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Five Hard Truths about Martial Arts that you donít want to believe.

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    Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
    Early: gymnastics, track and field, swimming
    Late: baseball, golf, football, long distance triathlons


    This is pretty typical of what happens with early specialization:


    I see it in surfing all the time.
    The kids pushed too hard and too early burn out.
    Ftr the winning-est surfer in history, by a huge margin, won his last world title at 39.
    His older brother burned out early and had the greater pressure as a kid.
    How do you define those early vs. late development sports, though? What are the parameters? That's the question I'm asking.

    Burn out can occur in any sport. BKR brought up burn out and seemed to imply that it was more likely in Judo and some other sports than in other sports. The burn out discussion was linked to the early/late development discussion. I'm asking why.

    I have at no point argued against building a broader athletic base. I have only offered some alternatives to what that broader training may look like.

    Comment


      Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
      Early: gymnastics, track and field, swimming
      Late: baseball, golf, football, long distance triathlons


      This is pretty typical of what happens with early specialization:


      I see it in surfing all the time.
      The kids pushed too hard and too early burn out.
      Ftr the winning-est surfer in history, by a huge margin, won his last world title at 39.
      His older brother burned out early and had the greater pressure as a kid.
      I hope this graph is wrong. My eldest is going to Junior Olympics Nationals, next month - second year in a row. Synchronized swimming. She chose the sport, we just support her effort. There's no overt push, but it would be financially nice to see her get a college scholarship from her efforts. At 10.5 years old, she regularly trains in excess of 10 hours a week, which puts her well to the left of the "near elite," curve. The older girls train a lot more. The team has produced Olympians, though not as many as teams elsewhere in the country - I can't speak to those teams' training schedules.
      Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

      Comment


        Originally posted by Devil View Post
        .
        They're the rarities obviously and again, that's my point. I'm talking about greatness and how it can be achieved.
        Silly Buddhist idea. Personal Greatness cant ever be reached only pursued.

        If mma is the goal it needs to be 100% about the journey otherwise I doubt they can very happy people. Once it gets to that top 10 in the world level there is just so much luck involved.

        Comment


          Originally posted by BKR View Post
          OK, I get where you are coming from more clearly now.

          I may have to do some research in my coaching manuals.
          I don't know about Japan and how early their top ranked guys start doing Judo, and if they do, how much that causal relationship there is between those two variables.

          The IJF has current world rankings for men and women at: http://www.intjudo.eu/fo-Rankingir

          I parsed through some stuff to get this, number of top 10 ranked judoka in the world by country. That would be one criteria for the level of Judo in a given country. You could normalize for population and such, too.

          Japan has the most at 13. I'm sure I could find number of WC or Olympic medals as well, by country and by year. This is for men only, all weight divisions.

          Rank Country #Top 10
          2 JPN 13
          2 JPN 13
          3 JPN 13
          4 JPN 13
          4 JPN 13
          5 JPN 13
          5 JPN 13
          6 JPN 13
          7 JPN 13
          7 JPN 13
          7 JPN 13
          8 JPN 13
          10 JPN 13
          1 GEO 7
          2 GEO 7
          3 GEO 7
          4 GEO 7
          5 GEO 7
          8 GEO 7
          9 GEO 7
          1 KOR 5
          1 KOR 5
          1 KOR 5
          2 KOR 5
          8 KOR 5
          1 MGL 5
          3 MGL 5
          6 MGL 5
          9 MGL 5
          9 MGL 5
          1 FRA 4
          3 FRA 4
          8 FRA 4
          10 FRA 4
          2 RUS 4
          5 RUS 4
          6 RUS 4
          10 RUS 4
          9 UZB 4
          9 UZB 4
          9 UZB 4
          10 UZB 4
          2 AZE 3
          5 AZE 3
          6 AZE 3
          6 BRA 2
          7 BRA 2
          8 BRA 2
          1 GER 2
          2 GER 2
          3 HUN 2
          6 HUN 2
          4 KAZ 2
          8 KAZ 2
          4 NED 2
          5 NED 2
          7 SWE 2
          7 SWE 2
          3 UKR 2
          4 UKR 2
          8 BEL 1
          10 BLR 1
          4 BUL 1
          3 CAN 1
          10 CUB 1
          6 CZE 1
          9 EGY 1
          5 ISR 1
          10 TUN 1
          7 UAE 1

          Comment


            Originally posted by Raycetpfl View Post
            If mma is the goal it needs to be 100% about the journey.
            I agree.

