How can we help our children feel safe, secure and happy in an ever changing world?
This is what we asked ourselves when we decided to teach Junior Warriors the Shaolin Arts in a non-violent and useful way.
We knew that training in martial arts can lead to self discipline, calmness, focus, confidence and good health. We also knew that it could be taught in a non-violent way to help the child develop the right skills to do their best in life... not just learn how to punch and kick! We find this approach works on a real-world, everyday level - and it’s great fun for the kids too!
Helping make the world a better place through our children
As parents ourselves we appreciate that it is not always easy, for the child or the parent. At the most basic level we just want the best for our children, we want them to grow up being healthy, happy and to have the right tools and skills to do their best in life. That’s where Junior Warriors can really help. We take all the wonderful energy of your kids and channel it into the practice of Kung Fu.
Naturally each child is different, some might have so much energy, at home or school, that they are literally bouncing off the walls. Others struggle with an apparent lack of confidence, which can affect their ability to socialise with other children or apply themselves to new challenges. Some have difficulty in concentrating or have anger issues. All of these issues seem to fade away and normalise as a result of the practice, as it has done for countless others over the centuries.
Helping make the world a better place through our children
If for some reason though you aren’t seeing an improvement in your child’s behaviour within the first 6 weeks of training it is important that you come and talk to us. There may be something else that is bothering them or something that we have missed. Either way, we want the best for you and your child and have found through experience that talking is a good way to address things. Naturally you may have a number of questions before you join, like:
How does it work?
First of all they will have great fun! We want the kids to have fun. Having fun is a great way for kids to explore and test their boundaries, channel their energy or frustrations and overcome inhibitions, like shyness, an apparent lack of self-confidence or physical abilities. It is also a great way of keeping them engaged and excited about the next weeks training.
Are there belts and tests?
There are no belts in our system, but we do have levels and once a child demonstrates the ability to go to the next level they will have a fun test. Pass it and they move on. There is no cost for this test and your child will receive a certificate.
What happens if I have concerns about my child?
As we suggested before, if you have any concerns we are happy to make the time to talk it over. It is important that you are also part of this journey, so it is good to understand the changes as well as the challenges.
What goes on in a class?
The classes are made up of a number of parts which takes the child on a journey of developing skills, as opposed to just lots of techniques. The class starts with a story, this may be historical or an adventure story, usually with a moral, but always with a purpose. They then learn some forms, including sets. This usually involves stances, kicks or hand forms. Each working on various aspects and skills like strength, balance, poise, flexibility, co-operation. Using these skills we play a martial arts game, putting the skill into action. This creates less struggle and tension in the child and helps them be more engaged and at ease. They will also learn the Lion Dance
What effect will it have?
Junior Warriors is the practice of a martial art, but it does not encourage the development of aggression or fighting. The Shaolin and Wudang arts are excellent systems of self-defence, but we would rather put the skills to better use then just learning how to fight. Better learn how to defend themselves in a calm manner so they don’t have to fight or deal with stressful situations with a clear mind. The effect this can have is quite profound. Rather than build locked up energy the arts help release and channel the energy. The result is that the child feels calmly more confident and more ok with themselves and others.
What is the difference between techniques and skills and why is this important?
Many schools do an excellent job of teaching techniques and forms such as "move like this", "stand like this". Unfortunately focussing too much on form can sometimes lead to frustrations, especially if the child isn’t getting it the way or as quickly as they think they should. Children and people have different ways and rates of learning and this needs to be taken into consideration so the child can feel good about themselves, not feel that they are not good enough.
Whilst we encourage correct form and movement, it is more important that your child gets the benefit from the practice they have learnt. We know that techniques lead to skills and skills lead to benefits. It’s like only knowing the technique (form) of driving doesn’t make you a good driver, this takes practice and skill. Junior Warriors learn how to take what they have learnt and apply the skill into everyday life. Then they get the benefit, as do you. We feel this is important and equips the child for life.
How do I get involved in this and find out how they are progressing?
We actively encourage parents to get involved. Each week your child will be set a task, something that you can also do. This helps them know you are interested in what they are doing and a way for you to see how well they are doing. We also organise family days for everyone to come to and get involved. If you would like to get even more involved we also teach adult classes.
Here’s an overview of what the practice of Shaolin and Wudang Kung Fu help to develop:
Flexibility. Balance. Core Strength. Self-Discipline. Self-Confidence. Focus and Concentration
Learning kindness, not aggression. Shaolin and Wudang Kung Fu teach how to develop patience, kindness, discipline, respect, as well as how to overcome aggression and avoid violence. Breathing techniques are taught to help calm emotions and channel energy.
Shaolin and Wudang Kung Fu Promote Harmony Shaolin and Wudang Kung Fu are traditional martial arts. We teach how to handle bullies and strangers and how to avoid using fighting or aggression as the answer to problems. As a path to self-development students learn how to avoid causing harm to themselves or others. We also teach good rules behaviour; right thought, right speech, right action. The Way of the Warrior is encouraged both inside and outside class.
Lion Dance Not only is Kung Fu excellent for developing and realising health and happiness, it is also great fun! The Lion Dance has a history of over 2000 years and the Junior Warriors will learn this great art, including drumming, music and dancing. It is a true spectacle and joy for the children to put on a show, as well as enjoying the many benefits of practising it.
Where is it? Junior Warriors is at Barnham Community Hall on Tuesday’s 4-5pm. For more information click on the ‘Join Junior Warrior Class' button on this page
Junior Warriors is open to 6-11yrs
The Shaolin and Wudang Arts help develop skills required to live a rewarding, happy, healthy life.
Barnham Community Hall, Yapton Road, Barnham, West Sussex PO22 0AY