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  1. #1

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    Dad looking for advice

    Hey y'all, I was directed to this site by an out-of-town friend who is into martial arts/mma.

    My daughter just turned seven and after doing dance last year she said she wants to try "karate". Well, after taking the summer off of all classes, she still wants to, so we're trying out local places.

    Our goal is not to raise the next MMA champion. Our goal is to find an activity that our daughter can be active in, enjoy, and build self-confidence and discipline. If she wants to spar when she's older, great. but now we're about her having fun.

    The folks at the karate place seemed okay. I wasn't thrilled when he said something about throwing in some brazilian jui jitsu to the training (I guess the dood figured since I was a male under 40, I was an MMA fan).

    next week is our appointment at the taekwondo class.

    Tonight we took her to the local class of this school:

    http://www.shaolin-world.net/

    we got to meet the shifu tonight. very interesting guy, and did great one-on-one with our daughter. I really liked it, and I think it has some advantages to more mainstream martial arts. the movements seem a lot more fluid than karate/tkd, which seem to be quite choppy (no pun intended). It also seems to focus more on agility, flexibility and balance.

    some of the weapons the older students brought in did freak my wife out. :lol:

    at any rate, I was interested in some other folks' takes on introducing my daughter to this discipline.

  2. #2
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    Welcome to Bullshido.

    I will preface this by saying:
    the vast majority of TKD schools receive little respect here
    many karate schools do not as well, save a couple of styles
    same as some kung fu places

    First, if any posters have experience with this school, I will defer to them, otherwise a few caveats:

    You have clearly defined what your goals are:
    ~her to have fun
    ~build discipline
    ~build self-confidence

    Bear in mind, these are factors that many lesser then reputable gyms use as buzzwords or touchstones to lure in parents looking for a quick fix or magic cure.

    You don't seem to be that way and I am sure you also know that a man in pajamas cannot instill into your child in 2 hours a week that which you cannot in the other 166.

    Next, the karate place may not have been properly qualified to teach BJJ. If you posted the information on the school, perhaps a poster on here familiar with the school could verify his qualifications. BJJ is a popular training style now and many gyms are looking to "Cash In" on the popularity.

    Thirdly, what is taught in the kid's class at the kung fu kwoon? I wasn't able to find much on the site regarding the kid's classes.

    I know you aren't wanting "sparring" now, however a bit of well-padded "rasslin' around" by kids is great fun. They are like little animals, forever trying to establish their young dominace over one another and usually it is us parents who get more worried and worked up then they do.

    Are there other schools you are planning on visiting in your area and if so, what are they?

  3. #3

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    as far as my child, I do just fine raising her and her soon-to-be 4 y/o brother, and I'm not looking for some elderly baldheaded asian man to raise her for me. She does very well in school (scored in the 97th percentile nationally in some standardized testing last year) and is very well behaved. Our only concern about her confidence because she is can sometimes be shy and unsure of herself, but I think some of that just comes with being a girl nowadays.

    This is something she wants to try. She approached us about it rather than us presenting it to her as an option (we figured she'd want to try gymnastics or keep with the ballet) We want to support her and make sure that wherever we let her study will be the best place for her.

    As for the sparring, my main concern was going to a place where they let the kids start smacking each other around in headgear after the first few lessons. I don't mind her sparring (heck, I was more excited about getting her and her brother sets of Hulk Hands than they were), I just want the emphasis to be on proper technique. Like I said, I'm a casual mma fan at best; i'm not trying to be the richard williams or earl woods of UFC.

    the kung fu class we went to actually had folks of all ages in there (it was a small class, about 10 or so people). 3-4 younger kids her age, 1-2 adults and the rest seemed teenagers. They all seemed to be learning the same techniques.

