Coordination is a far more complex topic than most of us give it credit. In martial arts, we always like to start at the base level, meaning the self. So we practice coordination between our hands, then our eyes and hands, then our hands and feet, eyes and feet, ect..
This is a large basis of our Tigers (age 4-6) curriculum.
BUT.. Why? What are the benefits of personal coordination in today’s world?
Coordination is not just an invaluable part of fitness and Martial Arts. Practice in coordination helps to keep our body healthy, but particularly also does wonders for the mind. Teaching your body to practice new ways of moving also opens your mind to different ways of thinking.
Learning to understand coordination through the physical allows you to upscale that understanding of the things around you as well. How well do you work with the people or things around you? Once you have learned to coordinate your hands together, and your feet together, and your eyes, you can take the same concepts of what it took to do that in order to coordinate with those around you.
We all know how hard it is to learn a high level of physical coordination. We have all witnessed first hand how difficult it can be to rub your belly and pat your head at the same time or vice versa. Coordinating with those around us can be even more challenging.
So what is it in the arts?
Coordination is the ability to control multiple parts of yourself in different ways at the same time. Such as being able to hold your guard steady while you kick. Building coordination requires focusing on one aspect of what you are doing at a time, while then doing something else that you are used to doing. For example, focus on getting a round kick correctly, then focus on adding the hand position and guard.
This sort of practice can help you focus in on problem areas and self-correct. Forcing your body to move differently also opens up possibilities in how your mind thinks, as well as helping to build confidence through beginning to understand the potential of what you can do.
That’s only a small part, what about in life? I had to look up what a coxswain was LOL..
Coordination is ALSO the ability to work well with those around you. To take your strengths, admit your weaknesses, and work together with those whose strengths are your weaknesses.
Ever tried to do a project but had “too many helpers”? It can end up wasting more time than just doing it yourself right? If your a parent you know exactly what I mean, we want our kids to help but those little helpers don’t always make the project easier or better!
If you have ever seen a team do something so well it looks like a well oiled machine then you have witnessed coordination in action. Ever been to a great business where the entire staff is working together efficiently?
Kids don’t generally recognize the things they are really good at or where their weaknesses are. They just want to try to help with everything oftentimes. It can take a huge amount of patience not to just give up and do it yourself. This doesn’t help teach them how to coordinate though.
It takes a massive amount of patience, but giving them a part of the job within their skill set and help them figure out how to time it with what you are doing can be powerful in teaching them about coordinating.
While seemingly a totally physical aspect. Coordination can affect many aspects of our lives. Learning to coordinate your own body and mind physically can help kids learn how to break down tough situations and goals and get everything working in the same direction. Coordination is an invaluable skill in leadership to understand how things work together as well as the importance of working together.
Below this video is a great game, and some great power phrases for family reminders or personal motto’s to keep in the mindset of coordination this week!
Set our relatively easy obstacle courses, have balloons ready, goal is to juggle balloon in the air without holding it while walking to course without touching foot to the ground.
COORDINATION POWER PHRASES:
I WILL, WORK WITH OTHERS
I CAN, WORK WITH OTHERS
I WILL, DO MY PART (framed with doing their part as a student to try their best, helping out around the house ect..)
I CAN, DO MORE THAN I THINK
I WILL PRACTICE, GETTING MY BODY, TO NOT FIGHT ITSELF
I WILL PRACTICE, WORKING MY HANDS AND FEET TOGETHER
COORDINATION POWER QUESTIONS
What does coordination mean? WORKING TOGETHER
Do we need to listen to others to coordinate with them? YES SIR
Do we need to practice getting our hands and feet to work together? YES SIR Does that show coordination? YES SIR
Should we ignore others ideas we are working with? Does that show coordination? NO SIR