Afterschool Kung Fu Fun

When it comes to teaching children anything it can be either a complete drag, or the most fun you will have the whole day. Your attitude will determine whether or not the clock will slowly inch it’s way to the next minute or run out before you realize class is done. I will explain here in Afterschool Kung Fu Fun the three ‘E’s  to actually enjoy teaching a kids class no matter the age.

Afterschool Kung Fu Fun

Establish Discipline

Lakeland little lions kids preschool martial arts kickboxing karate kung fu ages 3 - 5 years oldThe first thing that must be done is to establish a line of discipline with the student’s. Without discipline there will be utter chaos in the class. No matter how fun the class is there will always be some sort of disruption. In my article Afterschool Martial Arts: Showing You Care I explain in details a few details about establishing discipline. Understanding the line between fear and respect is crucial. Contrary to belief you cannot force someone to respect you. You can make them act a certain which may be perceived as respect.


Respect is only achieved when the student’s know that you truly care about them. “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This is a phrase I live by. Before class starts I try to speak to as many of them as possible. I can build individual relationships with them and they can connect with me. We build trust and respect this way.

Embrace Your Inner Kid

Once you have established your discipline your class will go much smoother than without. A focused energy rises in the class when discipline is held across the room. You must capitalize on this energy. To use it you must embrace your inner child. If your 12 year old self were to be in this class what would make it fun? Answer that question over and over and you will find you are making new and exciting ways to do drills. You will find yourself looking forward to class. It becomes a chance to really have fun with your class.

By “becoming a kid” again you’ll see that you have the ability to take the same workouts and put a new spin one them that the kids will love. A perfect example is around Christmas time. At Sifu Och Wing Chun we have the kids to military crawl for part of the warm. The spin I tell them is that they are the Grinch and they have to sneak through the house without getting caught. Another fun warm up spin is something I call “ninja mode”. The students pretend to be ninjas while I give them instructions. Whether it is running quietly or jumping to avoid the incoming “sword”. They are able to get a good workout hidden under the guise of pretend.

lakeland kids martial arts, martial arts, kids, martial art kids, kids classes, kids martial arts, lakeland, florida, fl

Explain Quickly

The last thing that must be done is crucial. You must learn to be efficient with your explanations. Since their young minds have trouble focusing you must be potent with your talks. Clear and concise are your best friends. If you are able to explain techniques quickly you can spend more time drilling, working on their focus and persistence. Long explanations can also wear them out. While you don’t want to skimp on good info you have to find the balance or their little legs won’t be able to handle standing still for too long.


To wrap things up. Three keys to having a good kids class: Establish discipline, Embrace your inner kid, and Explain quickly. If you can put all of these things together you will really enjoy teaching your kids class no matter the age.


Cuts, Collisions, Crying: Tips for Your Kids Program

Little 5 year old Lyla approaches me cry, “Mr. Tim, can I tell you something?” “Yes Lyla, whats the matter?” “That kid over there hurt me.” “What Happened?” “We were running and he made me fall.” “Do you think he did it on purpose? “No.” “Ok well then get back to jogging.” “But my finger hurts so bad.” “Did you know Lyla, that I hurt my finger really bad once when it got caught in a door?” “No.” “Here let me show you the scar.” Lyla stops crying. “Ya it hurt pretty bad…”; (I explain full story). “Yep, got 4 stitches; whats your favorite warm up?” Lyla cheerfully chirps, “Zombie Crawls”! “Ok lets do Zombie Crawls; everybody, Zombie Crawls!” In this article, “Cuts, Collisions, Crying: Tips for Your Kids Program”, I will explain how I handle children who are “distraught” over an injury.

Cuts, Collisions, Crying: Tips for Your Kids Program

Know Your Kids

Knowing your enemy is the first step in gaining the upper hand to defeat them. Obviously our children in our programs are not our enemies. However, overcoming their distress is. To use the technique I will explain you must know and understand your children. In my previous articles Kung Fu Kids: Keeping your Kids Engaged and Lakeland Afterschool and Summer Camp Fun I briefly mention a few ways to engage your children but also how to connect with them. Listening to them and not just treating them like a “little kid that is misbehaving” is a big key. When I speak to them if there was a fight or bad behavior I help them rise to the occasion. I tell them they need to speak to me like an adult. I help them calm their emotions. If they are excited or crying I explain to them I can’t understand what they are saying. Doing this usually helps them focus in on me and speak clearly.

By doing so I have seen an increase in respect when it is my turn to say something. By listening to them and explaining to them they must speak to me clearly they know that I am listening. This gains their trust as I watch and learn how they think and communicate. Once problem at a time I gain a little more insight into the differences that each child has. Once I know how their brain works, what they like, dislike, etc., I can now employ one of my favorite techniques when they are overreacting to an injury…distraction and redirection.