    They have a stand-alone facility over across the bay, but the one nearest us uses the local YMCA. They have an hour and a half 3 times a week. the first 45min is for the younger/newer students, and the last 45min is for the more advanced students. It appears that because this is a smaller class in a satellite facility, they have to do it this way. We may go watch an all young'uns class at their main facility. We watched all of the first half, and it was all prep and motions. We didn't catch any of the practice with staffs/weapons. most all the young kids brought staffs to class with them, but I don't think any of them were noobs.

    here's the karate school we went to:

    http://www.scssportkarate.com/

    we're going to Eastern Shore Taekwondo in Daphne, AL next week. no website for them. The closest facility that was ITA certified recommended this place.
    Last edited by MegaTideFan; 8/06/2009 12:15am at .

  4. #4

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    The first question you need to ask your daughter is what it is about karate that makes her want to learn 'karate'. (Maybe she just wants to do fantastic kicks? Maybe she wants to hit people? Maybe she's deluded about becoming an invincible warrior if she does karate?)

    Anyways the biggest problem with most karate/kung fu/tkd is quality control. It's not to say there aren't good karate schools, it's just the vast majority of them are well, bad -- really bad.

    The general recommendation here is almost always doing judo because there's a tendency for really good quality control, with your daughter learning very practical skills -- including but not limited to actually how to handle herself if danger arises.

  5. #5
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaTideFan View Post
    as far as my child, I do just fine raising her and her soon-to-be 4 y/o brother, and I'm not looking for some elderly baldheaded asian man to raise her for me. She does very well in school (scored in the 97th percentile nationally in some standardized testing last year) and is very well behaved. Our only concern about her confidence because she is can sometimes be shy and unsure of herself, but I think some of that just comes with being a girl nowadays.
    I think you misunderstood me, I was actually stating that I *DIDN'T* get the impression that you were one of those parents who walk in with a problem child, hand them over and say, "FFS, DO SOMETHING"

    This is something she wants to try. She approached us about it rather than us presenting it to her as an option (we figured she'd want to try gymnastics or keep with the ballet) We want to support her and make sure that wherever we let her study will be the best place for her.
    What is she wanting to try?
    Something she has seen in the movies?
    Something her friends do?
    Something that *looks cool*?
    What is her draw to "karate"?

    As for the sparring, my main concern was going to a place where they let the kids start smacking each other around in headgear after the first few lessons. I don't mind her sparring (heck, I was more excited about getting her and her brother sets of Hulk Hands than they were), I just want the emphasis to be on proper technique. Like I said, I'm a casual mma fan at best; i'm not trying to be the richard williams or earl woods of UFC.
    Hulk Hands are awesome.
    Now, with regard to sparring:
    You have a viable and understandable concern. It is good to let the kids ease into hitting/getting hit.
    Another poster suggested something like Judo, where they don't punch and kick one another, but do throw and roll about. Is this something that might sound appealing?


    the kung fu class we went to actually had folks of all ages in there (it was a small class, about 10 or so people). 3-4 younger kids her age, 1-2 adults and the rest seemed teenagers. They all seemed to be learning the same techniques.
    Hmm.
    I have no problem with kids 11/12 and over (usually)in the adult class, but 4-10/11/12 year olds need to be with other kids. The learning and goals are different. Visit more schools then go back and check that out and see if your opinion is the same.
    They have a stand-alone facility over across the bay, but the one nearest us uses the local YMCA. They have an hour and a half 3 times a week. the first 45min is for the younger/newer students, and the last 45min is for the more advanced students. It appears that because this is a smaller class in a satellite facility, they have to do it this way. We may go watch an all young'uns class at their main facility. We watched all of the first half, and it was all prep and motions. We didn't catch any of the practice with staffs/weapons. most all the young kids brought staffs to class with them, but I don't think any of them were noobs.
    Weapons are "fun" and not "functional".
    I don't think they should be taught as part of the base curriculum but should be something separate from your normal training.

    here's the karate school we went to:

    http://www.scssportkarate.com/

    we're going to Eastern Shore Taekwondo in Daphne, AL next week. no website for them. The closest facility that was ITA certified recommended this place.
    Again, what is your daughter's intention in learning martial arts?
    This is the determining factor.