            Comment


              Originally posted by Devil View Post
              I get that. I can understand the benefits of diverse training. What I'm getting at is this.....why can't diverse training at an early age be designed to prepare for a specific sport instead of just throwing darts while blindfolded and seeing what sticks?
              It can be, Devil, it can be. Let's say a kid starts doing Judo at age 7 or 8. In a well run program, he or she will be encouraged to engage in other sports, and be as active as possible out side of organized sports. You would be using judo as part of the vehicle to develop the overall athletcism of the child. If the kids really likes Judo, she can stick with and decide to specialize at the 13, 14, 15 age for an attempt at elite level track if she wants and is able.

              For MMA, doing combat sports and other sports (soccer, basketball, etc) would be the same approach, with the caveat of kids getting punched in the head (not a good idea). So developing the base with a focus on combat sports would work out fine, as long as a big emphasis on serious competition is not pushed early on. Needs to be age appropriate for sure in all cases.

              And finally, because the best interest of the child is what is most important, not necessarily specialization in a specific sport, or high level success. So a see what happens approach can work.

              Comment


                Originally posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
                I think the problem is, parents remember all of their hardships, regrets, and failures,
                and push an adult level sense of urgency on to their kids,
                and in particular with Jiu-Jitsu often try to live vicariously through the kids.
                When we see the Dad acting like a crazy person at the 6 year old soccer game
                because his kid is twitter-bugging instead of giving it full competitive focus,
                that is silly, sometimes annoying, but not really harmful.
                But, I cannot tell you how many times that I have been refereeing a Jiu-Jitsu tournament
                where some parent was yelling at his six year old to hurt the other kid,
                and scaring the hell out of both kids in the process.
                Meanwhile, in many cases this screaming Dad either has a couch potato build
                or a druggie criminal build,
                and does not seem to get much exercise let alone train themselves.
                After a couple decades of seeing that in Jiu-Jitsu kids training,
                And not seeing any lasting gains on the kids that were pushed that hard
                because the drop out rate / burn out rate gets huge,
                even a dummy like me can tell
                that what the kid really wanted was the ice cream time with Dad after the practice or tournament.
                And, sadly, I am not sure that a lot of the kids who get pushed that hard at young ages
                actually get that ice cream with Dad that often.
                In many cases the time spent from that kind of Dad is watching the practice,
                and criticizing the kid if they got beat.
                To be vulgar, there are lot of pig parents out there.
                And then you realize that there is a very large money machine out there,
                pushing for profit kids MMA style fights now,
                and pushing submission holds into kids grappling tournaments just to differentiate their marketing offer
                from the much less expensive Judo and Wrestling tournaments,
                and after that your mind starts to put those things together,
                And then every young kid you see walk off the mats in a sling makes you feel a little dirty
                about even passively condoning the entire machine.
                Because the value to the kid at being thrust in the machine by their parents
                below the age 12, both competitively and with an adult level intensity,
                probably does not really benefit the kid under 12
                as much as spending several hours a week doing foundational skill building
                and fun centric sports activities.
                I'm not advocating participation medals, quite the opposite.
                Include real competition activities in the right dose.
                And let kids know honestly when they achieved something, and when they didn't.
                But, putting kids under 12 in to train and compete like grown adults might not be the best thing for the kids.
                I don't think it is, actually.
                Great post, Bill. I have some heartburn in BJJ class about kids doing subs and trying to tap each other, especially joint locks. Growth plates, soft ligaments and tendons, mumble mumble mumble.

                I see them cranking on each others arm... I told my kids to just get into the position and move on to another, dont' worry about tapping anybody out, and to tap out as soon as they get caught, don't wait for it to hurt. Shit, that's what I do...

                I've recently seen a Dad who seems to think rolling is some sort of competition. I guess there is a fine line between encouraging your kid and egging him on as if it's a match, complete with coaching on technique he apparently does not understand.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Devil View Post
                  How do you define those early vs. late development sports, though? What are the parameters? That's the question I'm asking.

                  Burn out can occur in any sport. BKR brought up burn out and seemed to imply that it was more likely in Judo and some other sports than in other sports. The burn out discussion was linked to the early/late development discussion. I'm asking why.

                  I have at no point argued against building a broader athletic base. I have only offered some alternatives to what that broader training may look like.

