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BigJim520
4/07/2016 11:10pm,
My ex-wife decided to put our kid (and possibly herself) in martial arts. Of course I'm extremely supportive. Naturally she did not want to join my gym and I totally understand and respect that.

She found a different MMA gym that appears to be a non-Bullshido school. So far, so good.

Our kid is developmentally delayed. She's 11 years old, in a 13 year old's body but has a 7 year old's brain. The school mom found was extremely welcoming and understanding of her situation and gave us several free trial classes without doing the hard 1-year-contract sales push. The owner even invited me to drop in and do his classes from time to time. Very cool welcoming people.

Unfortunately in the 3 classes we tried (1 BJJ and 2 MT) there were about 30 kids in class and only 1 or 2 instructors. Our daughter was at a complete loss compared to the other noobs and even the 5 year olds that had been training for a few weeks/months. At the end of the day she said she had fun, but in my opinion she wasn't learning anything valuable as her technique was horrible and the instructor didn't have nearly enough time to work with her. I tried assisting but she didn't like taking direction from dad (in many ways she is a typical pre-teen).

So, tonight she had her first Karate class. There were only 16 or so kids (including 3-4 other first timers) and two instructors. I explained the situation up front and they were also very accommodating. One instructor (4th degree BB) lead the class and the other (his son, 3rd degree BB) went around helping those in need. Of course my daughter was the most in-need and she got the most attention. And it worked! She actually learned (as much as can be expected in a 1 hour lesson) the shitty karate sideways stance, backhand lead hand punch, side kick, etc. techniques.

I love that she's getting some physical exercise, learning to follow instructions, participating with other kids, discipline, etc. I hate that she's learning shitty bullshido fighting technique.

Man I'd love to spar with these black belt instructors in MT or MMA rules.

Kravbizarre
4/08/2016 12:23am,
Kids a sponges man, even with your daughter she'll learn quick. Martial arts is probably the best positive thing she can learn. At school im guessing she's always behind compared to the other kids her age but in the martial arts world its never about age. Great to hear, hope she enjoys it =D

BigJim520
4/08/2016 12:39am,
Well she's in special education. She's so far behind the "normal" kids her age that she doesn't belong in the same classroom. SpecEd has a huge range, she's fairly high functioning, though her reading/writing is still kindergarten leel. She talks, she can ride a bike and swim. There are kids in her class who are deaf, in a wheelchair and non-verbal, so relative to some she's a genius.

It's been a struggle to find extra curricular activities for her to participate in. The only activities so far have been geared to special needs kids. We tried non-competitive soccer and practice was great but games were a miserable failure. Based on the instructors tonight, I think this will be great for her, but she may never be ready for the tournament/belt-promotion test. But if she enjoys it and gets some exercise benefit, I don't care.

Both her mom & I are concerned that she's likely to get bullied as she goes into Middle & High School. Will karate be a plus or a minus when she has to deal with the dickheads?

BigJim520
4/08/2016 12:43am,
Well she's in special education. She's so far behind the "normal" kids her age that she doesn't belong in the same classroom. SpecEd has a huge range, she's fairly high functioning, though her reading/writing is still kindergarten leel. She talks, she can ride a bike and swim. There are kids in her class who are deaf, in a wheelchair and non-verbal, so relative to some she's a genius.

It's been a struggle to find extra curricular activities for her to participate in. The only activities so far have been geared to special needs kids. We tried non-competitive soccer and practice was great but games were a miserable failure. Based on the instructors tonight, I think this will be great for her, but she may never be ready for the tournament/belt-promotion test. But if she enjoys it and gets some exercise benefit, I don't care.

Both her mom & I are concerned that she's likely to get bullied as she goes into Middle & High School. Will Bushido karate be a plus or a minus when she has to deal with the dickheads?

ghost55
4/08/2016 2:20am,
What kind of karate is it?

plasma
4/08/2016 4:17am,
What is your primary reason for you daughter to be there? If it for physical activity and enjoy herself? Then put her in the place where she is the most happy. If you want her to learn to fight and be competitive in combat sports? Then go where there is the best training. Honestly, it sounds like your situation is the first, Karate is fine. She learn to use her body without having to compare herself to the other children. As she gets older she can take up some more realistic training, but in her situation, the exercise and hand/eye coordination is enough.

Kravbizarre
4/08/2016 5:34am,
What is your primary reason for you daughter to be there? If it for physical activity and enjoy herself? Then put her in the place where she is the most happy. If you want her to learn to fight and be competitive in combat sports? Then go where there is the best training. Honestly, it sounds like your situation is the first, Karate is fine. She learn to use her body without having to compare herself to the other children. Any she gets older she can take up some more realistic training, but in her situation, the exercise and hand/eye coordination is enough.
This 100%

Martial arts are an excellent brain workout and can help relieve stress/tension.

