I get a bit worried sometimes about the laziness of instructors with children’s martial arts. It’s easy to keep them ‘amused’ with games and even call them ‘skill’ games but the end result should still be that they learn good quality martial arts. There are so many poor quality clubs around that teach children because it’s the main income stream and so many videos of games available and ‘rotating’ dumbed down syllabuses that it’s too easy for a club to just ‘skate by’ and grade anyway because most children will give up before they become adults.
But teaching the next generation is a serious business. Children need a good health philosophy, they need to learn emotional intelligence, a strategy to deal with bullying and the pressures of modern day life, they need the skills of courtesy, good manners, empathy and to have all these wound into powerful martial technique. They need to understand how many 2’s make 4 in life, how much work is needed to succeed and to see good positive role models in their martial arts environment.
Martial Arts is not just a business. It’s not childcare. it’s not keeping them amused, selling them lots of goods from a ‘pro shop’ and easy gradings. If you don’t invest into your own development and then into the next generation, you are damaging both the children and the martial arts.