Five and six-year olds are the most enthusiastic students. They love creativity and problem solving, which makes them ideal students in the Martial Arts. The problem we discovered is they are so progressive in following tasks, some teachers tend to treat them like their older peers. This is a problem because they still do not have the basic skills necessary to keep up with children ages 7 and up.

The solution we found is to provide them with their own program that targets their stage of development in a manner that adapts to their physical, emotional, social and intellectual curiosity while at the same time building skills that set them up for success.


They have a basic foundation for leg, arm, core, and abdominal development, but they still lack a lot of strength.



  • Struggle with multiple kicks beyond five reps.
  • Stumble when trying to control their body in motion, such as switching feet and kicking.
  • Have trouble with strength in exercises beyond ten reps.



  • Demonstrate BALANCE by performing high repetitions of kicks without putting their foot down.
  • Show good CONTROL with their body while keeping it in motion.
  • Demonstrate good FITNESS by applying technique in exercises beyond ten reps.




They typically have a hard time retaining beyond three commands.



  • Have a hard time remembering a large amount of information at one time.
  • Have a hard time processing order beyond three commands.
  • Have a hard time performing multiple physical left and right applications at one time.



  • Demonstrate good FOCUS by processing a large amount of information at one time.
  • Demonstrating good MEMORY by retaining three or more commands at once, and beyond while staying in order.
  • Demonstrating COORDINATION by performing various left and right commands with a variety of different strikes and kicks combinations.




They are in tune with their emotions, but will act silly when they are nervous or excited. They build most of their confidence through making adults proud.



  • Act silly, even though they know better, especially when working with their peers.
  • Act silly or scared when they have to act out something.



  • Maintain DISCIPLINE when working with others.
  • Demonstrate confidence when performing activities that require “acting.”



They enjoy the spotlight, but tend to lack proper sportsmanship.



  • Will get upset when they do not win, get over-excited when they do win, and cheat if they can get away with it.
  • Try to get as much of your attention as possible, such as interrupting you when you are speaking.
  • Boys prefer to work with boys, and girls prefer to work with girls.



  • Demonstrating good TEAMWORK in competitive situations.
  • Show self-control as a means to make you proud, such as raising their hand versus interrupting others.
  • Be more open to work with others of the opposite sex.



Brian Mayes Karate Lil' Dragons
Stages of Development 5 & 6 Year Olds

, we were able to select 8 age-appropriate skills that make up the BMK Lil’ Dragon Program:

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