                  Burnout from early specialization is it's own animal.
                  Early/late is mostly based on what age you see the elites performing at.
                  12 is obviously too late for an aspiring female gymnast to make the Olympics, but might be too early for serious Ironman training.
                  Early sports *tend* to be explosive and later ones more endurance, wisdom and/or fine motor skills based.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
                    I think the problem is, parents remember all of their hardships, regrets, and failures,
                    and push an adult level sense of urgency on to their kids,
                    and in particular with Jiu-Jitsu often try to live vicariously through the kids.
                    When we see the Dad acting like a crazy person at the 6 year old soccer game
                    because his kid is twitter-bugging instead of giving it full competitive focus,
                    that is silly, sometimes annoying, but not really harmful.
                    But, I cannot tell you how many times that I have been refereeing a Jiu-Jitsu tournament
                    where some parent was yelling at his six year old to hurt the other kid,
                    and scaring the hell out of both kids in the process.
                    Meanwhile, in many cases this screaming Dad either has a couch potato build
                    or a druggie criminal build,
                    and does not seem to get much exercise let alone train themselves.
                    After a couple decades of seeing that in Jiu-Jitsu kids training,
                    And not seeing any lasting gains on the kids that were pushed that hard
                    because the drop out rate / burn out rate gets huge,
                    even a dummy like me can tell
                    that what the kid really wanted was the ice cream time with Dad after the practice or tournament.
                    And, sadly, I am not sure that a lot of the kids who get pushed that hard at young ages
                    actually get that ice cream with Dad that often.
                    In many cases the time spent from that kind of Dad is watching the practice,
                    and criticizing the kid if they got beat.
                    To be vulgar, there are lot of pig parents out there.
                    And then you realize that there is a very large money machine out there,
                    pushing for profit kids MMA style fights now,
                    and pushing submission holds into kids grappling tournaments just to differentiate their marketing offer
                    from the much less expensive Judo and Wrestling tournaments,
                    and after that your mind starts to put those things together,
                    And then every young kid you see walk off the mats in a sling makes you feel a little dirty
                    about even passively condoning the entire machine.
                    Because the value to the kid at being thrust in the machine by their parents
                    below the age 12, both competitively and with an adult level intensity,
                    probably does not really benefit the kid under 12
                    as much as spending several hours a week doing foundational skill building
                    and fun centric sports activities.
                    I'm not advocating participation medals, quite the opposite.
                    Include real competition activities in the right dose.
                    And let kids know honestly when they achieved something, and when they didn't.
                    But, putting kids under 12 in to train and compete like grown adults might not be the best thing for the kids.
                    I don't think it is, actually.
                    I agree with most of this as well. I think there is an extremely delicate balance and I don't think anybody holds all the answers, especially since each child is a unique individual.

                    I think it's foolish to assume that it is impossible to create an environment that can foster high achievement. It happens. It's a thing. It's not imaginary. I also think it's a shame to ruin a kid's interest in a healthy activity by being overbearing.

                    I've seen some terrible parents in jiu jitsu, both watching classes and watching competitions. I feel sorry for their kids. Hanging around the tables for the kids' beginner divisions at jiu jitsu tournaments can be pure craziness. A lot of those parents FREAK the fuck out, as you already know. For a lot of them, it's the first time seeing their kids in that kind of intense, physical, one-on-one struggle and they can't handle it. My observation is that a lot of that peters out as the kids advance in skill level because the parents and the children have usually experienced that environment before and they've seen their kids win and lose before.

                    I'm not against submissions for kids though, as long as the referees are on point.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                      I hope this graph is wrong. My eldest is going to Junior Olympics Nationals, next month - second year in a row. Synchronized swimming. She chose the sport, we just support her effort. There's no overt push, but it would be financially nice to see her get a college scholarship from her efforts. At 10.5 years old, she regularly trains in excess of 10 hours a week, which puts her well to the left of the "near elite," curve. The older girls train a lot more. The team has produced Olympians, though not as many as teams elsewhere in the country - I can't speak to those teams' training schedules.
                      Swimming disciplines are in general early sports.
                      It's not a hard and fast rule either.
                      If a child really wants it let them go for it, but realize most kids are not like that and most *people* are destined for mediocrity at best.
                      That's the definition of the word.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by BKR View Post
                        It can be, Devil, it can be. Let's say a kid starts doing Judo at age 7 or 8. In a well run program, he or she will be encouraged to engage in other sports, and be as active as possible out side of organized sports. You would be using judo as part of the vehicle to develop the overall athletcism of the child. If the kids really likes Judo, she can stick with and decide to specialize at the 13, 14, 15 age for an attempt at elite level track if she wants and is able.

