Physical

Delivering the physical aspects of an age appropriate martial arts programme

Photo of games for martial arts classes

Are games for martial arts classes a good idea?

I know this article is looking at the question ‘Are games for martial arts classes a good idea?’ but you should know that I was going to name it ‘Here come the fun police: why are so many children’s martial arts instructors against games?’ Before we get started, I just want to reiterate a statement …

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Young martial arts children showing ready stance while kneeling

25 tips to build engagement and fun in your kids martial arts classes

Every now and again I get a request from a martial arts instructor asking how to build engagement and fun in the classes they deliver as part of their kid’s martial arts programme. This one thing is obviously top of the list when it comes to increasing enjoyment and retention. I thought it would be …

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Young girl in karate uniform performing splits and smiling

Building members for life: Leveraging Self Determination Theory in your martial arts club

Ryan and Deci’s Self Determination Theory has been the subject of study in sports contexts for decades. Centred around building intrinsic motivation, it’s surprising that it hasn’t been the focus of attention for martial arts clubs and organisations looking to grow their memberships. If we can understand the motivation of our members and create a …

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Pushing action from Functional Movement Patterns

8 functional movement Patterns for your kids martial arts programme

Although Functional Movements Patterns (FMP) have appeared in many different adult strength based systems over the last couple of decades, they were initially discovered through the observation of infant’s growth and motor skill development. (Wu et al., 2020). If you watch the way a young child performs a deep squat to pick up a toy …

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Physical stages of development for young children practicing martial arts

The knowledge of the physical stages of development is a priority if you want to maximise the development of your martial arts students. Sometimes we may feel we are not very good at delivering sessions to the young children in our care. They don’t always listen and sometimes they ‘just don’t get it’. In other …

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FUNdamental Movement Skills for children’s martial arts

Often abbreviated to FMS, FUNdamental Movement Skills describe the ability to move the body in specific patterns using different body parts. They cover both gross and fine motor skills and are usually broken down in to three groups; locomotion, balance and object control. These skills are the building blocks the children will need to be …

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Large muscular man with boxing gloves on facing boy with boxing gloves on

Gradings for young children in martial arts – are you comparing apples with oranges?

We all want the best for our young ninjas but how do gradings help us develop the children? Developing their skills, physical abilities and positive physiological characteristics are at the top of our list of goals. So how do we use gradings to build these traits? Should we be using the gradings to measure competency …

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