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wikidbounce
4/11/2012 1:15am,
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.

Pharabus
4/11/2012 8:00am,
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)

P

nointro
4/11/2012 8:19am,
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

tmorterlaing
4/11/2012 9:26am,
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.

taijidude
4/11/2012 1:33pm,
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.

Polish beast
4/11/2012 2:35pm,
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 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.

DdlR
4/12/2012 12:33am,
I've been very impressed with what I've seen of the Gracie jiujitsu "Bullyproof" course:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az9XH0eajXI

Mackan
4/12/2012 1:01am,
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...)

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.

FWIW

F

wikidbounce
4/16/2012 12:35am,
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.

BKR
4/16/2012 4:33am,
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!

Ben

csharp.negative
4/16/2012 6:32pm,
The main reason I didn't start martial arts when I was a kid was because my father knew a kid that took martial arts and used it to be a bully to other kids. I would take a hint of salt with this claim, but definitely be SURE that your kids are learning how to be respectful as well as learning how to defend themselves, so you don't have a Karate Kid situation on your hands.

Permalost
4/16/2012 6:41pm,
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.
Having your kid learn ninjutsu because they want to jump around like ninjas is akin to giving them ice cream for dinner because they effin love ice cream, IMHO.

wikidbounce
4/17/2012 8:24pm,
Yeah my kids don't really do Ninja training it's more Ninja playing, usually involves building a obstacle course out of pillows in the lounge room and jumping around yelling what they think is Japanese words.

Usually after watching "Unbeatable Banzuke" or "Ninja Warrior" they love those shows but can't read the subtitles yet.

EdgeWalker
4/18/2012 4:09am,
I think the real emphasis when it come to teaching kids shouldn't be "is it going to work on the street?". It should be wheter the instructor knows how to teach kids or not.

A martial arts lesson for kids should teach them how to control their body. The techniques can come later.

wikidbounce
4/19/2012 7:29pm,
Last night I was watching BTN which is a News program for kids. It's good to be able to introduce them to News as it takes stories from their regular program and presents them in a way that opens discussion with parents/teachers.

It's good because when my daughter gets really concerned seeing things like Tsunamis, we can talk about it together.

The first story was about landmines in Sri Lanka, we sat and discussed how we are safe from these dangers here but children in other countries aren't as lucky.

The second story was about the Dangers of the school Judo program in Japan.

Here's a transcript from their regular edition, as I couldn't find the BTN version.

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3477310.htm

My son (our youngest) was really excited saying "I want to do that, I want to do that now". My daughter who had a better grasp of the News story was quite concerned "I don't want my brother to do that, I don't want him to get hurt."

It was a difficult discussion afterwards balancing between "It's something you can do / but you you need to wait til your older" and "Martial arts does come with the risk of Injury / The safety of the two of you is something we will make sure of".

I'm interested in the thoughts from other parents on the Judo story.

wikidbounce
4/19/2012 10:14pm,
Here's the copy pasta from the link in case the story expires.



ELIZABETH JACKSON: In Japan, there are warnings that children could die as a result of a government decision to make martial arts mandatory for all junior high school students.

Schools have the option to choose kendo, sumo or judo, with the vast majority picking judo as their compulsory class.

But critics point to dozens of deaths already in judo classes run by unqualified teachers, and hundreds of other serious injuries, including paralysis.

But the government says the compulsory classes are designed to improve students' physical condition and their manners, as our North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy reports from Tokyo.

(sounds of children practising judo)

MARK WILLACY: Judo means 'the gentle way', but there's nothing gentle going on in the gym of Tokyo's Nerima Middle School.

(sound of judo throw)

Like thousands of other Japanese junior high schools, Nerima has chosen judo as its compulsory martial arts subject. A decision that's delighted judo instructor and 7th dan black belt Kenji Takahashi.

(Kenji Takahashi speaking)

"Judo is traditional Japanese culture" he tells me. "Children don't fight any more. They don't know how to defend themselves" the black belt says. "Judo also teaches them manners" he adds.

And along with physical health, manners is the main reason why the Japanese government is making martial arts compulsory.

It believes sports like judo teach children respect and discipline.

But there are fears in Japan that making it compulsory could also see a rise in serious injury.

(Sound of Noriko Takase speaking to Keita)

Noriko Takase loves talking to her son Keita.

But he can no longer respond. He lies on a special bed in the family's lounge room, where he requires 24-hour-a-day care.

(Noriko Takase speaking)

"Five years ago he was taking part in a Judo Federation promotion" says Noriko Takase. "He did a demonstration by being thrown nine times in a row. Later he didn't feel well. Then he suffered convulsions. And after we reached the hospital he was diagnosed with an acute subdural haematoma" she says.

The former black belt can no longer communicate.

(Noriko Takase speaking)

"I worry about this compulsory martial arts program in schools because many teachers are worried they don't have the skills to teach children properly" Noriko Takase says. "I don't want to think about it, but there's a high probability some kids will be badly injured or killed" she says.

In the past three decades 114 high school students in Japan have died in judo accidents; nearly 300 have suffered serious injury, including paralysis.

Instructors like 7th dan black belt, Kenji Takahashi, believe children should only be taught by qualified teachers.

(Kenji Takahashi speaking)

"I am a judo expert and I know how to avoid injury" he says. "I've told parents that safety is my number one priority in my classes. I've said to them don't worry."

(sound of children practising judo)

Manners and discipline may be important to the Japanese government, but to parents, the priority is keeping their children from a nasty fall - one that could result in death.

This is Mark Willacy in Tokyo for Saturday AM.