Tae Kwon Do

Open Letter to Parents of 4-6 Year-Olds

June 11, 2024
Yat-Yee Chong

The start of an exciting new adventure

Dear parents,

Thank you for trusting me to help your little ones develop their potential.

Nothing infuses me with energy like seeing their sense of wonder. Nothing reminds me more urgently of my responsibilities. Nothing makes me feel more honored.

As we–child, teacher, parents–begin this journey together, I want to share a couple of thoughts with you. 

Children are tiny humans but they are not tiny adults. 

Let me highlight two facets of this truth:

  1. Their lives are all about play. It is how they discover, it is how they interact, it is how they learn. 
  2. Their progress is unpredictable. The process can be messy and chaotic. And delightful.
  3. Sure, they need structure but not a a rigid one and certainly not enforced with punishment. If we do, we run the risk of some un wanted outcomes:
    1. we dampen their natural way to learning
    2. we remove their engagement
    3. we, and they, miss those magical moments of their spontaneous “aha” moments.

It's not all fun and games

Lest you think that Tae Kwon Do classes are going to be a glorified play time, I assure you that I have plans to teach them important life via basic martial arts.

The most important skill

The very first is that they must understand that learning Tae Kwon Do is for their own growth, not only now at the beginning of their training, but as they continue.

As a fictional uncle told a young man suddenly gifted with amazing powers:

"With power comes responsibility."

This is the practical application of this idea for your budding martial artists:

they can do Tae Kwon Do in ONLY 2 situations:

  1. in class with me
  2. at home with a parent in the same room

Can they show their friends at school? In the park? In the neighborhood? No.

Can they practice on their cat? Dog? Alpaca? Gold fish? No.

Can they kick and punch when they feel angry at parents? Friends? Siblings? Emphatic NO.

This one rule encompasses so many of the life skills we teach:

  • self control
  • respect for others
  • kindness
  • appropriate behaviors in different situations
  • sense of responsibility

Physical skills

  1. Explore different kinds of movement.
  2. Learn to control their movement.
  3. Know where they are in space and in relation to others. 
  4. Develop balance and coordination as the whole body working together and not focus on sport-specific skills or just the dominant side.
  5. Learn to know left and right instinctively.

Life skills

  1. Practice self-control: in age-appropriate ways and small doses.
  2. Pay attention and follow instructions.
  3. Be aware of others; share space and attention.
  4. Be respectful.
  5. Acquire confidence by doing new or difficult things.
Learning stances while having fun

How do I plan to achieve these goals?

  1. Change pace often. Include many high energy segments.
  2. Train them to respond quickly to vocal instructions even as they are running at full tilt. This places not just a high demand on their attention but also self-control. 
  3. Use imitation as a teaching tool. At this age, copying movements is natural. They feel first and understand later.
  4. Imitation also requires them to pay attention. I often set up a pattern and break them (the pattern, that is, not the children) so they have to pay attention. even when they think they know what is going to happen.
  5. Teach by contrast: slow/fast, big/small, up/down.
  6. Engage their imagination.
  7. Offer limited choices to give them a sense of agency.
  8. Offer easy tasks to give them the motivation of success as well as tasks that are just a little outside their current capabilities to help them grow. 
  9. Most important of all, to assure them that I believe in and care for them.

Let the adventure begin!

Get Your Free Pass

Discover the transformative power of martial arts at Axon Martial Arts Academy with our exclusive free pass offer.

Get Pass Now

How We Work / FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions: Empowering Your Journey to Martial Arts Excellence

What age groups do you cater to at Axon Martial Arts Academy?

Can I get The first class for free?

How will martial arts training benefit my child's development?