Best thing to do is keep an eye on how the other kids are treating her where she trains and how the kids at school behave around her if they know shes studying a martial art.

BigJim520
4/08/2016 6:17am,
What kind of karate is it?

American Society of Karate. I can't post links yet, but you can google it. They do the sideways stance one hand up one hand down. Lead strike is a backfist, not a jab.

They're really big in Houston, something like 30 or 40 locations around the city. There's a tournament once every 2-3 months that is required to attend for belt promotion.

Her mom and I love that she's is getting the individual attention that she needs, I hate that it's a ridiculous form of "fighting".

BigJim520
4/08/2016 8:14am,
What is your primary reason for you daughter to be there? If it for physical activity and enjoy herself? Then put her in the place where she is the most happy. If you want her to learn to fight and be competitive in combat sports? Then go where there is the best training. Honestly, it sounds like your situation is the first, Karate is fine. She learn to use her body without having to compare herself to the other children. As she gets older she can take up some more realistic training, but in her situation, the exercise and hand/eye coordination is enough.

Yes, physical activity is probably the most important thing, along with interacting with other kids, discipline, behaving appropriately, etc.. I don't care if she's competitive in combat sports, but it would be nice if she learned some self defense. She's headed to Middle School next year, and I want her to be able to stand up to the bullies that I fear she's likely to face.

So is learning crotty going to help her confidence and allow her to stand up to crap? Will it give her a false sense of her abilities? I have to believe it's better than nothing, but worse than MMA/BJJ/Wrestling. But she's never gonna learn to pull guard and transition to a triangle or arm bar without a ton of one-on-one lessons.

Devil
4/08/2016 8:41am,
What is your primary reason for you daughter to be there? If it for physical activity and enjoy herself? Then put her in the place where she is the most happy. If you want her to learn to fight and be competitive in combat sports? Then go where there is the best training. Honestly, it sounds like your situation is the first, Karate is fine. She learn to use her body without having to compare herself to the other children. As she gets older she can take up some more realistic training, but in her situation, the exercise and hand/eye coordination is enough.

I agree with this advice.

I would normally not advise people to spend time practicing karate. I've been down that road myself. I learned some things for fighting but a lot of it was a waste of time. That's the reality.

But I think this situation is different. Here's the thing. Karate guys and other traditional martial artists spend a lot of time talking about what martial arts are really about.....respect, discipline, honor, confidence, all that ****......and I think they're absolutely right. Ultimately that is the highest reward of good martial arts training.

The problem is that those guys talk about those things but rarely achieve them. The reason is that all those benefits, in my opinion are best earned through blistering, realistic fight training. They're earned through genuine struggle. From putting yourself in the fire and failing time and time again. This is what most people should be doing if they want to reap the full benefits of martial arts training.

Your daughter represents a different situation. Because of her delays, she can be sufficiently challenged in a karate class and therefore reap those benefits I mentioned above. She can find a journey there that is tough and fulfilling for her. So if you've got a group of instructors and a class situation that makes her comfortable, I'd go for it.

BigJim520
4/08/2016 9:04am,
But I think this situation is different. Here's the thing. Karate guys and other traditional martial artists spend a lot of time talking about what martial arts are really about.....respect, discipline, honor, confidence, all that ****......and I think they're absolutely right. Ultimately that is the highest reward of good martial arts training.

The problem is that those guys talk about those things but rarely achieve them. The reason is that all those benefits, in my opinion are best earned through blistering, realistic fight training. They're earned through genuine struggle. From putting yourself in the fire and failing time and time again. This is what most people should be doing if they want to reap the full benefits of martial arts training.

Why cant you achieve respect, discipline, honor, confidence etc. through crotty or TKD, or soccer or basketball? If you are competing and succeeding against other people who are playing whatever game/sport (as long as you're all playing by the same rules) what difference does the real world application make. Tiger Woods is a legend, Serena Williams is a goddess, but their chosen sports have no practical application outside of their chosen sport (though I guess a golf club or tennis racket might make a decent weapon in a bar fight).

My reluctance is that one of the goals her mother and I have for her is self defense. It's not at the top of the list, but it's on the list. Is having a bit of crappy karate going to be a help or hindrance in that respect? Will she be able to fight off a boy who has wrestling/BJJ experience? Hell no, but will she be able to stand up to a girl who has no MA at all? Will she be better off than nothing? I'd like to think so, but I'm not sure.

