“Crouching Tigers is a program unlike any other,” says Founder and President Olivia Roney Spahn, who is also a Carmel resident. “The curriculum is written specifically for young children and inspires them to be resilient and build confidence.”
Unlike many other martial arts programs, Crouching Tigers is non-contact—the children do not hit each other, and they’re taught not to hit their friends and family. This is reinforced through Buddy Barry and Mr. Angerson, punch mitts with happy and angry faces that represent friends and family and the “bad guys.” The kids wave hello to Buddy Barry and use their new moves on Mr. Angerson.
The program’s focus, instead, is resilience training, which teaches children to deflect negative words and believe in themselves. Kids are introduced to Recycling Ben, an imaginary trash can who teaches them to throw away negative thoughts and words and recycle them into positive ones. They are taught life skills, such as respect, honesty, integrity and confidence, while learning how these can be used in their daily lives. Once every 16-20 weeks, a board breaking ceremony is held, which allows kids to recite and perform what they have learned in front of their parents and celebrate their success.
Spahn, a black belt in two different style of martial arts, started Crouching Tigers in 2007 while attending Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She had always dreamt of developing a unique, affordable martial arts program that is easily accessible to young children. Her curriculum is taught in semester long segments, with a new style of martial arts taught each segment. Classes meet once a week for 30-45 minutes at preschools, afterschool programs and daycares, and are broken up into five sessions: Fitness and stretches, life skills, martial arts, awareness and self-defense and games involving the current lesson.
Crouching Tigers classes are available in Hamilton County at the following locations:
• Goddard School Carmel 2
• Goddard School on Medical Drive
• Goddard School Fishers
• Goddard School Fishers 2
• Goddardd School Noblesville
• Kindercare on Hazel Dell
• Noblesville Kindercare
• Pebble Brook Preschool
• Primrose School in Carmel
• Primrose School at West Clay
• Primrose School in West Carmel
• Primrose School in Noblesville
• Rainbow Childcare in Fishers
• Community Montessori
• Centennial Kindercare
• Abacus Preschool in Carmel
• Abacus Preschool in Westfield
• Funshine Learning Center
• Little Explorers in Fishers
Open to the public classes are available throughout Indianapolis. See here for more details.