First the stuff you want to be reassured about:
- All instructors who teach children’s classes have a DBS (CRB) check done before they open that class.
- All instructors have insurance with WAKO GB, and have agreed to abide by WAKO GB’s Child Protection Policies.
- All instructors have valid First Aid certification appropriate to a sports environment.
- Children do not do any sparring. They do not have the physical or mental control to be allowed to hit each other. Pad work is included in the training to develop accuracy and a feeling for how hard they are striking.
- Bullying does not happen in class, and instructors will not tolerate rudeness, hitting, or taunting. Instructors deal with individual children’s frustrations and they are not allowed to take them out on others who are also there to train themselves.
- There are no favourites – no one is better than anyone else. Once children put on their uniform they are all students and equal regardless of progress or perceived ability.
Now the more interesting information:
- Parents are welcome to be involved in their children’s training, and may watch the classes and gradings their children do. At gradings we allow parents to photograph their own children, but no video is to be uploaded or shared via the Internet.
- We encourage children to practise outside class, but please leave them to get on with it. Their instructors will remind them about this, and when they are ready they will remember to do it. It only needs to be a few minutes a day, or just a couple of moves. It doesn’t matter – what’s great is when they learn to take charge of something they are doing for themselves. For children movement should always be fun not a chore.
- In China you can see many children who have amazing skill in Kung Fu and wushu, particularly in the more acrobatic styles. These children are often in special schools where they have been selected to train for demonstrations and competitions. We have visited some of these schools and filmed and and talked to the children and coaches. If you want to show these sorts of videos to your children then go ahead and show them what training can do, but just remember that is not what we are teaching them.
- Many children train once a week, as they do for most activities. This is fine, but they will make more rapid progress training twice a week. We encourage our adult students to do at least two classes a week.
- There has been an increasing trend for parents to train in class with their children, and if you would like to do this, then just ask the instructors. Older children can go into the adult classes with their parents. Just be prepared to be the one who doesn’t know best for a change.