Twice a week our mats are taken over by a bunch of screaming, squealing pre-schoolers.
For 30 minutes we give them a different kind of playgroup.
Known by a variety of names over the years, Little Steps, Tiny Tonks and Mini-MMA, the program is specifically designed for pre-schoolers aged 3-6 years.
Age appropriate activities
Unlike some clubs where the only difference between the pre-schoolers and the juniors is their height, our emphasis isn’t on turning out the next UFC Kids Champions, it’s about giving them the opportunity to learn while running full-tilt around the mats.
Blending intense physical activity with age appropriate learning opportunities, our Tiny Tonks climb through obstacle courses, duck, dodge, jump and catch balls.
They quickly adapt from traversing the lilypads (focus mitts), to swinging from ropes, jumping from boxes to finish with a roll.
Developing socially and physically
Usually when they first arrive they are shy, yet unruly, but soon relax and start developing the social interactions required for kinder, school and life.
Often only in the early stages of communicating their speech and listening skills are encouraged and develop.
Colours, numbers and hand-eye coordination are developed slowly, patiently.
Through the use of a “Sensitive Sensei, Strict Sensei” approach, the children get the nurturing they need, but also the hard-nosed encouragement to test their own boundaries and gain confidence in their own abilities.
Some of our Juniors join the pre-schoolers on the mats providing age appropriate mentors, and the opportunity to learn what it is to be a leader, a Senpai.
One of our assisting juniors has often remarked:
“I want to be a Junior Black Belt, so I can help train the other juniors, and maybe help the seniors too.”
The discipline to progress
Unruly our pre-schoolers may be on arrival, but through patient discipline they learn the boundaries of the dojo, preparing them for the day they graduate from Mini-MMA and are called on to stand patiently in line awaiting the Sensei’s instructions.
If all this gives you the impression that martial arts skills aren’t involved in our Mini-MMA classes you would be wrong.
The foundations of Martial Arts
It is the core foundations that are being taught in this class.
- Appropriate movement, ducking, dodging, jumping, rolling, falling and foot work.
- Discipline and a mind open to learning new skills.
- Fitness, strength and endurance.
- and of course, basic martial arts skills based on punching, kicking, knees and elbows.
Kids just want to have fun!
The premise of Northern Mixed Martial Arts is to enjoy your time at the dojo. Learning is at it’s best, at it’s fastest, when it’s fun. When the dojo is a fun place to be, when the kids push their parents out the door each day to get to NMMA, you know they are having fun, you know they want to learn, you know they are learning.
Do you have, or know of a pre-schooler that needs to burn off some excess energy, that could use some discipline, or needs to develop some self confidence in themselves and their abilities?
Give Matt “Tonks” Tonkin a call on 0414 410 074, share this page on Facebook, email it to a mate, or just come on down for a trial.
Northern Mixed Martial Arts at 18 Millers Street, Epping has a full range of pre-school and primary school aged activities, come down and get the kids out of your hair for a while.