August 22, 2016 / in Kids and Afterschool / by Tim Kittelstad
When most people think about Kung Fu, images of high flying wire fights from old movies comes to mind. For kids, you can add Jackie Chan’s crazy stunts and Kung Fu Panda. Most people don’t realize that being a Kung Fu master is so much more than fighting. In the modern translation it has been widely accepted to only refer to the fighting aspect of Chinese Arts. Kung Fu is actually translated as “acquired skill”. It involves anything that been achieved. So, should children participate in Kung Fu? Absolutely! In fact, kids kung fu training can help them assimilate a lot more at an earlier age than is possible when you’re an adult. Learning how to defend oneself and understand ones own body is very important. Becoming a person who conquers every goal he sets for himself is the true meaning of a Kung Fu Master.
Serious Kids Kung Fu Training
As children grow into adults they begin to learn patterns of behavior based on what is permitted by those in authority, friends, and mentors in their life. At Sifu Och Wing Chun the children are taught discipline as a first rule. Working synergisticly with discipline, is hard work and consistency. When those three are combined almost anything can be achieved. Sifu Och utilizes those aspects to teach martial arts in our Lakeland after school program. Our hope is that those characteristics will bleed into the rest of the children’s lives. As they mature, they would have had a childhood of focus, a focus on goals that can only be achieved when one works to improve oneself to reach those goals.
If children are not given the chance to understand self development is ones own responsibility at a young age, how much harder will it be to not only understand that, but to be put into practice with the coming of age? Teaching kids kung fu gives us a chance to jump start that progress.
Imagine a generation that placed goals before themselves, and day in and day out sought to reach those goals. And while they themselves reached for their own goals, the also sought to uplift and encourage those around them to reach as well! Not only masters in the art of defense, but in art, music, food, and people! A generation that sought to improve the world around it with hard work, dedication, and a spirit of selflessness! While Kung Fu is not the answer to everything, it is most definitely a very powerful arena that one can sharpen and grow in.
Effective Training Requires a Master
Sifu Justin Och has devoted his life to martial arts. As a person, he is one of the hardest working and focused men you will find. This work ethic, self motivated drive is manifested not only in how effective is Wing Chun is, but how he devotes himself to the betterment of his students. Working through exhaustion, overwhelming work requirements, he seeks to improve every single one of his students, inside of class, and out. He has developed his character to one of a Master, a black belt. When looking for someone to mentor your children these are aspects one should be looking for. Not just to see if they are good martial artists, but how do they treat those around them. And how well they perform at other tasks in their life.
Children must be led by example, and our kids kung fu training aims to do just that. If kids are surrounded by men and women that push themselves to a new level every day, they’ll learn those to be valuable traits. Our instructors care about each person that they come in contact with. Our hope is they will soon begin to follow suit. We want our kids to improve themselves every day—not just come to class and have fun, but grow, and develop. They will understand that with life, failure is a good thing—it is the ultimate teacher. We hope they can develop the habit of never quitting but learning. Martial arts gives them the opportunity to become uncomfortable, and then push past the feelings to seek a better version of themselves.