For years now, we have been trying to figure out a way for kids to get more into the weapon fighting program that Hwa Rang Do offers. Our art is complete with kick/punch/throw movements, grappling, and weaponry. However, there is a lot of skill needed before one can get the traditional heavy duty armor, and the fighting with bamboo & rattan weapons also requires precision and control in order to fight properly and not hurt each other. While, we have had some kids in this class, there is just a lot to happen before they can get armor, and to be honest – the fun only begins once you get the armor and can match!
So, we have found some equipment that can be used for kids – and we can still teach the traditional style of movement, precision, control, and spirit of weapon fighting, but also have some fun by getting a chance to match right away (instead of spending 6 months to a year preparing to match like the traditional armor & weapons requires).
As you can see in the pictures, we use the helmet and chest gear of our regular sparring gear, with the addition of a face shield to protect the eyes & face, and then use high quality foam swords for the weaponry (at a later date we will also add the stick foam weaponry, but it is important to start with swords to learn movement & control). The target areas are the same as the adult weapon fighting – top of the head, wrist, sides of the body, and legs.
The skills and moves are all very exciting and dynamic, and we practice the material on the sparring days of the schedule after the kick/punch matches for BOTH Little Tigers and Juniors.