Recently, in cooperation with Active Cambridge and Next Level Performance Training, we were tasked with creating some how-to videos to help bring a better quality of new athletes to the thresholds of our locals sports.


A bit of background, I’ve been coaching professionally for nearly twenty-five years and, indeed, I have seen a change in the type of kids that start karate. In general, there is a significant difference in base athleticism, focus, and fortitude.

If pressed, I would this attribute this shift to three key areas:

Children are not as engaged in FREE PLAY as they used to be. Those games of tag at the park, bike rides around the neighbourhood, and random tree climbing all contributed to a fundamental sense of moving effectively in our environment that is all but forgotten today. Drive by a local park and you’ll see what I mean.


An attempt by many institutions and adults to remove all of the hard edges of childhood has softened resolve. These leaders fail to acknowledge that falling off bikes, losing a game, or failing while trying to achieve a lofty goal are all part of learning, becoming stronger, and developing confidence. We should be teaching our kids how to try, fail, learn, and try again…not quit and run to the next, easier, task.

The instant gratification that comes from too much screen and game time. It’s not real life and created by experts who know how to hook kids on their products while robbing them of real world skills.

All of this means that the average new student that comes through the door of our martial arts club, or other local sport, has a bigger challenge than when I started as a youth. It also means that we as coaches, leaders, teachers, and parents have a responsibility to fight back against this degradation of our kids athleticism.

So, Eric Hagemann of Next Level Performance Training and I came up with these five movements that, if every kid could accomplish, would create a better chances of succeeding in sport. Sure, there are more than five but it’s a great start and WILL HELP your child achieve more. (you’ll also recognize some of our amazing karate kids in starring roles 🙂

So, take a look at the videos, set some time aside, let’s get our kids moving, and help create a brighter future.


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