  6. #6
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    Ming Loyalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaTideFan View Post
    as far as my child, I do just fine raising her and her soon-to-be 4 y/o brother, and I'm not looking for some elderly baldheaded asian man to raise her for me. She does very well in school (scored in the 97th percentile nationally in some standardized testing last year) and is very well behaved. Our only concern about her confidence because she is can sometimes be shy and unsure of herself, but I think some of that just comes with being a girl nowadays.

    This is something she wants to try. She approached us about it rather than us presenting it to her as an option (we figured she'd want to try gymnastics or keep with the ballet) We want to support her and make sure that wherever we let her study will be the best place for her.

    As for the sparring, my main concern was going to a place where they let the kids start smacking each other around in headgear after the first few lessons. I don't mind her sparring (heck, I was more excited about getting her and her brother sets of Hulk Hands than they were), I just want the emphasis to be on proper technique. Like I said, I'm a casual mma fan at best; i'm not trying to be the richard williams or earl woods of UFC.

    the kung fu class we went to actually had folks of all ages in there (it was a small class, about 10 or so people). 3-4 younger kids her age, 1-2 adults and the rest seemed teenagers. They all seemed to be learning the same techniques.

    They have a stand-alone facility over across the bay, but the one nearest us uses the local YMCA. They have an hour and a half 3 times a week. the first 45min is for the younger/newer students, and the last 45min is for the more advanced students. It appears that because this is a smaller class in a satellite facility, they have to do it this way. We may go watch an all young'uns class at their main facility. We watched all of the first half, and it was all prep and motions. We didn't catch any of the practice with staffs/weapons. most all the young kids brought staffs to class with them, but I don't think any of them were noobs.

    here's the karate school we went to:

    http://www.scssportkarate.com/

    we're going to Eastern Shore Taekwondo in Daphne, AL next week. no website for them. The closest facility that was ITA certified recommended this place.
    sorry, i didn't notice this thread right away, but here's my opinion:

    1) i don't generally like the "shaolin" kung fu schools (i.e. ones that claim to teach a generic shaolin style rather than a specific style) but shawn liu has a good reputation as a fighter, so i would think he knows what works and what doesn't.

    as far as kung fu schools go, this looks ok, but does the head instructor (shifu liu) teach most of the classes? if this is a satellite branch, who teaches? if it's not shifu liu, then it would be nice to know if they have a full contact record, even if you aren't interested in your daughter becoming a UFC champ, full contact competitors generally don't have any illusions as to what works and what is fluff. (there's nothing wrong with fluff, as long as it isn't sold as "real fighting", fluff is fun! but it's gymnastics, not fighting, and the good instructors are sure to make that clear.)

    2) i have become a broken record when it comes to my suggestions for kids training: judo, judo, judo, judo, *judo*!

    i used to teach a kids kung fu class for 3 years, and i would still suggest judo over just about any art out there as a base for martial arts training. learning to fall properly is just about the most important physical skill we can learn. hopefully she never has to fight, but she *will* fall down, and knowing how to fall can save her from a broken ankle or wrist (or worse.) also getting thrown a lot is great for keeping the ego in check (there's nothing better than being thrown (safely) to remind you that you're not some sort of power ranger.)

    finally if she *does* have to defend herself in school, then using judo is not usually considered "fighting" by the school, so by throwing and pinning her attacker, she will most likely not be punished for defending herself (see how the school feels about head kicks, for instance.)

    my wife and i want to have a kid in the next year, and my kid *will* take judo as soon as my sensei will take them into class. no ifs ands or buts.

