Dragons (5 to 6 year olds)
While the age range for this class is 5 to 6 years, the main requirement for this class is for each child to be able to focus for the full 30 minute class duration. To help this we do not spend more than 5 minutes on any part of the class. Every child develops differently and in some cases we have had 4 year olds join this class successfully. In other cases we have had to give 5 and 6 year olds some time to develop further before they join the class. So once a child can cope with the 30 minutes, then he or she is then ready to join this class.
The Dragons programme takes about 2 years to complete and ends with the "Dragon Spirit" grade where they are awarded a personlised "Dragon Spirit" belt which is Purple with the student's name embroidered on it in white.
The Dragons training consists of:
- Mastering basic physical exercises that help build coordination, flexibility and strength.
- Learning how to fall safely
- Learning basic martial arts techniques (kicking, blocking, etc.)
- Structured self-defence training
- Strategies for dealing with bullying and other pressures children of this age group face.
Other benefits of this training includes helping students to develop good listening and concentration, leadership skills and learning to work cooperatively with others.
Our own Little Dragons programme is based on the L’il Dragons
international award winning programme developed professionally by martial arts pioneer Ernie Reyes
for this age group. Our version of this programme has been modified by us for the New Zealand environment and also has a Hapkido slant to help our students transition to the Tiger classses when they are ready.
Transition to Tigers
Regardless of their Dragons grade, we find that most students want to move up to the Tiger classes at around age 7. The Tiger syllabus is different from the Dragons syllabus although some techniques are common to both programmes. Through experience we have developed a number of mechanisms that allow students an almost seemless trasition into their new class.