SMA Basic Skills
Infants - 4 to 6 year olds
Four to six-year olds are the most enthusiastic students. They love creativity and problem solving, which makes them ideal students in the Martial Arts. The problem we discovered is they are so progressive in following tasks some teachers tend to treat them like their older peers. This is a problem because they still do not have the basic skills necessary to keep up with children ages 7 and up.
The solution we found is to provide them with their own program that targets their stage of development in a manner that adapts to their social and intellectual curiosity while at the same time building skills that set them up for success. With that said a structured program introducing basic skill-based training in Martial Arts has proven to be very successful.
We cover one of the above skills per class (in order). During each class we run a warm-up; deliver a mat chat about the skill; run two or three skill-building drills; and then we have them demonstrate the skill to earn their skill-stripe. They must earn all 8 skill-stripes in order to graduate to the next belt level. Once they earn their next belt they will continue to run through all 8 skills earning their skill-stripes with more challenging curriculum as they advance to each rank. They graduate to the SOLO KIDS 7-9 year program after they have successfully completed all 9-belt ranks of the SOLO KIDS 4-6 program.
By understanding the stages of development of 4 and 6-year old’s, we were able to select 8 age-appropriate skills that make up the SOLO KIDS 4-6 Program:
Here is an example of what a white belt must demonstrate for each of the 8 skills above in order to earn their next belt:
1. FOCUS: Punching and kicking a pad that is thrown by an instructor standing one-step away from their side. They must be able to punch, and kick, a pad four times in a row in order to pass.
2. TEAMWORK: Holding a kicking target for their partner while their partner does ten kicks. They must be loud while counting their part-ner’s kicks and hold the target tightly in order to pass.
3. CONTROL: Stopping their body at attention position after running forward when an instructor says, “stop.” They must be at attention in less than three steps after the instructor says stop in order to pass.
4. MEMORY: Demonstrating the three stage 1 block’s and three stage 1 strikes from memory. They must show the proper chambers and end-ing position for all of the moves in order to pass.
5. BALANCE: Executing five front kicks without putting their foot down in between each rep. They must show full execution and retrac-tion while keeping their knee chambered at belt level or higher in order to pass.
6. DISCIPLINE: Demonstrating how to properly sit, take a knee, kneel on both knees, and stand at attention without moving. They must hold each position for no less than five seconds.
7. FITNESS: Holding each static leg, arm, abdominal, and core exercise. They must not lose technique or else they have to start over. They must hold each exercise for no less than ten seconds in order to pass.
8. COORDINATION: Performing left and right punching combinations on the mitts. They must hit the mitt with proper technique and also with the proper hand five times in a row in order to pass.
For maximum benefit we highly recommend that students attend class twice a week (minimum) and encourage parents/guardians to stay and watch the session whenever possible. Students of this age group benefit greatly from structure and a regular routine. We currently offer 5 classes per week for each age group, so you can pick and choose the days/times that best suit your schedule.
“My son and I have joined and we couldn’t be happier. I never expected to enjoy so much and feel so motivated about it but to my surprise I love it as it keeps getting better and better. I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to join them and meeting great people. Thank you very much Miss Dee Hunter for the hard work you do for us.”
Carmen R Sanchez
Play this Video to see more..
My name is Sara and I am a child Psychotherapist. I work with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. As a mother of a young boy of 6, I am very aware of how challenging childhood can be, but I am also aware of the fun childhood can bring, not least of all, the after school clubs that children can join.
My son began to talk more and more about different activities that his friends were doing after school, and it was then that a family friend spoke about how much his daughter loved the Karate club that she was a member of.
So I spoke with my son and asked if he would like to go along to see if he liked it, he said yes, and was really excited to go knowing his Hannah (family friend’s daughter) went there.
I contacted SOLO martial arts and went along to speak with one of the trainers, to find out a bit more.
I was really surprised but also encouraged by SOLO martial arts ethos, which includes following a ‘child focussed developmental program’, meaning that each child trains within their developmental ability.
The foundation of learning about Respect, Team Work, Focus and many other life skills encouraged me in my son’s decision to go along and have a go.
My son has been a member of SOLO martial arts for just over a year, and in that time he has made many friends of both his own age, younger and older. He has also had the experience of belt testing, and different summer camps.
What I have seen, as a Psychotherapist, has been truly inspirational.
I have seen a dedicated team of professionals who make the experience of Karate, accessible to children of all abilities. Through their nurturing, support, and encouragement I have seen children who, under different circumstances, would not have achieved what they have:
The little boy who spent months sitting on the stairs terrified to go onto the mat with the other children, who, through the wonderfully mindful female trainer, and the children in his group, eventually joined in and has since passed three belt tests.
The six-year-old boy who was really shy when he joined at the same time as my son, who was encouraged, supported and given such positive reinforcement by the trainers, now has so much confidence as he shouts out his Karate commands, and has passed all his belt tests to date.
These, and many other moments like them, give me confidence to say that I couldn’t recommend SOLO martial arts more.
I can recommend SOLO to any Mother or Father who is thinking about an after school activity for their child, that will not only teach them many valuable life lessons, make new friends, and feel supported, but also offer them a chance to achieve high levels of fitness, stamina and success in Karate as a sport if they so desire.
Sara and Son.