Planning

Planning martial arts programmes, sessions and development models

Queue busters

Queue busters: reduce downtime and maintain engagement in your kids martial arts classes

What the hell are queue busters? Let me explain………. When I first started martial arts back in 1990 at 16 (yep, I’m getting on a bit), we all performed quite a chunk of our training in ‘class lines’. You will recognise the familiar-looking matrix with the higher grades at the front and the lowest at …

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Rotating curriculum

Do you know the difference between a linear, rotating and nested rotating curriculum?

You may have heard the term rotating curriculum thrown around in martial arts circles before but what about a nested rotating curriculum? For years I have been using the traditional linear curriculum delivery model to teach our members but a few years ago I came across something called a rotating curriculum. This made me reflect on …

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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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Lil Dragon vs Skillz VS MAPLE

Introduction Children’s martial arts programmes have been available since around the year 2000 when Melody Johnson (was Shuman) introduced her Little Ninja’s programme and Kimber Hill (now Tyee) released her Lil Dragon programme (2001). These two coaches created a new sector within the martial arts community by writing programmes specifically for children. While other instructors …

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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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