If each day our kids were being taught the foundations of movement, we would see so much more quality in movement as they grow up.

It has been more than 20 friends who asked me, why chose wushu, gymnastics and swimming for my 4 years old Jakeem. Why haven’t I introduce him to running and cycling as well because my friends know me as an avid triathlete (although I don't see myself that way). Instead of answering them one by one, I answered them through my facebook page. That's where Ninit read it and she helped me to share my experience to others by writing it for The Urban Mama website. I am very honored develop the article for The UrbanMama and I hope my writing could be useful to other parents. So, thank you The Urban Mama.

It’s not because wushu, gymnastics & swimming are the best sports for kids. I don’t see it that way. The way I see it, any physical activity a kid does is great. There is no reason scientific reason why we chose wushu, gymnastics and swimming for Jakeem. The most important thing is, he loves it, he certainly enjoys every session of  it. Kids certainly love jumping, water sports and running around laughing. And I personally think it’s the parent’s role to ‘extend’ the fun a little bit further. The concept that I brought into him was not a concept to compete, but for recreation. There is no pressure in the activity he does. The most important is everybody’s happy. When he's happy to do it he would come and come again to do it. Eventually, that would build his habit to stay active and this is important because there is another thing that needs to be invested as well in addition to the concept of recreation and that is discipline and determination. Making it a routine activity of their choice either 2x or 3x a week, to teach discipline and determination into him. Again, not in a competitive mode, but recreation concepts.

But then why not triathlon, just like his parent’s hobby? Swimming, cycling and running can be a recreation too, right? You are absolutely right. Well, Jakeem is obviously a better swimmer today compares to his old man. And he does run too. Running around chasing his friends at school or playing hide and seek with me in the mall sometimes. Cycling? Okay, that’s my homework. We’ll work this out later.

What I don’t want to introduce to him yet at this stage is endurance sports. In sports that I do, there’s only one direction I go: forward. While I want him to do is moving to all direction: Left, right, forward backward, up, down, push, pull, press, lift, jump and roll. Why pointing it to multi-directional activities? Because the foundation of human biomechanics is the ability to move in multi-direction and capable to move loads (lift, push, pull, press, jump and roll). Let our kids build their strong and solid foundation.

I don’t mean wushu, gymnastics and swimming are the only options for strong and solid foundations. No, they are not. That’s just the nearest options available we have from where we live and suitable for his age. Soccer, skateboard, surf, parkour, basketball, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Boran and other type of martial arts are all multi-directional activities.

Encourage them to try everything they want to try. When they have strong and solid foundation they will not get injured easily in the activity they will choose later.

If we, parents, really understood multi-directional activities concept, think how they could encourage our young kids and impact the quality of movement in them also reduce the potential injuries. They could improve overall confidence that is presently low in children who don’t have good movement abilities. Lets encourage them to live their life to the fullest.

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15 Comments

  1. avatar
    Clodi Store October 8, 2014 2:31 pm

    slm kenal pasha. baru nyoba untuk les in si kakak untuk renang

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  2. avatar
    Eka Gobel August 28, 2014 5:15 pm

    tfs pasha, makasih yaa artikelnya bagus banget! setuju deh, anak-anak tuh memang masanya bermain. katanya, kalau ga loncat2 dan jumpalitan itu namanya bukan anak-anak :D tapi seneng ya kalo loncat2 dan jumpalitannya terarah kayak gini.
    seneng deh, liat jakeem senyumnya puas gitu, tampak menikmati wushunya ya!

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  3. avatar
    ninit yunita August 27, 2014 6:14 pm

    minggu lalu akhirnya trial wushu di GBK :D
    sebenernya salah satu member TUM anaknya udah wushu di sana... setelah baca artikel ini, jadi semangat ngajak anak2.

    menyenangkan yaa wushu di GBK karena tempatnya di udara terbuka. baru liat gerakan2 wushu. wiiih... seru liatnya. dulu alde arza sempet taekwondo tapi pada ga mau lanjut mungkin krn indoor.

    yang pasti sebagai ibunya happy, anak2 wushu... ibunya bisa lari :D semua senang hihi.

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  4. avatar
    pashayudadibrata August 27, 2014 6:37 am

    Makasih semuanya buat feedbacknya. Senang kok bisa berbagi dan juga belajar dari the urban mama. Buat Arisona Lestari, di Bintaro Exchange ada "The Gym", khusus buat anak. Bisa pilih kelas dari yoga, gymnastic, wushu, taekwondo dan masih banyak lagi. Kalo saya pribadi belum akan mengajaknya yoga, karena pada dasarnya anak itu masih memiliki kelenturan yang berbeda dengan orang dewasa. Dan juga breathing adalah salah satu kuncian utama di dalam yoga yang tentunya menerapkan yogis breathing pada anak balita itu sepertinya tidak terlalu mudah buat instruktur maupun si anak.
    Buat Thalia, balet dan renang itu udah bagus banget kok. Yang penting anak happy dan tersalurkan aktivitas fisiknya, iya kan? ;)

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  5. avatar
    thalia kamarga August 26, 2014 11:53 pm

    waaa, artikelnya bagus! bener juga, yang penting anak stay active, moving in all different directions and having fun while doing it.

    salam kenal, Pasha!

    aina dulu waktu TK itu wushu selama setahun. setelah lulus (ciehh, lulus!) TK, ditanya mau terusin apa engga, dia nolak... hu hu hu. katanya ga mau lagi, soalnya gurunya galak. hahahah. i guess itu bikin kelasnya jadi less fun ya... oh well.

    gapapa deh. toh dia sekarang tetep les ballet dan renang. dan lari2 kejar2an di sekolahnya kalo lagi jam istirahat... :D

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