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Help finding a Martial Art for our 7 year old son

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    Help finding a Martial Art for our 7 year old son

    Hello, I'm new to the site and hopefully I put this in the correct place� if not feel free to move this thread to the proper board.

    We're looking for advice for my 7 year old son. We are trying to choose a discipline/style for him. He tells me that he wants a style where he�s on his feet, so obviously BJJ is out.

    My wife and I would like to choose a style that would help him to control his anger instead of lashing out without thinking. He does have trouble at school with "hitting" people, mainly bonking people on the top of the head while in the lunch line. He does this when he's bored or overstimulated.

    We would like to find a style that can be used effectively later in life. I've been told by many people that arts such as Tae Kwan Do are flashy and look pretty but in an actual fight it's mostly worthless. So I would like to take that off the board also. I would also like to take Karate off the board (seems that every kid gets pushed into it) and Muay Thai (I would like to learn it but we think it's too aggressive for a 7 year old to learn).

    We live in Wichita, Kansas and there is a local Kung Fu School. They have classes in Shaolin Kung Fu and Baguazhang. I don't know anything about either one of them and I have no idea if they would be a good fit for our son.

    Now that you have some background info, I would like some suggestions/comments on where we should look. We do plan on going to visit multiple places and watch the classes. It was also suggested to watch the Schools "best" students and see if they are like what we want our son to be when he gets to their level of competence.

    Thanks

    #2
    Being a Judo coach/sensei, I suggest Judo. You should check out the Judo clubs in your area. Here is one. I'm not endorsing it, just using it as a starting point.

    You mentioned "real fights" vis a vis taekwondo... My opinion as a coach and father of two boys (8 and 10 years old) is that worrying about real fights is, well, silly. You son needs a place to constructively vent his energy in a controlled environment, maybe a place he can learn to understand his feelings of aggression, learn new physical skills, and (don't take offense) get away from his parents.

    Any judo club you check out should be associated with one of the national judo organizations, USA Judo, the United States Judo Federation, or the United States Judo Association. If it is not, don't go there. All three of those federations have strong quality control.

    Ben
    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

    "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

    "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

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      #3
      Judo or wrestling. Grappling martial arts are excellent for children as they teach them to restrain or hold down other kids in altercations. This minimizes legal liability as well getting them into less trouble than if they hit the other kid.

      They also offer excellent exercise and physical discipline.
      Shut the hell up and train.

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        #4
        I also would go with Judo. That being said if you have a local BJJ place I would take him on down there to try out. I wouldn't give too much stock to what a 7 year old thinks without trying things first.
        Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
        George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence

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          #5
          I recommend judo to parents. He says he wants to learn a standup martial art, and that's a fine thing to get him into (boxing, kyokushin etc), but does your 7 year old know enough about martial arts to have such a preference? At 7, I'm guessing his martial arts knowledge comes from movies and video games, not anything real. He'd probably also prefer to eat candy instead of real food because kids aren't great decision makers.

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            #6
            Originally posted by BKR View Post
            My opinion as a coach and father of two boys (8 and 10 years old) is that worrying about real fights is, well, silly.
            I said that is what I have been told.. not what I "worry about". If I was worried about real fights I wouldn't have taken Muay Thai off the board :)

            Thanks for all the replys. So Judo, wrestling or BJJ so far. I can teach him wrestling, if it comes to that, so Judo and BJJ still options.
            What do you guys think about Baguazhang? When I looked it up they said it wasn't pure striking and wasn't pure grappling, some of both... which sounds really good but I don't know anything about the art.

            I do like the point about restraining other kids rather than punch/kicking them.

            So far, all good stuff.

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              #7
              IF your kid is already hitting other kids martial arts might not be the best thing for him just yet. Have you thought about sports? Get him into a sport, it may just help him get into a good college some day, you can't say the same for martial arts. If you must teach your kid martial arts arts check out wrestling and of course the already mentioned judo.

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                #8
                Originally posted by jspeedy View Post
                IF your kid is already hitting other kids martial arts might not be the best thing for him just yet. Have you thought about sports? Get him into a sport, it may just help him get into a good college some day, you can't say the same for martial arts. If you must teach your kid martial arts arts check out wrestling and of course the already mentioned judo.
                Yeah, we've tried sports... He currently plays soccer, basketball, baseball and takes gymnastics. We may try football within the next year or so.

                I was hoping that he could find a mentor/teacher in a martial art that could teach him how to control his anger. As was said above, sometimes you just need to get away from your parents.

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                  #9
                  Everyone else here is recommending judo for some very good reasons, but the truth is that if you enroll the kid in something he's not interested in he'll just resent you and quit in a couple weeks.

                  Your primary concerns are (a) finding a place that teaches something he'll enjoy and want to stick with, (b) finding a place that isn't going to lock you into a long, expensive contract, and (c) finding a place that isn't going to try to brainwash him with pseudospiritual nonsense. That's really all that matters with a seven-year-old. You can reevaluate your criteria and your choice when he's 12.

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                    #10
                    At 7 the most important thing is the instructor. Visit the schools, watch classes, see if they have instructors with the energy and enthusiasm required for kids.

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                      #11
                      I've gotta give another endorsement for judo. My son has been going for almost a year 3 times a week and he loves it. Learning how to fall is a gift I wish I was given when I was his age.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by NeilG View Post
                        At 7 the most important thing is the instructor. Visit the schools, watch classes, see if they have instructors with the energy and enthusiasm required for kids.

                        I'll concur with this.



                        *Throws on psychological hat

                        As an instructor myself I get to teach a wide array kids. If your son is having an issue with punching other kids it's usually a sign that he is having a hard time processing stimuli. When a child "misbehaves" most adults only know one thing "punishment". Instead giving a child the opportunity and tools to correct the behavior we automatically go for the quick process.

                        As most of the posters here will tell you I'm not some hippy, feel good person who thinks that everybody needs to live together in harmony. What you need to do is give your son the tools needed to solve, which most people view as punishment.

                        My suggestion is to allow your son to do an alternative exercise before out right hitting somebody. Without actual observation this could be premature but there may be a delayed reaction between the cognitive reasoning and the reactive process or the lizard mentality as I like to refer to it. With my kids I make them do 5 or 10 push ups to take away the negative stimuli that seems to be bothering them. After I compliment their push ups if they were done correctly. I ask them to identify the problem. I get them to work out a solution. Then I get them to mend and bridges before they can't be repaired.

                        Either that or you son is just showing affection through an "Alpha" roll and maybe you needed to harness that.

                        *Takes psychology hat off.

                        Whatever you do not Aikido.

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                          #13
                          Speaking as a dad, my kid is doing really well in Judo (I'm having fun also). He is tall and lanky and very athletic, but not very strong. Once he figured out how to use leverage, he is really stoked at how well he does. It has been a really good experience for us.

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                            #14
                            I've been trying to reply to some of you but none of my posts are being posted to the thread. It says that a "mod needs to approve" my posts first. It's been 24 hours and nothing has gotten through, someone check the mods house, they may be dead.

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                              #15
                              Another vote for judo or wrestling.

                              As noted above by NeilG, the instructor him/herself is important, no matter what the style. A good teacher is, at this point, more important than a good technician.
                              Carter Hargrave's Jeet Can't Do

                              http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=31636

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