Training in any martial art but especially Shaolin Gong Fu is unlike any other activity your children will ever undertake. It requires the student to develop physically (Technique, Power, Flexibility, and Stamina) and spiritually (discipline, confidence, self-awareness, control, respect for others and ourselves). For young children (6-12) in the western world environment (US, UK, EU etc.) is impossible to devise a curriculum that covers all these areas.
The “Preparation” class offered by the Shaolin Temple UK – Cambridge Branch class focuses only on the following.
a. 5 traditional stances
b. 1 small form
c. Correct Fighting Stance
d. Hand and Leg exercises to prepare students for punching/kicking/defence movements
a. Speed & Jumping Drills
3. Discipline, Self-Awareness, Confidence
a. 5 min Mediation/Relaxation to finish the class
b. Breathing exercises as resting breaks
In all these areas we will use traditional techniques, games and mind-games so the children enjoy the class and slowly become accustomed to train at the level required to improve and get stronger and more confident. Every child is different so it is difficult to predict in advance how long it will take a student of this age to be able to move to the next level. In our experience 2-3 terms is the average. Children who progress well will be required to demonstrate to the teacher and their parents what they have learnt in order to advance to the next level. When children in the Cambridge class qualify to train in the “Foundation” class we will expand this note to cover the level. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
How to help your child improve:
ü Ask him/her which exercise they found easier to do. Suggest going out in the garden and practice or show the exercise to you so you can practice too!!
ü Ask him/her which exercise they think they could not do very well. What do they think they did wrong? Can they try slowly to do it correctly? Alternatively encourage them to ask the teacher next time for help.
Basil Hartzoulakis (PhD) – Shaolin Temple UK - Cambridge Branch Coach