Understanding Your Child’s Martial Arts Classes

TIGER CUBS:  Approximate Ages 4 – 7 years


Kung Fu classes at this early stage provide your child with the opportunity to increase the structure of their martial arts career.  Here your child will learn the overall structure of classes in a fun environment.   They will also cover all of the basic techniques necessary to be ahead of students that start at later ages in the Youth Basic curriculum.  Repetition for techniques is cornerstone of training so the curriculum knowledge base is only 9 months long.  This ensures repetition of the same foundation techniques and forms that will open their path in Kung Fu.  Remember to remind your child that knowing what a technique is doesn’t mean they have mastered it!  Mastery in Kung Fu is no different than any other activity.  Every technique in this art must be repeated ten thousand times before we really can begin to understand them.  Start them on this path toward a positive look at adversity and you will see them flourish.


As instructors we are looking to instill the characteristics of a true martial artist.  It is a great opportunity to create habits of focus, healthy exercise, positive mental attitude, and perseverance through adversity early in a child’s martial arts career.  The added benefit is that students learn these most when in a structured environment.  As an instructor this is the toughest class but it is often the most fun.  You will be amazed at the overall physical, emotional, and martial progress children at this age can make.


YOUTH BASIC KUNG FU CLASS:  Ages 7years & up


Basic class should be started by students at least 7 years of age.   This ensures that the child has already had some exposure to learning their left from their right.  Also, if they have no previous martial arts training they are more focused at this age.  If a youth is close to the age of seven the instructor give them a thorough examination during their first lessons to determine the best class.  Once placed a child on the boarder of being ready for the Basic Kung Fu Class will be moved at the discretion of the instructor rather than the completion of the program.   This class includes basic and advanced students and the curriculum for the lower belt students covers a 9 month rotating curriculum.  The reason for this is to ensure that the basic techniques are seen by every student regardless of belt lever over and over again.  This builds the necessary strength in the student and foundation of those techniques necessary to perfect advanced techniques at an early age.  It also supports the student as they reach their black belt.  They will have the foundation techniques solidified in their memory so their path to Black Belt will be about performance rather than memorization.


Youth Martial Arts

Youth Martial Arts

As instructors we use the techniques in this class to teach different things at different belt levels.  For the lower belts it is necessary to teach them the fundamentals of the technique so that they understand the basic mechanics.  As the Basic Student becomes the Advanced Student our focus sharpens to the small details of what they are doing with each movement.  Repeating these techniques is necessary for all students regardless of age or belt level.  This allows training and the fortitude to not give up or be complacent with the quality of their martial arts to serve as a lesson about our health and quality of our physical fitness.  Once you reach a goal you must still set new goals to continue to improve.  At Seattle White Tiger Kung Fu we teach students that skills unused decline so a student must always seek to perfect good Kung Fu (hard work; skill obtained over time) and that the path never truly ends.


Techniques in this class are broken up during the week with the first half of the techniques being shown on MONDAY & TUESDAY leaving the remaining weekly knowledge held for WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY.  It is important that parents are participating in the consistency necessary for students to thrive.  There are times in which the student may say they don’t want to train but once they arrive they are excited, interacting, and enjoying themselves.  As adults we know the importance of exercise and physical training to increase motor skills.  Strive to put the goal of a healthy lifestyle as a priority in your child’s young life.




Purple Belt Rank and above are expected to stay after the Basic Skills for this more advanced class.  While they still receive the repetition in the basic techniques during the first 45 minutes of class they double their training time at the purple belt level.  Here they will be learning the more advanced techniques as well as the forms that make up the self-defense concepts of the MOH temple system.  Youth students will receive sufficient knowledge so that when they reach a Youth Black Belt they will be the equivalent of an adult Purple Belt.  It is here that the student will see their largest improvement as they will begin to be held accountable as an example to lower students.


As in the Youth Basic Class techniques are broken up during the week with the first half of the techniques being shown on MONDAY & TUESDAY leaving the remaining weekly knowledge held for WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY.  It is important that parents are participating in the consistency necessary for students to thrive.  Motivate your child be being a part of their training at this stage and giving positive feedback.  Those words of encouragement go a long way to keeping a child interested and training.



 White Tiger Kung Fu

This is a very special class.  It is reserved for youth students who have shown great focus in their classes and have at a minimum reached Purple Belt.  Exceptions may be made for students who excel but only at the recommendation of other student and/or an instructor’s request/approval.   This class is one that as instructors we wish students would take more advantage of.  It is the opportunity for the youth students to work on their more advanced movements as well as increase their strength.  Youth students who take advantage of this class see better technique control as well as confidence.  This class gives students more opportunities at sparring and gives additional training time at no additional program cost.  If a student is asked to this class they have earned the right to train.


Class times are usually spent on application of techniques so the students know how they work.  This gives them better insight to their learning as well as confidence to use the techniques in sparring.  This is often an overlooked class by parents but it is vital to the long term training of the student.  It gives them the chance to apply what they have learned and build their way to eventually transition to the Adult classes.




Masters Students

Masters Students

Students who qualify for this class have shown the utmost dedication to training and technique.  They are hardworking leaders in the Youth Program.  Their example has earned them the right to be in a special class that gives them the opportunity to work on new techniques as well as begin training for competition.  Students for this class are eligible once they are consistently in White Tiger Club.  If you are asked to be a part of this class you have either been noticed by your instructor or nominated by a student/student’s parent.  Masters Class students are expected to follow the expectations of a black belt both in school and out of school.  Additional weapons forms and techniques become available at this level as well as a higher focus on full contact San Shou sparring.


As instructors we look to push students in this class to prepare them for the adult level classes.  There are less games and more focus on a very strict class structure.  A Chinese style sash is used to replace the belt system as all students in this class train without rank.  The only belt allowed in this class is a Black Belt.  All other ranks are not recognized and all students train in an equal environment.


A final thank you to the parents…

 thank you note

None of these classes have meaning unless they are used to the fullest by the students.  As the parent of a student you are the backbone of the school.  Thank you very much for taking the time to make healthy activities and character building structure a priority in your child’s life.  If you have questions, feel a student should be in a class, or just want to clarify the goals of your child please don’t hesitate to speak to myself your child’s instructor.  We will be more than happy to sit down and discuss any concerns you may have.

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