed that the fun and games based activities help the child to improve on their basic foundations while engaging the child at a level that allows better absorption of the techniques and movements. An activity based curriculum develops character and teaches your child that learning martial arts can be fun while helping them develop the skills they need to protect themselves.
Giving children play-breaks and making children’s academic lessons more playful isn’t mere sugar-coating. It might be a way to enhance kids’ natural capacities for intense, self-motivated learning.