As a young person grows they will naturally pass through development stages where their ability and capacity to learn will change. In sports science these are identified as key to maximising the effects of training regardless of the activity. We’ve adopted these processes at Foundation when it comes to developing our students to ensure they reach their potential as best martial artists.

When it comes to the science – there are two recognised development models to classify any sport or physical activity:

Early Specialisation (e.g. gymnastics)
Students tend start at a very early age and focus intensely on one key sport or skill alone.

Late Specialisation (football, martial arts etc)
This is is a more rounded approach to learning that eventually leads to either specialising and competing or simply leading an active life. At Foundation our teaching focus is built around this Late Specialisation Model.

The Late Specialisation model is a set of six developmental phases that go from young child to adult. In the context of what we do in the dojo not all of these are relevant so we tend to work mainly from the first four.

Keep in mind that the Late Specialisation Model was built with a push to build elite athletes. This isn’t our primary goal but the science is still incredibly useful when it comes to student development.

Stage One – FUNdamentals
Little Ninjas and Kids Class

FUNdamentals is about building key movement skills in structured, playful environments. The focus here is on providing fun, inclusive and developmentally appropriate physical activity.

We work on developing agility, balance, coordination and speed along with running, jumping, throwing and striking.

These experiences result in students developing a wide range of movement skills along with the confidence and desire to train and learn.

Stage Two – Learning to Train
Juniors Class

As they move into the Juniors class our students will have developed a wide range of movement skills. The Learning to Train phase gives us the opportunity to refine and build skills. It allows us to introduce students to a more technical, principle focussed environment.

Learning to Train will see students build strength, endurance, agility and flexibility in an inclusive, fun environment.

Stage Three – Training to Train
Advanced Juniors & Adults Classes

In this phase our Advanced Juniors & Adults Students focus on overall development of physical capacities and fundamentals.

Our teenage students normally see a tremendous influence on behaviour and attitude from their peers so this is a critical stage to learn and understand the culture, rules, values and consequences of one’s actions. An important aspect of this, particularly through this age group, is ensuring that the dojo is always a place where enthusiasm for learning is celebrated and appreciated.

Stage Four – Training to Compete
Advanced Juniors & Adults Classes

Students enter this phase when they are proficient in the more competition specific Train to Train development components but we also understand that not all students aim to compete.

We never push students into competing but we will always support those that wish to test their skills and development.

So there it is, a brief look at our student development process. If you’re wondering how this aligns with our gradings then head over to our grading info page which outlines the process and hierarchy.