Why learn a Martial Art?
Having an external interest or hobby in a Martial Art such as a Kung Fu class provides a healthy and positive environment to meet and socialise with their peers. Surrounded by friends and teammates with positive values and experienced coaches, they learn how self discipline, respect and focus will give them a head start.
We use a wide range of skills from a mixed range of Martial Arts. Our Chinese Kung Fu system provides a good base system with added techniques from Karate, Chinese Kickboxing and Judo. Many children of this age are keen to learn Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to fight. We teach the same range of skills as you would see in a Mixed Martial Arts match, however they are mixed with the traditional values associated with Chinese Martial Arts like Kung Fu and Japanese Martial Arts like Judo and Karate. These include humility, respecting one’s classmates, teachers and parents plus trust. Whilst learning a Martial Art has a key focus on learning self defence, this must only be as a final last resort where other strategies have failed.
Children in this age group are now bridging the gap between childhood and becoming an adult with all the stresses and anxieties that this causes. Join our outstanding group of young adults from across Basingstoke, in classes that are designed to be fun, lively, friendly and innovative. Classes are never dull and offer many opportunities to learn new things from grappling to flying kicks.
Members of our Urban Warriors classes behave with maturity as adults, yet we actively encourage them to enjoy their training. Having a fantastic workout, progressing through the belts and actually enjoying sport is a great way to deal with the daily stresses of school life and becoming a teenager.
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Our Children's Martial Arts classes are split by age
Our Children’s Martial Arts classes in Basingstoke are split by age. Rising Heroes’ class is for 4-6 year olds. Our Young Legends class is for 6-9 year olds. The Urban Warriors class is for 10-13 year olds. Our Cadets class is for 14 - 17 year old.
Long Term Athlete Development
Because our Urban Warriors are more mature both physically and mentally than their younger counterparts, we can now teach more demanding and advanced aspects in their training.
From a Martial perspective, Our Kung Fu / Karate classes teach self defence techniques for this age group, plus a number of supplementary skills includes pressure points, joint locks and a pragmatic realistic and appropriate approach to self defence and weapons awareness. It could be argued that the Chinese Kung Fu classes were the original version of MMA. At a more advanced stage we also, safely, teach weapons as part of our Basingstoke Kung Fu syllabus.
We also help these teenagers and young adults to learn about the principles and theory behind their practice, as they rise in ability this knowledge is vital to reach the highest elite levels.
The classes are designed from a practical sports science perspective utilising knowledge around:
- Skill Acquisition
- Strength and Conditioning
- How to deal with emotional and physical anxiety and stress
Learning a Martial Art like Kung Fu is not just about learning a Martial Art for technical skills such as throwing, kicking or punching. It’s not just physical exercise, it’s about starting to define yourself as a person, your core values and beliefs. There are many ‘influencers’ on social media that seek to change how we act and behave, including suggesting what we need to do to become the ‘perfect version of ourself’ by changing styles of clothing, hair, things we do, things we say and much more.
We have a number of themes that we focus upon with our teenagers’ Martial Arts class programme. These themes are:
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Being able to adapt to a changing situation is important in school and work. Our Urban Warriors learn the value of a multi skills approach and how this can be of benefit in a variety of situations.
Who would have thought that Martial Artists would need to understand Newton’s 3rd law of motion? However, knowing that for every action/force there is an equal and opposition reaction does have a value in our training when we use physics against an opponent and also by studying to notice subtle body movements, we can respond more rapidly to physical stimulus. This law extends to relationships and communications, if we treat someone badly, it’s likely to backfire on us.
Our Urban Warriors learn to train their instinctual behaviour and to develop it to respond appropriately to external stimuli. For example, an attacker throws a ‘haymaker’ punch, instinctively you know what to do, because you’d practiced it so many times. We explore intuition or ‘gut feelings’ and what that means for our beliefs and actions. Through our Martial Arts training we can develop our instinct to drive appropriate action based upon calm and appropriate decision making.
Around this age, fine tuning of physical skills is possible with increasing skill in using the body to apply techniques. Movements become smoother and are delivered with grace and style. Perhaps less well known but equally important is mental dexterity, the ability to think and act quickly whilst under pressure is a cornerstone of our training.
When we talk about strength, generally we are considering physical strength. Functional strength is the ability to be able to perform a range of movements using specific muscles to improve our daily activities and sports. This isn’t about hypertrophy (having massive muscles for show like a bodybuilder), it’s about your body being fit for purpose. Mental strength is often underestimated but with the increase of mental ill-health in children, it’s important that our children have the strength to acknowledge and seek help when needed.
By now members are realising that their strength and dexterity are increasing as they get older. In the run up to their black belt, they start to focus on accurate and exact movements, everytime. Setting their own quality standards and adhering to them.
One of the key factors in all sports is being able to produce maximum amount of force and speed in the shortest time period possible. Modern plyometric drills help to do this along with a strength and conditioning programme which will help with all sports. Our competition Karate squad utilises lots of plyometric drills to enhance their speed and reflexes, this has made us competitively one of the top Hampshire Karate clubs.
Within this group we also run a successful Junior Leaders program. Participants are a Special Team of Role Models (STORM Team) showing the younger and less experienced students the skills they can develop. It is a great example of the benefits of hard work and consistent effort.
Entry to this program is by invitation only and includes additional in-depth technical tuition plus regular personal development. Junior coaches learn leadership skills such as public speaking, effective communication, leading by example and team-working. This program leads to formal Sport England NGB recognised coaching qualifications.
We have received national recognition for our coach development programme as the Runner up (We lost to a national governing body) for the UK Coaching’s Coach culture award for our commitment to providing top quality coach education for our members and helping to develop the next generation of coaches through a range of different tuition methods.
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