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    Everybody was Kung Fu Learning


    30 Mar, 2018

    10 : 00

    • At Yew Chung International School of Beijing, physical education is an essential component of the Primary and Secondary curriculums, as intertwining physical and academic enrichment benefits students in myriad ways. Yet in addition to traditional sports such as football, basketball, volleyball and swimming, Primary students have spent recent weeks involved in an activity that is deeply rooted in Chinese culture: kung fu.

      Joined by teachers from Xie’s Martial Arts studio, students have been learning about the physical, mental, and social aspects of kung fu – elements which also align directly with YCIS Beijing’s own stated Mission, Principles and Practices.

      To explain more, including the types of activities that students engaged in and how they align with YCIS Beijing’s educational ethos, we speak with Primary Physical Education Teacher Amy Sims.

      Pandas, Cranes and Tigers

      For each lesson, the first thing the students did was to play a tag game to warm up and get their heart rates going. Then, after a stretching routine, they started working on different movement sequences, including kicks and punches and grabs.

      According to the students’ ability levels, they practiced different techniques – represented by animals such as the Panda, Crane, and Tiger. Through fun exercises, students developed improved coordination, speed, strength and balance.

      Meanwhile, all students had to be good listeners. They had to sit still and listen to the masters’ instructions and then needed to stand and get into position on command. There were also opportunities for leadership development, as in mixed classes of Year 5 and Year 1, the older students were tasked with teaching the younger ones some of the skills. They had to get up in front of the entire group of students and demonstrate techniques that they’d only learned recently as well – which took a lot of courage.

      Masters of Life

      YCIS Beijing’s mission statement is “To raise globally competent and compassionate leaders with a servant’s heart, who aspire to, and act for, a better world.”

      Being competent and compassionate leaders in today’s world requires more than academic knowledge or physical prowess, however, it also requires tremendous discipline and perseverance, as well as communication skills and creativity – all of which can be learned through kung fu.

      Xie’s Martial Arts studio’s own mission is similar to YCIS Beijing’s – “We help our students to build the foundation for a successful and happy life. We’re not just masters of kung fu, we’re also helping out students to be become masters of life.”

      And this notion of “becoming masters of life” is something that we’re introducing to our students now at a young age.  Through their kung fu lessons, students learned a series of character traits that will prepare them to conquer future challenges in their lives:

      • Hard-work: “I will give 100% effort no matter what I attempt.”
      • Self-control: “I am the master of my behaviors and emotions.”
      • Courage: “I am brave and I face my fear.”
      • Responsibility: “I am in charge of myself.”
      • Perseverance: “I will never give up.”
      • Respect: “I will listen to and be considerate of others.”

      By the conclusion of the kung fu unit, students had acquired both better skills and techniques in martial arts and also a better understanding of themselves. On their march towards becoming globally competent and compassionate leaders, their lessons in kung fu will prove to be a valuable resource.

      To learn more about the athletics programme at YCIS Beijing and how it helps students to grow physically, socially and emotionally in all facets of life, please click here and contact us today at