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Fathers - which MA for young daughter?

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    Fathers - which MA for young daughter?

    Serious topic for you guys, so please fuck off if you want to make bullshit remarks about daughters on this thread!

    I'm the father of two little girls, 5 and 6. I want to give them the best start in life in terms of being able to take care of themselves when I'm not around. At the moment I have them training at a developmental course that was put together by a Phd in child psychology who just happened to be big into Taekwondo. Thankfully the course does not resemble TKD in any way though. It's mostly about stranger danger, making them aware of their surroundings, confidence and general fitness. It looks like a lot of fun and they love it which I think is the important first step in getting them involved in MA.

    Once they graduate from the course I'm looking at putting them into Krav Maga for kids - the IKMF has a specially designed course for kids. Again, it's specifically designed for children so it's fun but with a higher element of threat. Being a realist though, I know that this may give them the awareness and foundation to build on but the world is a nasty place and I'm thinking worst case scenarios (can't help it being their dad!).

    Am I crazy in thinking BJJ coupled with KM is the way forward? TBH, the idea of them rolling around on the floor hugging some sweaty dudes makes my rageometer start to spike but I'm trying to think practical. At the end of the day, rape is the big worry so preparing them for real high pressure defense on the ground seems to be a sensible. Any BJJ instructors with an opinion of what age is appropriate for them to start? Being in to BJJ myself I wrestle with them anyway during their play time but that is likely to stop as they get older and more aware/self conscious etc.

    Is there any point in young girls being trained in BJJ or am I deluding myself in thinking that if it came to it that when they are older they could wrestle an attacker off without having to be a pro level fighter? Are there BJJ classes designed for little girls? Is BJJ only thought mixed for kids etc? If anyone has any suggestions, experience or helpful info I would appreciate it.

    Calm down a little...I understand that you want to have the best preparation for your daughters, but you are going too fast too early.

    Let them start in Judo with a school that is 50% taichi-waza and 50% ne-waza and keep it fun or they WILL quit.

    They are too young to understand the dangers in the world and at their age it's not important to go too deep in that. If they know, not to go with strangers or neighbours and trust authority figures that their parents approve off (like their teachers, when they are IN school), it's enough.

    EDIT: They don't have to know about rape, murder and other type of crap since it will only scare them. Knowing or not knowing it will not change the outcome in a fight at that age or give them more situational awareness (their brains aren't yet developed for that type of thinking). Start with situational awareness from 12 to 13 years on, not earlier.

    I wouldn't take them now at BJJ classes, since the focus is on chokes and submissions. Two things that are too dangerous to learn/train to young children.
    Krav Maga isn't also suitable for children with groin strikes and eye attacks, you won't want them to do that at school with their classmates.

    Just let them start in Judo, keep it fun and later in life (16 years old) they can add BJJ and/or Krav Maga and/or Kick-Boxing.
    Last edited by Rene "Zendokan" Gysenbergs; 8/16/2010 5:38am, .


      Don't show them any self-defense bullshit at their age.

      If you really care for their security, take them to a rape prevention program when they're older, and THEN have them decide if they want to do MAs.


        For kids its all about Judo.


          I know I'm a bit extreme - hard not to be when you've got girls and you see messed up stuff in the papers every day. In an ideal world I suppose BJJ skills would be ideal but I get your point, its too extreme to put kids through regular training. That's why I was wondering if there was a specially designed course for kids. The Krav class for kids is designed to be fun too, it's more about running away and awareness than anything else. As far as I can gather theres nothing in it that builds false confidence in ability - being girls I wouldn't be too worries about them gouging out their school friends eyeballs either lol

          Judo could be a good option though and there are more judo clubs around here than there are BJJ etc. I remember being forced into it by my dad when I was a kid and it took me almost 30 years to go back to it again. I guess the key is always to make sure they are having fun and that they are aware of their surroundings etc. The really unfortunate thing is that kids like to rebel against what their parents want them to do. I can imagine boys loving judo alright but I think it would take an extraordinary club and instructor to get little girls enthused... if only I could just bribe them with pocket money and Barbie dolls in exchange for competitive judo titles!


            Don't worry...

            At that age it isn't gender specific yet, so they will have fun with the other kids. The problems come when puberty hits.

            Judo will learn them throws and holds (no locks) like Kesa Gatame. Chokes and locks are learned from 14 years old. For the good reason that their skeleton is still too weak. Judo has got great kids programs and in the ages 6-12 it's almost 50/50 girls/boys.

            BJJs focus is on the two things that isn't suitable for them yet: chokes and locks, maybe their exists a kidsprogram in Brasil, but I'm sure that there also won't be chokes and locks in it. Just rolling and holds.

            I'm an assistant instructor in the woman's self-defence classes where we teach CSW and no-gi BJJ with situational awareness. Remember that getting the attacker between the legs is the best set-up for a triangle choke :-)


              Judo is always a great choice.

              I would respectfully disagree w/ Zendokan with regards to BJJ. A good BJJ instructor will understand how to teach bjj in a way that isn't totally focused on choking and breaking arms. At that age it is largely about control and position. Some tournaments for kids that age don't even allow submissions.

              My son is 7 and started bjj on his 5th birthday. He loves it and it has helped him understand the need for control. As a typical older brother, he gets rough w/ his younger sister...but he is VERY aware of being careful and he understands what not to mess around with. His sister is about to turn 4 and is very comfortable tapping out. :)
              She will be starting bjj on her 5th birthday...and already has her eye on a hot pink gi.

     is about the instructor's skill and teaching level. A good instructor knows how to dial it in for kids.


                I didn't read all but are you completely sure that this is about their safety and not about you? because I smell some kind of complex.

                that aside. I would take them to either judo or bjj class and a I would buy myself a copy of bullyproof from gracie academy. I would also quite krav maga and never see that tkd guy again. I am sure you understand.


                  Wait till they are around 8 or so then.

                  Train Judo.


                    I used to teach anti-abduction courses for children. IMO as long as whatever program they're doing allows them to practice realistic awareness and escape skills in a fun context, it's probably worthwhile.

                    As a related but separate topic (introducing young kids to solid martial arts skills), I've been impressed by what I've seen of the Gracie BullyProof course: . It's taught through a series of games like this:

                    YouTube- Gracie BULLYPROOF - Gracie Game Sample - Crazy Horse

                    ... which combine into semi-freestyle "sparring" games that concentrate on position rather than submission:

                    YouTube- First Bully Battles 3-11-10.wmv


                      I would have to agree with the Gracie Jiu Jitsu bully proof system to get them started, then move them into regular BJJ classes as they get a little older.


                        after thinking abit. most rapes murders etc is committed by people that know the victim. therefor I think it is generally better to make sure your kids get the right kind of friends. so if you want to do something good for your kids..
                        I have absolutely no idea how to do this.


                          Originally posted by Coach Josh View Post
                          Wait till they are around 8 or so then.

                          Train Judo.
                          /\ Go with Josh on this!

                          With Judo wait until they are at least 8-10 before starting. If you want to put them into something fun that will give them meaningful skills for grappling and MA in general put them into gymnastics.

                          It will teach them falling, co-ordination and body control. There's a reason all elite programms for Judo contain a high proportion of gymnastic style exercises and drills and that loads of the non-conditioing style training you see from elite BJJers is gymnastic style/ oriented.


                            +1 for Judo.


                              Originally posted by Prince Vlad View Post
                              I know I'm a bit extreme - hard not to be when you've got girls and you see messed up stuff in the papers every day.



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