I just finished watching "Kung Fu for Kids: A Fun Workout for Kids with Training Tips for Students, Parents, and Teachers" with Nicholas Yang and Ben Warner. It's a good program aimed at kids, and I did find that it gave me some ideas for when I teach younger students as well. I believe there are many positive things training in Martial Arts can provide youth, so I applaud all efforts to help younger people remain focused on positive activities, especially martial arts.
The Training Workout portion of the DVD is a follow along with the DVD workout led by Warner. Warner does not "teach" the movements in this section, he just has the viewer follow along in this training workout section. Nicholas Yang moves around and assists the students as Warner continues leading the group. The Detail Section provides guidance on how to perform the movements included in the workout portion.
The DVD begins with the Training Workout that includes a short introduction by Warner explaining the meaning of Kung Fu, and that he will be teaching Long Fist Kung Fu on this program. There are then some safety measures to follow. Then Warner leads a group of eight kids in a simple warm up that kids can follow along with.
Next comes the run and jump where Warner leads the group with jogging in place and a series of hops and other movements and exercises to get the blood circulating. Kids will probably have fun with this jumping as well as the animal movements. These two warm up sections end around the 14-minute mark of the DVD.
Next, Warner leads the group with stance training. The group quickly goes through nine stances, performing each several times before going to the next. At this point, you are almost 21 minutes into the DVD. Punches come next, and Warner continues to lead the group through a series of five punches from the horse stance. Five blocks are practiced next in the same manner. Five basic kicks are practiced next. The kicks are performed in place from a fighting stance. These end at the 30-minute mark, and the kids are then led in some relaxation and breathing exercises to cool down. The training workout ends at the 32-minute mark.
The next part of the DVD focuses on the Kung Fu Code. Warner explains the 10 word code as the students recite together before each definition. The code: Humility, Respect, Virtue/Righteousness, Trust, Loyalty, Will, Endurance, Perseverance, Patience, and Courage. The kids then share one of their favorite things about Kung Fu. Hopefully, they will put out a second DVD that includes some of the favorite things mentioned, such as kicking combinations and other drills to keep kids active and interested.
The next sections of the DVD focus on illustrating the correct way to perform the stances, punches, blocks, and kicks that were included in the training workout. Warner has two older students with him and the three of them perform the movements as Warner discusses how to perform them correctly. After the instruction, Warner has the two students with him kick pads to illustrate how to train with them. The section ends just after the 65 minute mark.
To conclude the DVD, there is a short explanation of the Sun/Moon Greeting by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, and then Nicholas Yang and Ben Warner share the importance of Kung Fu in their lives and their goals regarding teaching the art and this DVD. There are also some positive words from a few parents and adults regarding the Yang Martial Art Academy training programs.
Again, I firmly believe in the positive benefits kids can learn from studying martial arts, and I think this DVD, "Kung Fu For Kids" is a good program aimed at younger students. The DVD has a good menu system so you can go to the section of the DVD you want to study, or the workout program to follow along with. The DVD insert also contains the menu of what is on the DVD. Obviously, the best thing is to enroll kids in a good program with a live instructor. However, if you have kids and want to help them with their interest and training, this at home workout may be just the thing to get them moving.
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