BigJim520
4/08/2016 9:08am,
ooooopps

Devil
4/08/2016 9:22am,
Why cant you achieve respect, discipline, honor, confidence etc. through crotty or TKD, or soccer or basketball? If you are competing and succeeding against other people who are playing whatever game/sport (as long as you're all playing by the same rules) what difference does the real world application make. Tiger Woods is a legend, Serena Williams is a goddess, but their chosen sports have no practical application outside of their chosen sport (though I guess a golf club or tennis racket might make a decent weapon in a bar fight).

My reluctance is that one of the goals her mother and I have for her is self defense. It's not at the top of the list, but it's on the list. Is having a bit of crappy karate going to be a help or hindrance in that respect? Will she be able to fight off a boy who has wrestling/BJJ experience? Hell no, but will she be able to stand up to a girl who has no MA at all? Will she be better off than nothing? I'd like to think so, but I'm not sure.

Well, to answer your question, most McDojo students of any variety will never reap the full benefits of martial arts training because they stand around too much listening to a fatass in pajamas talk about humility which he doesn't have. He doesn't have humility because he didn't get beaten up enough. He didn't seek out those ass whippings, take them, overcome them, get better and then hand out his own beatings. THAT is fucking enlightenment. And that particular flavor of enlightenment can't be found on a soccer field or tennis court, either. It is unique to combat sports.

There will be a self defense benefit to karate but it will be extremely limited. The most valuable thing she'll learn is how to throw a punch and hopefully avoid one occasionally. Maybe that meets the self defense goals you have for her. Maybe not.

hungryjoe
4/08/2016 9:37am,
Why cant you achieve respect, discipline, honor, confidence etc. through crotty or TKD, or soccer or basketball? If you are competing and succeeding against other people who are playing whatever game/sport (as long as you're all playing by the same rules) what difference does the real world application make. Tiger Woods is a legend, Serena Williams is a goddess, but their chosen sports have no practical application outside of their chosen sport (though I guess a golf club or tennis racket might make a decent weapon in a bar fight).

My reluctance is that one of the goals her mother and I have for her is self defense. It's not at the top of the list, but it's on the list. Is having a bit of crappy karate going to be a help or hindrance in that respect? Will she be able to fight off a boy who has wrestling/BJJ experience? Hell no, but will she be able to stand up to a girl who has no MA at all? Will she be better off than nothing? I'd like to think so, but I'm not sure.

Jim,

I see your point but think Devil is correct at this given time in your daughter's life.

My wife has worked at a one of a kind, in this state, school for special needs children for more than 25 years. Approximately 2/3 of the kids have special needs with the rest typical. Ages range from infant to 21 years. My daughters, both typical, have both grown up there, attending until starting school and during the summers. Place is quite close to my house so I've watched and have known many over the years.

It sounds like you've found a good fit at the place she's at now. Consider giving her the chance to learn what she can there, acquiring muscle memory, fitness and self confidence.

Having said this, I also understand your concern about her self defense. I've watched many of these young girls grow from children into their teens and eventually leave as young women. Their well being has been a personal concern given the chance some dirt bag would take advantage of them as adults.

Having worked with a program in the past that taught a kids martial arts program, we focused and taught from two perspectives- against bullies and abduction. I won't go into the differences here other than to say with abduction it was mainly situational awareness, stranger danger and getting attention above all else if there was an attempted abduction. Your daughter could possibly use this karate experience as a starting point. Later, with some experience behind her, I'd recommend a judo or bjj program more than any other self defense art. Why? The ground game. I'm stating this with a fairly extensive past background in karate and father of two daughters who took this path.

BigJim520
4/08/2016 9:55am,
Thanks guys. Good advice from the above two posts.

BigJim520
4/08/2016 10:14am,
re: Judo...

My ex has a friend with a kid with Aspergers. He does Judo and he's apparently quite successful (not sure if what that means given his condition), so the ex suggested that sport when we agreed the MMA gym wasn't the best fit. I thought (based on my extremely limited Judo training at my MMA gym) that it would be too challenging for her. I think she can do anything given a private instructor with a lot of patience, but if she was put in a typical class (and I have no idea what options we have for kids Judo in town) I think she'd struggle just as badly as she did with BJJ/MT.

I do agree that Judo or BJJ (or wrestling) has the most practical application, especially for a female, but I'm concerned about her ability to learn in a typical environment. Maybe I'm projecting some of my own frustration with Judo. I'm old and fat and falling down and standing up 100 times a night was not fun for me. But I think she'd struggle learning all the Japanese names for the throws and struggle with the sequence of steps to successfully perform a throw.

Last night was great. She can throw a back fist. She can perform a side kick. She can (sort of) perform a roundhouse kick. That's all they did. In MT class she was supposed to do jab-cross-hook-cross-switch kick. That was too much for her, and I think she'd have a similar struggle in Judo. And I have no idea how she'd like being an Uke.