For students ages 8 to12, the Illinois Martial Arts Academy teaches a system of skills that are essential to handling the unique circumstances and situations that children of this age group frequently confront. As an example we focus heavily on “Bully Proofing” techniques that teach them the difference between physical and emotional assaults and how to appropriately react given the situation. This provides them with the skills and the confidence to handle situations that may present personal danger.
Individuals in this age group are still forming their core personality and habits. While they are old enough to start forming their opinions about life and relationships they are still naturally receptive to the presentation of life lessons. Therefore we feel strongly that it is essential to offer training that encourages and supports positive outcomes to circumstances that come their way in life.
Youth students can receive all the benefits of martial arts training in a powerful environment that cultivates positive personality attributes and interpersonal skills. This environment is created through:
- Encouragement of self-discipline, enthusiasm, and focus
- An expectation of mutual cooperation and respect
- Social interaction with friendly people of varying ages and backgrounds
- Goal-oriented training that encourages the pursuit of mastery
- A non-competitive and safe atmosphere
- Praise by peers and teachers for successful results
Studies indicate that lessons supporting personality development are most easily accepted by youths when taught within the context of play. At the Illinois Martial Arts Academy, individuals have the opportunity to experiment with martial arts techniques, body movement and basic tumbling, while learning valuable social skills and habits. The activity has a playful feel that engages the natural learning mind.