When teaching capoeira or, indeed, any skill to children, there are a few factors that should be taken into account. First, it is important to keep in mind that they are not miniature adults. Kids have a shorter attention span and may not be appear as enthusiastic about learning as adult students. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to or can’t learn and enjoy capoeira – this may just require a modified approach. Today, we will discuss some tips for teaching capoeira to children and getting the best outcomes from your classes!
Children’s skill progress needs to be measured differently – it is more important for them to learn how to socialize and work together in a class setting than it is for them to become experts in the art of capoeira. With these considerations in mind, here are some tips for encouraging the best outcomes when teaching capoeira to children.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that using punishment such as pushups for misbehavior in children is relatively ineffective. Children often don’t mean to offend or don’t know that they have and when faced with intense punishment such as this, they may internalize the physical challenge or pain they face doing the activity and build resentment towards the sport or the instructor rather than building fortitude as intended.
Instead, embrace the chaos of a class of children and use it to your advantage. Kids are naturally playful and full of energy, so use this to keep them engaged in the lesson. Bring a lot of activities to try and observe which ones are most positively received by the most students. Break off into small groups so that students with different interests, skill levels, or goals may train together and build their individual capacity with targeted exercises and activities.
One of the most important things to remember when teaching capoeira to children is that they should be having fun. Measuring skill progress must come second when teaching any skill, sport, or art form to children. This means keeping your expectations for incremental learning relatively low. It is more important that kids learn how to engage with each other and with adults than it is that they master a particular skill by the end of the next class.
Remember that kids are still learning how to control their bodies. They may not be able to execute the same movements as adults, and that’s okay! Just focus on teaching them the basics and let them have fun while they’re doing it.
When teaching capoeira to children, it is important to keep in mind their long-term development as humans as well as students. While it is important for children to learn and progress in the arts, it is also vital for them to learn how to live peacefully day to day and challenge themselves to achieve greater goals as they mature. The art of capoeira is committed to fostering the holistic development of students and there are many ways this can be accomplished. The key is to listen and keep an open mind in order to create the best learning environment for every student that enters the roda.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to teaching capoeira to children like a pro!