Skills-Based Training vs. Technique-Based Training
Most styles of martial arts are rooted in tradition and have been taught the same way for years. And while tradition is vital to keeping the art preserved, the way it is taught in today’s modern world isn’t as effective. As times change and as the science of education becomes more evolved, we must adjust to meet the needs of the people we’ve set out to educate. This is especially true when teaching children.
Traditional martial arts is taught as a set of techniques that progressively get harder as each new level is attained. The problem is, these techniques are the same for a 3-year-old as they are for a 13-year-old … yet the natural abilities within these two ages are completely different. Because of this, most children often become frustrated and quit because they can’t meet the expectations of the curriculum. In addition, their instructors become frustrated because they don’t understand why their students aren’t performing the techniques correctly or appear sloppy in their execution.
This technique-based approach of teaching martial arts isn’t easy when you have a child that has low muscle tone, poor core strength, and has only had a few years of language development. It makes it very difficult for children at different ages to grasp techniques, and so the “confidence” that is trying to be developed is inconsistent at best. A better approach is what the SKILLZ program refers to as skills-based training.
With a skills-based approach to martial arts training, students are placed in classes that were created for their specific stage of development. For example, an instructor is teaching a middle punch and the 6-year-old student can’t perform it the way the instructor would like. The child can’t hold the punch up for any length of time, and the instructor doesn’t understand why this is. In a SKILLZ program, the instructor has been trained on the stages of development for this age group, and understands that a child at this age is still developing the muscle tone needed to be able to hold the punch out for an extended period of time. Therefore, specific skills-based drills are used to encourage this development in order to build a strong foundation for continued training.
Since each age group is given a different set of skills to work on, designed especially for their stages of development, our students overall growth is more effective in class. And this doesn’t just include physical advancements but also intellectual, social, and emotional progress. But the biggest benefit of this type of training is that these skills can help children in school, at home, and in other sports as well.
When we understand each child’s stage of development, we can then begin to teach them and reach them where they are. Utilizing a skills-based approach to training children in martial arts is key. And by doing this, we are setting them up for success in all areas of their life.
To learn more about our child development program that utilizes dynamic martial arts and cutting-edge brain training as the vehicle for maximum growth or to get your child started click the button below.