When deciding what ages of kids should be together in a martial arts class consider this: for adults, a 25-year old can be taught in the same way as a 40-year old. At those ages, even though 15 years apart, the method of teaching will be the same. However when you teach younger kids differences in age can drastically change how each learns.
7 to 12 year olds
This seems like a big gap in age and it can be if you are teaching alone. To combine this age group in one class you really need an assistant instructor that can be in charge of one age group, like 7 to 9 year olds. Some 12 -year olds are so physically developed that there can easily be a 30 pound difference in weight from a 7 year old. Not the best for partnering up! This age group is more about physicality than ability to comprehend instruction. Of course 12 year olds may feel like they are too old for training with a 7 or 8 year old. Acknowledge the age disparity by giving the older kids longer combinations, or 10 more kicks than the rest of the class. This makes them know that YOU know they are not “little kids”.
4, 5 and 6 year olds
A handful of 4-year olds will be mature enough that they can handle a more advanced method of teaching. If you are not sure, start the kiddo off in your 3 and 4 year olds program, like Little Eagles® Martial Arts. It’s better to have a 4-year old be too mature and move them up than it is to have him or her possibly disrupt a class for 5 and 6 year olds.
The behavior of this age group is a little more predictable. They can be taught the foundations of your martial arts style and are more apt to recall and retain information. Combining 4 to 6 year olds can also persuade a 6-year old to behave immaturely. This age group benefits greatly from feeling like a “big kid” and being separated from the pre-school ages.
3 to 4 year olds
This toddler/preschool age group should be in their own class. If you enroll this age group into your regular kids program you will have many different learning capabilities, simply due to age. 3 to 4 year olds – and perhaps some 5-year olds – need a lot of switching up in their classes. While this age can learn quickly, the tasks have to be kept to simple commands and drills. Think of this class as prep for the next program in your school or dojo. Showing toddlers how to stand at attention, respond to the instructor, take turns with fellow students and awards for a job well done is all that should be tackled in these classes. This age group is exactly why Little Eagles® Martial Arts was developed and made available to martial arts instructors.
Little Eagles® Martial Arts has 20-years of experience behind everything we offer to help your toddler class take off. Quick video tutorials offer ideas and tips for filling your class time and keeping the students interested. Your other classes and programs are taught with your knowledge of martial arts. To teach preschoolers martial arts means to include some very basic martial arts techniques into fun age appropriate drills and games. Let us help you with Little Eagles® Martial Arts!