Ever since our last lesson, 20-month-old Anders has been a kicking machine. Kicking pad, the air, and yes, even boards. In this lesson, I had Anders work on targeting the kicks instead of just kicking the air or a giant kick shield.
Even though Anders is a strong toddler, he does not have the power to break a board, even the thin ones. So, I of course needed to give him a little assist by applying a bending moment with my hands (the former engineer in me just came out, sorry for the nerd talk).
I would only apply the assist when he hit the center of the board though. When he hit the center, our combined forces would break the board. Hopefully this will help him learn to focus and target his kicks.
For his efforts, he earned his yellow stripe, the 5th one! As always, after earning the stripe, he was completely enamored with it. So much so that I almost did not get the bowing from him that he has been getting so good at.
Now, you may be thinking I am giving these stripes to Anders randomly. Not so. I actually have a plan. I am following the requirements I have for my Tiny Tiger students, ages 4-8. I just have to modify it slightly.
Red Stripe (ages 4-8) –> Right/Left punches on a pad
Red Stripe (Anders) –> Right/Left touch on a pad
Blue Stripe (ages 4-8) –> 5 Jumping Jacks
Blue Stripe (Anders) –> Raising hands overhead when commanded to
Brown Stripe (ages 4-8) –> Out/In kick, In/Out kick, and Front kick on pads
Brown Stripe (Anders) –> Kicking a pad
Yellow Stripe (ages 4-8) –> Balance on one foot for 3 seconds
Yellow Stripe (Anders) –> Break board with foot
We have one more stripe to go which is the orange stripe for executing four basic blocks on blockers. I have yet to determine what Anders’ equivalent will be, but it is the next step in our journey together. Once he gets that 6th stripe, he will need to get all 6 stripes again on the other side of his belt. At that point, he will be ready to move on to the next rank and learn new techniques.
The Tiny Tigers (ages 4-8) typically take 3-4 months to reach the first rank. Anders has been doing this about 6-7 months and is less than halfway there. So, hopefully you can see that I have a long-term plan here and I am not moving him along, giving him stripes and eventually belts without any meaning behind them.
He will not be a 3-year-old black belt. Unfortunately for him, I will probably be tougher on him than other kids. When he eventually is ready to test for black belt, trust me when I say, he will have earned it.
For more background on my purpose and philosophy in training Anders, check this post out.
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