Dangerous Children: Learning to Move

Movement is a vital part of infancy and childhood, for boys and for girls. Children often show an aptitude for rhythmic movement long before learning to crawl, or walk. This capacity should be adapted into purposeful dance and other movement skills as early as possible. With practise, a child can master skilled movements in an astonishingly short time.

Toddlers Dance http://www.columbiamissourian.com/m/17876/dancing-arm-in-arm/

Hold me closer tiny dancerThe earliest form of dance instruction should take place in the home, in a safe, comfortable, and playful environment.

Alternate fast and slow songs, and change the way you dance to each dramatically. For instance, get on your knees, assume a dancing pose with your toddler, and rock back and forth with your toddler to a slow dance. Then, when the fast song comes on, get up and shake that slow song out.

Clap with your toddler to each beat in several songs that exhibit different time signatures. Children’s songs are often written with four beats per measure, but grownups know that this is just one type of time signature that can be danced to.

Teach basic dance movements, one at a time, after your toddler has developed confidence with keeping time. Enrolling in a dance class together or buying an instructional video will keep your child from feeling overwhelmed in a crowd. — Teach Toddlers to Dance

As the child’s coordination and skills develop, parents may consider offering the child the opportunity to attend a children’s dance studio:

It may seem like a wise idea to put your least experienced teacher with the “baby” classes because of the technical level of the class, but in fact the opposite is true. Toddler ballet and creative movement are the most challenging classes to instruct at my studio. Due to their importance and complex nature, I teach all of them myself—even though I’m a busy studio owner. An experienced teacher’s class should introduce technique using creative pedagogy and also teach students how to participate in a classroom environment. A confident teacher will follow these guidelines with exuberance, creating a fun class that will keep students coming back for years! __ https://childrensdanceeducator.wordpress.com/

Teach them to Juggle!
Juggling is not just for mimes and circus clowns. It is a useful skill for training coordination and sure-handedness in a tight spot. And the skill can be taught to very young children, with the right approach.

There is some question as to whether juggling should be taught to beginners with slow moving scarves, or with balls. After many years of teaching juggling, and reviewing the small amount of research addressing this question, my opinion is as follows.

Children in fourth grade and up are usually capable of learning to juggle with balls or beanbags, so they should use them. My experience has been that when they learn with scarves first, balls seem more difficult. However, this is not to say that scarves should not be allowed. Although I much prefer them to learn with balls, if I feel a student is becoming overly frustrated I will give them scarves. __ TeachCircus

Light foam balls, wiffle balls, and tightly wadded sheets of paper or aluminium foil can also serve as “slow” balls for beginning jugglers.

Dancing and juggling can lead to more complex movement skills, such as martial arts. Kids who learn unarmed martial arts skills and self-discipline are better able to learn to use sports implements such as golf clubs, tennis raquets, fencing foils, and baseball bats as natural extensions of their own bodies.

Teach them to manipulate Sticks

Children love to swing sticks and other objects around in the darndest ways. The earlier they are taught to handle sticks skillfully with good control, the earlier you will be able to relax if you are hiking with your small child and he begins swinging and twirling a stick he has found.

Example: Devil Sticks

Devil Sticks are a manipulative skill, derived from a form of staff manipulation practiced in China. One large stick is manipulated with two smaller sticks that are held in the hands. Devil Sticks have become popular with kids recently, and many students may already own a set.
__ Teach Circus

What many young boys really want to do with sticks is to fight with them, like swords or staves. They should be taught to do so safely and responsibly.

You will likely want to start your very young children with foam sticks or “boffers.” Hollow foam “sticks” may work for starters, very inexpensively.

Hollow Foam Tubes
If a child learns to manipulate “sticks” quickly, consider a latex or foam sword before moving to something harder.Once latex or foam wrapped “sticks” are mastered, the child can move on to rattan, to be used with protective gear.

you will need a good pair of rattan sticks (also called kali sticks) to spar with your training partner. This weapon is approximately 26 inches in length and is relatively slender. It is hard, yet lightweight, durable and inexpensive.

Most importantly, the rattan stick is also safer than wood because it does not splinter on impact. It simply frays and shreds apart. This is especially important when performing full contact stick combat techniques with your training partner. Kali sticks allow the fighters to engage in full contact training, however protective gear (i.e., fencing masks, hand protection, arm and elbow pads, throat and chest protectors, groin cup, etc) must be worn at all times…

During a stick fight, you only have four possible defensive options. Make certain you can execute all four of these responses with ease and efficiency when fighting with rattan sticks.

Evasion – you can move out of the angle of the stick attack.
Deflection – you can deflect the stick attack.
Block – you can block the oncoming stick attack.
Striking – you can strike the opponent’s weapon hand with your own stick.
__ http://www.sammyfranco.com/stick_fighting.html

Stick fighting may be the only weapon many children will need to learn, other than the safe use of firearms. But others will want to move on to actual sword fighting. For them, early training with boffers and rattan will prove useful later on.

Here are some benefits of fencing training for kids:

Fencers learn good sportsmanship, self-discipline, gain quick reflexes and how to compete independently. They gain a sense of accomplishment when winning and learn to profit from their defeats. They learn to make complex decisions, analyze problems, and think fast on their feet. These ideals help children reach their potential in many areas other than fencing. __ http://www.swordsmen101.com/WhyFencing_forparents.html

There are many forms of sword fighting

Dangerous children learn self-defense and strategic/tactical thinking as a basic part of their training. But any child should learn to move gracefully and handle himself physically up to a certain point — and should particularly learn to size up situations on a moment-to-moment basis.

His survival may well depend upon it. So may yours.

Republished from Al Fin Next Level