                        For MMA, doing combat sports and other sports (soccer, basketball, etc) would be the same approach, with the caveat of kids getting punched in the head (not a good idea). So developing the base with a focus on combat sports would work out fine, as long as a big emphasis on serious competition is not pushed early on. Needs to be age appropriate for sure in all cases.

                        And finally, because the best interest of the child is what is most important, not necessarily specialization in a specific sport, or high level success. So a see what happens approach can work.
                        Yes. I guess what gives me pause is that it seems like the implication is that a kid needs to play a ball sport or something. I'm not sure that makes sense to me. If the goal is to be good at jiu jitsu, for instance, I'm not sure there's any reason in the world why baseball would be inherently better to cross train in than wrestling or Judo, for instance.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Devil View Post
                          Yes. I guess what gives me pause is that it seems like the implication is that a kid needs to play a ball sport or something. I'm not sure that makes sense to me. If the goal is to be good at jiu jitsu, for instance, I'm not sure there's any reason in the world why baseball would be inherently better to cross train in than wrestling or Judo, for instance.
                          I never cared for ball sports. I played a little roller hockey and I was skater, blades and board. I was very active though. I think that's the important thing. It's not what they do. Just that they do some things without it becoming a chore.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by BKR View Post
                            Great post, Bill. I have some heartburn in BJJ class about kids doing subs and trying to tap each other, especially joint locks. Growth plates, soft ligaments and tendons, mumble mumble mumble.

                            I see them cranking on each others arm... I told my kids to just get into the position and move on to another, dont' worry about tapping anybody out, and to tap out as soon as they get caught, don't wait for it to hurt. Shit, that's what I do...

                            I've recently seen a Dad who seems to think rolling is some sort of competition. I guess there is a fine line between encouraging your kid and egging him on as if it's a match, complete with coaching on technique he apparently does not understand.
                            I've seen the asshole parents too, coaching their kids from the sidelines like they're competing for a world title. I get where you're coming from. But I've also seen a ton of learning occurring with kids. I've seen some kids who are really good. And I'll admit I don't have an X-Ray machine built into my forehead and I don't have the luxury of going around examining the much talked about growth plates. But in four years of watching kids classes I have seen zero injuries from hyperextension. And I've seen more injuries by far in Judo tournaments than in BJJ tournaments and I've been to many more jiu jitsu tournaments. Just my observations.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by BKR View Post
                              It can be, Devil, it can be. Let's say a kid starts doing Judo at age 7 or 8. In a well run program, he or she will be encouraged to engage in other sports, and be as active as possible out side of organized sports. You would be using judo as part of the vehicle to develop the overall athletcism of the child. If the kids really likes Judo, she can stick with and decide to specialize at the 13, 14, 15 age for an attempt at elite level track if she wants and is able.

                              For MMA, doing combat sports and other sports (soccer, basketball, etc) would be the same approach, with the caveat of kids getting punched in the head (not a good idea). So developing the base with a focus on combat sports would work out fine, as long as a big emphasis on serious competition is not pushed early on. Needs to be age appropriate for sure in all cases.

                              And finally, because the best interest of the child is what is most important, not necessarily specialization in a specific sport, or high level success. So a see what happens approach can work.
                              I'm sure your google fu is at least as good as mine, Devil...
                              http://sportsscientists.com/2011/04/...lize-in-sport/

                              https://www.nsca.com/education/artic...tion_in_youth/

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Devil View Post
                                I've seen the asshole parents too, coaching their kids from the sidelines like they're competing for a world title. I get where you're coming from. But I've also seen a ton of learning occurring with kids. I've seen some kids who are really good. And I'll admit I don't have an X-Ray machine built into my forehead and I don't have the luxury of going around examining the much talked about growth plates. But in four years of watching kids classes I have seen zero injuries from hyperextension. And I've seen more injuries by far in Judo tournaments than in BJJ tournaments and I've been to many more jiu jitsu tournaments. Just my observations.
                                Yea, the numbers say it's the throws that are the more dangerous part of the equation. The numbers are out there. Everyone here has seen them at this point.

                                Comment

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