Sub-forum: Kids Martial Arts
This might be the wrong place to discuss this but YMAS seems a good place to throw it out there.
As my kids are getting to an age where they are showing interest in different activities I've started to look into Martial Arts options for them. Searching through old threads and articles on Bullshido for advice.
My own choice for them would be Grappling but they are young and just want to jump around and be Ninjas so I got to keep my options open otherwise they could lose interest quickly. They have years before we need to look more serious at training options.
Being that Kids Martial Arts are susceptible to Bullshido issues I thought it would be great if there was a Sub-forum dedicated to them. Parents could lurk, looking through all the old threads and articles, news stories relating to Kids in Martial Arts etc.. and could seek advice without worrying about Bullies trolling them for being clueless.
There are great articles on Bullshido like how to choose the right school. This could be taken further and become a great resource for getting little Ninjas off to a good start.
Probably wont happen as the focus of Bullshido is already spread quite wide, just sharing my thoughts. Meanwhile I may even wait another year as our oldest seems more interested in Gymnastics or Cheerleading.
A lot of the stuff I read on here points to gymnastics being a good starter point for kids anyway,
The benefit they will gain from martial arts at a young age is probably minimal compared to just getting them used to training, moving and coordinating themselves anyway, it's certainly how I envisage it happening with my 2 year old (he currently does an early years learn by movement programme called gymboree and loves it)
Here's my thoughts based on experiences with my kids.
Very young kids tend to be self centred and cranky anyway. My younger one who's three will perk up when it's time for 'games' but will usually sulk and grumble during randori so don't go in with expectations of them enjoying it.
Don't always stay within sight when they're practicing. Some kids will just automatically run to mum / dad for a hug when they're tired/ bored / just a little bit hurt and that'll just waste practice time.
If you have siblings in the same class ask the instructors to split them apart as much as possible during practice. Mine tend to stick like glue and end up playing about or repeating bad techniques and habits
I used to sempai a school which had a kids class- as well as fitness, if you pick a good school they will also teach very good self discipline and respect- especially the more traditional ones which teach the concepts of working for reward (i.e. belt) and understanding the idea that there is always someone better. It also taught them self defence- very basic of course, literally as simple as what to do if someone grabbed their wrist. So I recommend.
What is considered "young" for kids to start in MA? I have a friend who has been asking me about a local school (I can't find squat on the teacher any place) but they're about 6. I also wonder about the school itself, if it really matters or not how good the school is for a couple of six year olds. Part of me says they have a lot of training ahead of them, this is just going to be a start anyway. Another part says if they develop bad habits, they could be hard to break later.
I agree with this. In my old school there was a student in his 30s and his kids randomly came on the mat to ask him for stuff. It was annoying, as I almost hit the kid with a front kick.
Originally Posted by nointro
I've been very impressed with what I've seen of the Gracie jiujitsu "Bullyproof" course:
I have done this with my oldest since he was four, and we have both loved it. It's fun, the techniques work and it's something you do together, not just dropping off your kid and watch from the sidelines. (The boy is turning six come June, so...)
Originally Posted by DdlR
What is REALLY good with this program, though, is the talks we get to have about Bullying and conflict solving. And the really positive, affirming attitude.
Both my kids enjoy the Crazyhorse and Spiderkid games from bullyproof, they are turning 4 and 6 and have been playing for a couple of years.
Some of the Community Clubs around town run both Gymnastics and Judo so that would be the ideal introduction in my opinion.
Cheerleading is my daughters preference but the kids squads are full at the moment. For now we have a swimming centre one street away so swimming is probably going to be what we get the kids into first.
I do and teach Judo, but neither of my kids do any formal judo training. I think it's important for kids to get exposed to a wide range of physical activities, without focusing on anything in particular until they express a preference. Kids need to learn how to use their bodies and develop traits/characteristics needed at whatever age/stage of development they are at.
So my kids do soccer (the incredible British Soccer Camp in summer, then local league/teams in fall), swimming lessons (very important to learn to swim!), ride their bikes in nice weather, have a trampoline (Walmart special, and it gets USED a LOT), hiking, shooting bow and arrow and rifle, fishing, and general running around the farm/woods mayhem with friends and neighboors.
Probably the most important thing besides variety is that the people teaching your kids really are good at it and take into consideration the developmental stage (physical/mental/emotional) of the kids in question.
That and it's all about the fun, anyway!
Falling for Judo since 1980
"You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS
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