    3) i really dislike 90% of both TKD and karate schools, because they pretty much are the opposite of judo: inflate the ego with stories of fantastic abilites, no resistance when doing self defense techniques, and if the kid does use karate/tkd to defend themselves in school, you have a big issue with the administration.

    anyway, good luck, and remember that the most important thing is that the instructor is good at engaging with the kids and getting them excited about training. if that isn't there, she will get bored and want to quit.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj

  7. #7
    danniboi07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaTideFan View Post
    as far as my child, I do just fine raising her and her soon-to-be 4 y/o brother, and I'm not looking for some elderly baldheaded asian man to raise her for me. She does very well in school (scored in the 97th percentile nationally in some standardized testing last year) and is very well behaved.
    Congratulations, I'm sure you're very proud. I'm also glad you're not looking for a child-care. Many parents make the mistake of using a dojo/kwoon as a day-care to drop their kids off.

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaTideFan View Post
    Our only concern about her confidence because she is can sometimes be shy and unsure of herself, but I think some of that just comes with being a girl nowadays.

    This is something she wants to try. She approached us about it rather than us presenting it to her as an option (we figured she'd want to try gymnastics or keep with the ballet) We want to support her and make sure that wherever we let her study will be the best place for her.

    As for the sparring, my main concern was going to a place where they let the kids start smacking each other around in headgear after the first few lessons. I don't mind her sparring (heck, I was more excited about getting her and her brother sets of Hulk Hands than they were), I just want the emphasis to be on proper technique. Like I said, I'm a casual mma fan at best; i'm not trying to be the richard williams or earl woods of UFC.
    Then might I suggest (big surprise here) Judo or BJJ. I'm not suggesting you raise another UFC Champion. I'm suggesting two martial arts that seem to fit your criteria quite well

    1. Self-Confidence: Nothing builds your confidence better than being able to take what you've learned and apply it in a difficult and unpredictable setting.

    2. Shyness - because these arts require another person in order to learn, your daughter will be able to meet, and practice with, almost everyone in the school. Even I, as a 24 yr old brown belt, go up against the beginner 7-8 yr olds. Of course I go easy on them and make sure they apply what they learned.

    3. Proper Technique - Going off of #2, when I go against the beginners I'm sure to make sure they use the proper technique. Proper technique is heavily emphasized at any Judo or BJJ school.

    My favorite story of teaching is when I was sparring with an 8 yr old orange belt. He kept trying for Ippon Seoinage. While his hip motion was good, he wasn't pulling on my sleeve or working for getting me off balance. I showed him how to improve his throw with better technique. Then, without me expecting it, he pulled me exactly the way I showed him and proceeded to throw me over him. I didn't jump for him, and didn't give him any help. All I knew was I was flying over this little 8 year old orange belt. Yes, I got thrown by a kid, but I was never prouder than seeing him stand over me with a big ol' smile on his face.

    I can assure you, nothing could give a kid more confidence then throwing a 178 lb adult. He also wouldn't have done it without proper technique.
    "The pedant is he who finds it impossible to read criticism of himself without immediately reaching for his pen and replying to the effect that the accusation is a gross insult to his person. He is, in effect, a man unable to laugh at himself."Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.


  8. #8
    NOTE TO SELF - MOAR GRAPPLE - GET A NORMAL HAIR CUT - REPEAT supporting member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    sorry, i didn't notice this thread right away, but here's my opinion:

    1) i don't generally like the "shaolin" kung fu schools (i.e. ones that claim to teach a generic shaolin style rather than a specific style) but shawn liu has a good reputation as a fighter, so i would think he knows what works and what doesn't.

    as far as kung fu schools go, this looks ok, but does the head instructor (shifu liu) teach most of the classes? if this is a satellite branch, who teaches? if it's not shifu liu, then it would be nice to know if they have a full contact record, even if you aren't interested in your daughter becoming a UFC champ, full contact competitors generally don't have any illusions as to what works and what is fluff. (there's nothing wrong with fluff, as long as it isn't sold as "real fighting", fluff is fun! but it's gymnastics, not fighting, and the good instructors are sure to make that clear.)