The Art of Distraction and Redirection

When a child is hurt their emotional flux tends to be more dramatic then the pain actually calls for. This is typically rooted in the base need for attention to have someone help with the problem. As they grow however, they need to learn that crying is not the best way to get help. But by clearing communicating with an adult. This is not automatically learned however, it must be taught. There is a hurdle when it comes to teaching this though. That hurdle is that emotional wave mentioned earlier. When their emotions are high, it is near impossible to teach them anything let alone communicate. Distraction is the key to breaking that emotional wall you will encounter.


One of the best ways I have found to “distract” the child is connect with them by referring to one of your own injuries. Shifting the focus off of something requires something new to focus on. By relating to them with your own injury they will tend to perk up to hear the story. They want to know what happened to Mr. Tim and his finger and how he got that scar. Once the wave has been calmed by interesting anecdote, their attention must be moved forward or they will relapse into the “pain” which was mostly in their mind.


Redirection is the next key. By moving their focus on something positive, something they enjoy (preferably within the activity being done) their carefree mind will happily get distracted by the next thing. In the story I gave Lyla the option to pick the next warm up. Turns her brain completely away from her finger to “ooo, I get to pick the next one, which one do I like”. Once this is done they usually go about the day without remembering their finger at all.

Know your children. Distract them when emotions are high. Then redirect them on to something fun and positive!


Lakeland Afterschool and Summer Camp Fun

Lakeland is a wonderful area for an Afterschool and Summer Camp Program. Our Afterschool program is right in the heart of the city in Downtown Lakeland. We can easily access many schools in the area and bring them back to a centralized location. Lakeland is also perfect for our Summer Camp due to its location. Since we are located in between Tampa and Orlando we have many options at our disposal. In this article we will go over some of our programs and activities for Lakeland Afterschool and Summer Camp Fun.


Our Afterschool program is a hybrid of martial arts and dance. Sifu Och Wing Chun and Just Dance Academy of Etiquette. We use our program to have a fun time with the students but to also instill good principles. During the school year the children are picked up from their locations and brought back to our studio in downtown Lakeland. Once they are have reached the location they start off with snack time immediately followed by homework. This part of our program is integrated with the parents. The parents clarify what they want to accomplish at this point. Whether the children need to focus on homework and not do any activities until they are done, or get as much done until either dance or martial arts.

Following homework time the children have one of two things happening. They will either attend a hip hop\dance class or a martial art\self defense class. Both of the classes have a them of discipline. If discipline is not maintained then teaching anything to the children will be difficult if not impossible. Discipline is kept with a strict set of rules that are enforced but with love.

When a child acts out simply dishing out punishment is not enough. There must be an understanding of why the child is being punished. This is done by simply talking to the child before giving the punishment. The other side of the coin is a repeat offender who knows better or time constraint. In these cases it is acceptable to simply give the punishment needed. Positive reinforcement just as important however. Whenever a child accomplishes something or does follow the rules well, it should be met with an high amount of praise. A sense of pride is instilled and a desire to obey is created and supported.

Summer Camp

Summer camp follows the same schedule as our Afterschool program in the afternoons. The mornings is where the fun happens. Two groups are used at all times. “Big Kids” and “Little Kids” are the two groups. The ages are cut off at 8. With two groups being active we have the freedom to rotate activities and allow parents to decide what to do.

summer camps lakeland martial-arts-summer-camp-lakeland-fl-wing-chun-kung-fu

For example; if we take Big Kids to Mosi one day and the Little Kids swimming. The parent of a child might not have the money or desire to have their child to go to Mosi. What we then do is move the child to the little kids group for the morning. This freedom give the parents a lot more flexibility without having to give up the Summer Camp day. At the end of the day the kids funnel back to the studio to do their martial arts or dance lessons just like during the school year.

This system give the kids consistency throughout the whole school year. Whether they are seeking to become a competitive dancer or prolific martial artist, they can continue their training year round. Take a look at our Kids Afterschool and Summer Camp to see what fun we have with out camp!


2 WEEK FREE TRIAL & Access to our full class schedule

Fill out the form below to get 2 FREE weeks of training at our downtown lakeland facility and access to our full class schedule!

FULL ACCESS to our complete schedule of classes & training sessions!
Learn the ENTIRE System of Ip Man Wing Chun Kung fu, Self Defense, and Close Range Combat!
IN HOUSE training with our instructors ready to help you accomplish your goals!
IN HOUSE Group fitness classes, body weight loss training, and free weight training
DISCOUNTED FAMILY RATES if you decide to sign up for a full time studio membership!
Click to get FREE 2 WEEK TRIAL