Introducing the Internationally Acclaimed Basic SKILLZ Program for 5 & 6 year olds! | Bay Area Martial Arts
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Shonnon Schey reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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I signed my kindergartener daughter in the six-week promotion to see if she would enjoy martial arts. I knew after her first class that this was going to be truly enriching for her, and she loves going to her classes.
I love that the classes are age specific- and you can see how the teaching styles are geared towards each age group. As explained by Sensei Adrian in our assessment- four-year-olds and seven-year-olds are capable of different things at different times. Having them in age-appropriate classes will help them succeed because they are with their peers.
The instructors are firm but fair, and are amazing with a large group of kids. They don't coddle anyone, they have the same expectations of everyone.
I'm proud of how my daughter has taken to BAMA in such a short time. She has gotten stronger and already shows more self discipline (as much as can be expected from a five-year-old)!
My husband and I are so happy that we found Bay Area Martial Arts!

Christina Chandler reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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My son just started and I already can see the difference in him. Thank you. This place is GREAT! You all should see if your child or children like it.

Leah Martin reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
5
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My 13 year old son started at the dojo when he was 5 and my 9 year old daughter started when she was 3. Bringing them here has turned out to be one of the best decisions that my husband and I made for our children. The amount of focus and discipline that they have learned through martial arts has encompassed all parts of their lives. Both are excellent students and know how to stick up for themselves. My daughter will not think twice about being an ally for someone else. I am blown away by their self confidence. They have learned that you can succeed at anything you put your mind to with hard work and perseverance.

While learning the skills of working hard and self esteem, students get a great work out and have fun with Sifu Adrian and Sensei Ceci. They create a nurturing environment where children learn skills at their appropriate developmental stage. They have become family and I am forever grateful for all that they have done for my children.

Kelly Correll Brown reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
5
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My 7 year old son started at Bay Area Martial Arts in January of this year. After nearly 6 months I have seen such a change in him both physically and emotionally. My son was always scared of trying new things - like riding a scooter or doing a handstand - because his balance has never been that great. Martial arts has really helped him build confidence and the physical strength to try new things. Respect for yourself, your family, and people in the wider world is something that he is learning and doing. Sensei Adrian, Nate, and Ceci have been so wonderful not just to our son, but to our whole family. They really care about these kids - not just to make them ninjas (because lets face it... what kid doesn't want to be a ninja?!?!), but about helping them be the best version of themselves that they can be. Thanks so much you guys!!!!

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Introducing the Internationally Acclaimed Basic SKILLZ Program for 5 & 6 year olds!

Five and 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. 

Scroll past the video for an overview for the stages of development of children ages 5 and 6, and to learn more about how our skill-based learning program works:

  • Physically– they typically do not know how to apply their muscles so they fall often when their body is in constant motion. Also, they have a basic foundation for leg, arm, core, and abdominal development, but they still lack a lot of strength.
    • We expect them to initially struggle with multiple kicks beyond five repetitions.  We also expect them to initially have sloppy technique when exercising.
    • The goals for our program are to get them to perform high repetitions of kicks without putting their foot down, and also perform static, active, and dynamic exercises for beyond ten reps with good technique.
  • Intellectually– they typically have a hard time retaining beyond three commands. They also have a hard time distinguishing between their left and right.
    • We expect them to initially get confused when we ask them to do more than three things at one time. We also initially expect them to have a hard time distinguishing between their left and right when following multiple-commands.
    • The goal for our program is to get them to retain three or more commands at once, and beyond. We will also help them learn how to perform various left and right combinations.
  • Emotionally – they typically focus on things that make them happy. They also have slow brakes when they are excited.
    • We expect them to initially lose focus and shut down when they are not happy. We also expect them to lose control when they are over-excited.
    • The goal for our program is to help them focus even when it’s hard to do so. We will also help them control their body and their power, especially when they are excited.
  • Socially– they love to play with others, but are typically very competitive.
    • We expect them to initially show weak sportsmanship when they participate in a competition.
    • The goals for our program are to help them build good teamwork such as no cheating; don’t get angry when they lose; and don’t brag when they win

By understanding the stages of development of 5 and 6-year olds, we were able to select 8 age-appropriate skills that make up the Basic SKILLZ Program:

  1. FOCUS
  2. TEAMWORK
  3. CONTROL
  4. MEMORY
  5. BALANCE
  6. DISCIPLINE
  7. FITNESS
  8. COORDINATION

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 Core SKILLZ program after they have successfully completed all 9-belt ranks of the Basic SKILLZ program.

(You can learn more about how we teach our martial arts classes in BAMA by clicking HERE)

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.  This skill helps students improve their attention while also developing listening skills, hand-eye-coordination, and foot-eye-coordination.
  2. TEAMWORK – Holding a kicking target for their partner while their partner does ten kicks. They must be loud while counting their partner’s kicks and hold the target tightly in order to pass.  This skill helps students develop social skills such as taking turns, sportsmanship, and leadership.
  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.  This skill helps students develop control over their body, mind, and emotions.
  4. MEMORY – Demonstrating the three stage 1 block’s and three stage 1 strikes from memory. They must show the proper chambers and ending position for all of the moves in order to pass.  This skill will help students improve their long-term, short-term, and reactive memory.
  5. BALANCE – Executing five front kicks without putting their foot down in between each rep. They must show full execution and retraction while keeping their knee chambered at belt level or higher in order to pass.  This skill helps students develop lower body muscles, core muscles, and control.
  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.  This skill will help students follow directions, gain self-discipline, increase attention, and improve behavior.
  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.  This skill will help students develop their arm, leg, core, and heart muscles.
  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.  This skill will help students develop skills associated with knowing their left and right hands and feet, and well as doing two or more things at one time.

As you can see we take Martial Arts training to a whole new level! We use basic elements of traditional Martial Arts curriculums to build skills that are appropriate for 5 and 6-year olds. This means that your child will learn and grow at a pace that is not too easy, nor too challenging. The best part is the Basic SKILLZ program will equip your child with skills that they will utilize in every area of their life!

You can learn more about the SKILLZ program and about our school on our kids page:  CLICK HERE