    2) i have become a broken record when it comes to my suggestions for kids training: judo, judo, judo, judo, *judo*!

    i used to teach a kids kung fu class for 3 years, and i would still suggest judo over just about any art out there as a base for martial arts training. learning to fall properly is just about the most important physical skill we can learn. hopefully she never has to fight, but she *will* fall down, and knowing how to fall can save her from a broken ankle or wrist (or worse.) also getting thrown a lot is great for keeping the ego in check (there's nothing better than being thrown (safely) to remind you that you're not some sort of power ranger.)

    finally if she *does* have to defend herself in school, then using judo is not usually considered "fighting" by the school, so by throwing and pinning her attacker, she will most likely not be punished for defending herself (see how the school feels about head kicks, for instance.)

    my wife and i want to have a kid in the next year, and my kid *will* take judo as soon as my sensei will take them into class. no ifs ands or buts.

    3) i really dislike 90% of both TKD and karate schools, because they pretty much are the opposite of judo: inflate the ego with stories of fantastic abilites, no resistance when doing self defense techniques, and if the kid does use karate/tkd to defend themselves in school, you have a big issue with the administration.

    anyway, good luck, and remember that the most important thing is that the instructor is good at engaging with the kids and getting them excited about training. if that isn't there, she will get bored and want to quit.
    If there is an opportunity to train with Sifu Liu, I would strongly recommend it.

    ML, is there a reason you prefer Judo for kids over say SAMBO or Shui Jiao? Just curious.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaTideFan View Post
    as far as my child, I do just fine raising her and her soon-to-be 4 y/o brother, and I'm not looking for some elderly baldheaded asian man to raise her for me. She does very well in school (scored in the 97th percentile nationally in some standardized testing last year) and is very well behaved. Our only concern about her confidence because she is can sometimes be shy and unsure of herself, but I think some of that just comes with being a girl nowadays.

    This is something she wants to try. She approached us about it rather than us presenting it to her as an option (we figured she'd want to try gymnastics or keep with the ballet) We want to support her and make sure that wherever we let her study will be the best place for her.

    As for the sparring, my main concern was going to a place where they let the kids start smacking each other around in headgear after the first few lessons. I don't mind her sparring (heck, I was more excited about getting her and her brother sets of Hulk Hands than they were), I just want the emphasis to be on proper technique. Like I said, I'm a casual mma fan at best; i'm not trying to be the richard williams or earl woods of UFC.

    the kung fu class we went to actually had folks of all ages in there (it was a small class, about 10 or so people). 3-4 younger kids her age, 1-2 adults and the rest seemed teenagers. They all seemed to be learning the same techniques.

    They have a stand-alone facility over across the bay, but the one nearest us uses the local YMCA. They have an hour and a half 3 times a week. the first 45min is for the younger/newer students, and the last 45min is for the more advanced students. It appears that because this is a smaller class in a satellite facility, they have to do it this way. We may go watch an all young'uns class at their main facility. We watched all of the first half, and it was all prep and motions. We didn't catch any of the practice with staffs/weapons. most all the young kids brought staffs to class with them, but I don't think any of them were noobs.

    here's the karate school we went to:

    http://www.scssportkarate.com/

    we're going to Eastern Shore Taekwondo in Daphne, AL next week. no website for them. The closest facility that was ITA certified recommended this place.
    As a dad of a 7 year old daughter I would like to stay away from any ITA school.

  10. #10
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    Ming Loyalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Wheel View Post
    ML, is there a reason you prefer Judo for kids over say SAMBO or Shui Jiao? Just curious.
    yes, the reasons are:

    1) availability of training (both sambo and shuai jiao are very difficult to find instruction in, especially for children.)

    2) availability of training partners (in the few places where you can find sambo or shuai jiao training, there usually aren't many kids in class, if any.)

    3) availability of competitions (judo is everywhere and there will be many, many chances to compete. for a shuai jiao or sambo student, they may have to enter judo tournaments and then deal with uniform and rule set differences.)

    4) ability to continue training if you move or when they head off to college (judo is cheap and widely available.)
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj

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