Tiny Tigers - Ages 5-6
The Tiny Tigers program is martial arts training for the child ages five to six years. Tiny Tigers, unlike other martial arts programs, is not simply an activity. It is a program that focuses on ensuring that the physical and mental development of the child is adequate for their age and, whenever possible, maximizing that development. It is this critical difference that should be considered when choosing if Authentic Kung-Fu Burleson is right for your child.
Focus On Your Child, Not On Trophies
Sport activities, martial arts or otherwise, focus on training for competition. Instructors make their reputation on winning these competitions and reputation is critical to the success of their schools. For this reason those students who excel at the activity receive the most attention. This process is neither a positive nor a negative aspect for competitive schools; it is simply the nature of competitive sports activities in general. Tiny Tigers is not a competitive activity. The focus of the Tiny Tigers program is the development of children who, if they enjoy Kung-Fu, will be prepared physically to master the art if they wish. Instead of focusing on what is necessary for winning at tournament, the teachers at Authentic Kung-Fu focus on ensuring that every child develops the fundamental body skills and behavioral disciplines that are not only necessary to succeed at Kung-Fu but are also necessary for success at any activity or sport. The program was developed by Authentic Kung-Fu of Fort Worth Chief Instructor Steve Cottrell, who possesses a Master's Degree in Education with many advanced degree hours of training in Childhood Development. The Tiny Tiger's Program taught at Authentic Kung-Fu reflects this training.
Self-Discipline Instead Of Imposed Discipline
At Authentic Kung-Fu, the Tiny Tiger's program teaches with a low-key but effective discipline. Children are taught to discipline themselves, behave appropriately, listen, and follow directions not because of fear of punishment but because they want to participate. It is the best kind of discipline, self-discipline.
Coordination And Motor Skill Development
The techniques of Kung-Fu chosen for the Tiny Tigers program are geared specifically to train dominant and non-dominant side coordination to a greater degree. Punches and kicks of various types are trained on both sides for correct execution, accuracy and power. Graduated training from techniques that move in a straight line to those based on curves and finally those based around spirals are taught so that the child develops greater kinesthetic awareness, (the awareness of how to move the body in a well-balanced and powerful fashion). Stepping and footwork is emphasized throughout training so that each child learns the most natural, efficient and fastest way to move. Finally, techniques involving skipping and leaping motions are taught, greatly increasing a child's sense of where they are in space; a skill essential for peak performance in any sport.
Along with learning simple and fun techniques of Kung-Fu, children are taught through games some the essential skills for mastering the art. For example, they learn to roll safely and return to their feet from different angles. Not only will this serve them in mastering martial arts but when they fall off that bike or skateboard, there will be far less chance of serious physical injury. Later they learn to jump from progressively higher platforms and change vertical energy into rolling energy, (a skill useful as they jump off of jungle gyms, fly off of swings or just jump out of a tree). Training in Kung-Fu is akin to learning to swim. It is both a fun activity but also teaches the child skills that they will use throughout their life.
Age Appropriate Training
Children in Tiny Tigers do not attend competitions nor do they spar. With today's "zero tolerance" programs in schools and daycares the possibility of a child "playing" martial arts makes such "training" inherently problematic. Instead the Tiny Tiger's program trains the student to execute techniques either in the air or on a target held by the instructor. This disciplined practiced has proven itself over many years to provide the child with training while minimizing the possibility of inappropriate play.
Children gain a sense of accomplishment and accompanying confidence by training at Authentic Kung-Fu. This growing sense of confidence, over time, is evident when the child is with his peers and makes the child less likely to be the target of bullies who seek out the insecure child in a group.
The Tiny Tiger's program is designed to be a fun activity that ensures physical development and teaches the child essential physical, behavioral and social skills. These skills prepare the student not only for the possibility of mastering Kung-Fu but even more importantly for successfully navigating the challenging childhood and teenage years.