Today’s children have a very different childhood to those enjoyed over 20 years ago – in fact, many state that too much time is spent in front of the television or surfing the Internet. They lack the physical exercise which is required for the full development and growth required for a healthy childhood! Our children are now subjected to images of a sexual nature and violence that is far beyond their years – whether it be on television or in video games. It is little wonder that many grow up with behavioural problems, boredom and an inactive lifestyle, which is leading to an increased phenomenon of childhood obesity.
As parents, our task of keeping our children safe and enhancing their wellbeing is increasingly becoming more difficult. There are far more challenges now than there ever has been, and judging by the negative turn society seems to be taking, this phenomenon will only get worse. How then can we help our children grow up and become well-adjusted and positive members of society?
Since its inception in 1976 by Grandmaster Prof. Dr. Keith R. Kernspecht, the teaching programs of the EWTO have been mostly adult-focused. Throughout its history, various EWTO instructors have enriched children’s lives by teaching them the art of WingTsun, which was eventually brought together in a special task force in the autumn of 2005.
They realized that it is no longer enough to teach children the physical skills of martial arts – in fact, this is no longer relevant in our modern society. As violence has evolved, we have had to evolve our approach to preventing and managing it. Essentially, we do not need to teach children how to fight; we need to teach them to identify potential violent and dangerous situations, how to avoid or de-escalate them, and only as a last resort, use physical power to protect themselves.
These principles were brought together by the greatest Martial Artist of our time, Grandmaster Keith Kernspecht, early childhood educators, children sociologists, ergo therapists, pediatricians and police officers –what resulted was an impressive teaching concept for students aged 5 to 14 which was spread across the entire EWTO.
The programme’s goal is to promote activity, safety and confidence in children. A combination of violence prevention and de-escalation skills make up the Kids WingTsun programme, along with an effective self defense technique based on the ancient Chinese Martial Art, WingTsun. Furthermore, children’s self assertion and character development is worked upon in great depth.