Skills-Based Training vs. Technique Based Training | Gentle East Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& BOOK YOUR FREE SESSION🗓️

Our Physical DOORS and DIGITAL DOORS are OPEN! Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gentle East Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& BOOK YOUR FREE SESSION🗓️

Our Physical DOORS and DIGITAL DOORS are OPEN! Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gentle East Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Erin Elam reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
via Facebook

I can’t explain just how amazing this place is! My daughter was born at just 23 weeks, 1lb. She just turned 3, and is doing well but had a long bumpy road. With said, she has some visual impairments, mild cerebral palsy, and severe anxiety issues. We are four classes in now, and although my daughter cries each time we get to the school, the instructors (every single one) ALWAYS treat her like their own and take their time with her. She comes out of class so happy and oh so proud of herself! They do not treat her differently because of her impairments, they are all patient and kind, and above all understanding. We are BEYOND pleased with GEMA, and the staff to include the wonderful families we have met. Thank you GEMA for creating a better world for my daughter!

Marc Grenier reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
via Facebook

An awesome martial arts school that truly cares.

Hillary Hogan reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
via Facebook

I have had a blast. I look forward to continuing to learn each form.

Sharon Takai reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
via Facebook

We love the instructors and family atmosphere! Thank you!

Kathryn Carson reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
via Facebook

I've tried a bunch of martial arts over the years, but it wasn't until I got to Gentle East that I realized that the art itself doesn't matter so much--it's the attitude of its practitioners. These people aren't learning and teaching how to kill, but how to live. How to live despite trauma and illness, and to keep practicing their art even if it's just in their hearts. The tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, and they mean every word. They teach the kids that other dojangs won't. Autistic, physically challenged, special needs, you name it. They're fully engaged with the messy business of life. A whole lot of families are glad that Master Barbara Robinson followed her vision. Ours is one.

Melody D. Choate reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
via Facebook

Love, love, love this place! The staff is incredibly kind and supportive, and the family atmosphere is palpable the moment you walk in the door! I am so impressed with the work being done with autism spectrum kids, as well as other kids with physical challenges. No one is made to feel like they don't belong here! I even joined the mommy class and my toddlers are allowed to run around us while we work out. I've lost a few pounds, and gained some amazing (non-judgemental) mom-friends! An oasis of kindness and support in the middle of what is often a 'keep up with the Jones's " area of town.

Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

Skills-Based Training vs. Technique Based Training

Most martial arts forms are rooted in tradition and have been taught the same way for years. And while tradition is vital to keeping the art preserved, the traditional way of teaching it isn’t as effective. As times change and as Instructors become more educated, we must adjust to meet the needs and understand the learning styles of the people we serve. This is especially true when teaching children.

In most traditional martial arts schools curriculum is taught as a set of techniques that get progressively harder as each new level is attained. These techniques are the same for a 3-year-old as they are for a 13-year-old, yet the abilities of these two ages are completely different. Because of this, most children often become frustrated and quit because they can’t meet the expectations of the curriculum. In addition, the instructors become frustrated because they don’t understand why the children are performing the techniques incorrectly or in a sloppy manner.

Further, this technique-based approach of martial arts instruction isn’t easy when you have a child that has low muscle tone, poor core strength, and has only had a few years of language development. It makes it very difficult for children at different ages to grasp the techniques and so the “confidence” that is trying to be built is unsuccessful. A better approach is what the Gentle East Martial Arts Instructors utilize which is skills-based training.

With a skills-based approach to martial arts training, the students are in classes that were created for their specific stage of development. For example, in a traditional program when an instructor is teaching a middle punch and the 3-year-old student can’t perform it the way the instructor would like both parties get frustrated. The child can’t hold the punch up for any length of time because they haven’t developed the strength and the instructor doesn’t understand why this is because they are not aware of the physical abilities of 3 year-olds. In our children’s program, the instructors have been trained on the stages of development and understand that a child at this age doesn’t have the muscle tone yet to be able to hold the punch out. Therefore, specific skills-based drills are used to develop this.

Since each age group is given a different set of skills to work on, designed especially for their stage of development, the child’s overall growth is more effective in class. And this doesn’t just include physical advancements but also intellectual, social, and emotional progress. But the biggest benefit of this type of training is that these skills can help children in school, at home, and in other sports as well.

When we understand each child’s stage of development, we can then begin to teach them and reach them where they are. Utilizing a skills-based approach to training children in martial arts is key. And by doing this, we are setting them up for success in all areas of their life.