The Tae Kwon-Do Kids Development Program (TKD Program) is the official children’s program for the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation (ITF). It is designed for children aged 3 to 7 years old. It teaches basic Tae Kwon-Do Skills and Coordination Skills at a level suitable for children. A unique and valuable aspect of the program is that is also incorporates Life Skills, Danger Awareness and Character Education. . Good examples of this are independence, organisation, teamwork, leadership, following instructions and responsibility. Danger awareness about hazards and how to stay safe with water, fire etc forms a key theme.
The TKD Program uses a wide range of activities including games, physical exercises, tasks, role playing, story telling, discussions, problem solving exercises, quizzes and puzzles. It uses a strategic reward system that gives positive encouragement to all students, at all levels, by rewarding them for their development not only the goal achievement itself.
Younger children find this very helpful as it helps them to understand and build discipline while developing important listening and participation abilities.
ITF Kids provides the opportunity to use all the knowledge and fitness gains once students are old enough to begin the traditional, adult manner of practising Tae Kwon Do. The students are presented with a yellow belt in recognition for their hard work, and this gets them off to a flying start on a new journey as a true Martial Artist.
The TKD Program provides the students with a fun Study Book full of cartoon illustrations, learning aims and easy activities to complement the teachings in class. The aim is to encourage parents or carers of the children to be involved with the program
The TKD Program uses 6 grade levels to reach the Yellow Belt (8th Kup). There are many fundamental skills necessary to fulfil the requirements of performing various Taekwon-Do techniques. A child may take time to develop the balance, coordination, special awareness and muscle strength to perform these techniques to a reasonable standard. Developing these skills in 6 smaller stages is more suitable for the young children.
The programme uses a reward system that focuses on recognising the process of Taekwon-Do development, which involves developing learning skills, character development and mind skills. The emphasis is placed more on the journey or pursuit of the goal, rather than just the goal itself. Rewards are stickers, markers and badges based on using the Study Book.