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

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    Originally posted by Devil View Post
    Also, I'm no Judo expert so correct me if I'm wrong. But don't a shitload of the top competitors still come from Japan? And isn't it still extremely common for them to begin learning Judo at a very early age?

    I'm not arguing. I'm asking. I want to understand the thought process behind the "late development sport" notion. As it stands, I do not see much of a differentiation from sport to sport.
    OK, I get where you are coming from more clearly now.

    I may have to do some research in my coaching manuals.

    Comment


      Originally posted by BKR View Post
      I'm using judo as one example of a late development sport, I wasn't thinking it was set apart from say wrestling or, maybe boxing, rugby, American Football ? Others ?

      There are judoka who have been playing since they could walk as well, more or less. But not all of them end up as elite level judoka, either. Very good, excellent, yeah, elite level, no.

      In general, I would say that late development sport require peak adult physical development and a relatively long time for skill development as well.

      I may take off on a tangent here, but I think you will see why. I'll use Judo as an example, as it's what I know best. To different degrees, same would apply to other "late develpment sports".

      1.) A great athletic foundation is needed to excel at an elite level later in life (long term athlete development) of agility, balance, coordination, speed. There are of course psychological/emotional factors and economic factors to take into account.
      2.) To excel at judo competition at elite level, one needs what might be called extreme levels of those athletic factors (and you have to like to "fight"...really like to do so).
      3.) Judo is a very complex physical activity (see 2), that has a long learning curve (perhaps up to 10 years of serious technical training once a sufficient level of physical maturity is reached to be able to handle the load). Compared to say football or rugby, I'd say it's more technically complex in many ways, plus involves the interaction of two basically tied together bodies moving in time and space.
      4.) You simply cannot do the volume and intensity of training as a child to develop the high level technical skills (or fitness) needed to be an adult elite level judoka. It's neither physiologically or mentally/emotionally possible. Of course, that's true of other heavy contact sports as well.
      5.) So, those greats that have been training since they could walk (I'm not sure who you are referring to) in heavy contact sports probably were not engaged in adult level play or training. I suspect some but not all of them had parents (some of them) who were heavily involved in the same sport. Like say, Jimmy Pedro in Judo, or the Mannings in football. I think that sets up a special (outlier) type of situation.

      Anyway, that's probably enough.
      Hmmm. I'm processing......

      Right off hand I'd say that no, "most" people aren't going to end up elite level competitors, whether they start early or late. Most people can't be elite, period. That's for the few.

      Also, you say Judo is a late development sport. So, what would you say are some other late development sports and what are some sports that you would not consider late development sports?

      It seems to me that almost all sports can be played at a higher level once the competitor reaches peak physical maturity. And it can also be trained with more intensity. I'm trying to understand the distinctions you're making between a late development sport and other sports.

      You contrasted it with football and rugby because judo is technically more complex in many ways. I would mostly agree, with the exception of some of the skill positions such as QB. But more importantly, football is fucking rough on the body too. Why would early development be more feasible for football based on stress load on the body?

      And to your last point, no. (Let's use Manning as an example). He was certainly not engaged in adult level play as a child. But my suspicion is that he and others like him enjoy advantages from early coaching despite their early training being less physically punishing.

      Comment


        Originally posted by Devil View Post
        Hmmm. I'm processing......

        Right off hand I'd say that no, "most" people aren't going to end up elite level competitors, whether they start early or late. Most people can't be elite, period. That's for the few.

        Also, you say Judo is a late development sport. So, what would you say are some other late development sports and what are some sports that you would not consider late development sports?

        It seems to me that almost all sports can be played at a higher level once the competitor reaches peak physical maturity. And it can also be trained with more intensity. I'm trying to understand the distinctions you're making between a late development sport and other sports.

        You contrasted it with football and rugby because judo is technically more complex in many ways. I would mostly agree, with the exception of some of the skill positions such as QB. But more importantly, football is fucking rough on the body too. Why would early development be more feasible for football based on stress load on the body?

        And to your last point, no. (Let's use Manning as an example). He was certainly not engaged in adult level play as a child. But my suspicion is that he and others like him enjoy advantages from early coaching despite their early training being less physically punishing.
        Also Manning is 6'5 with a big bone structure.
        You can't train that shit.

        Comment


          Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
          Did you see Dr Bill's piece on BJJ world champs?

          Also playing since /= specializing in.
          Yeah, I think so. I don't remember the whole discussion. It was basically about cross training and building overall athleticism, right? Which I agree with.

          But it seems to me that if for instance, the goal is to help a child prepare for MMA competition as an adult that the cross training and general athleticism can be addressed while keeping the eye on the prize. If a kid is doing wrestling, boxing, judo, jiu jitsu, muay thai, eventually weight training, cardio, whatever.....is that not still cross training? Is it not building an overall athlete? It is, but it's done in a way that is smart and goal oriented. Maybe, anyway. That's just one man's perspective.

          Comment


            In his classic text Periodization, Dr. Tudor Bompa refers to this as Early Specialization versus Multilateral training. The data is pretty consistent that multilateral training is going to yield better long term results. This obviously does not mean that a child cannot start the activity they end up competing in at a younger age, just that it should not be the only thing they do, or even the primary focus until much later in life.

            In fact, there is excellent research showing that early specialization in most cases will actually hinder athletic development over the long term. Of course, the rate of improvement will be faster, but the heights reached are most often going to be lower. Early specialization was, and remains today, the model used by Communist countries. They start 1000 kids doing one thing very early, burn out as many as they need to, and are satisfied if they get a few Olympians and medals out of the bunch. That model does not work well if you are actually concerned about the well being of the child, quite obviously.

            Comment


              Originally posted by Raycetpfl View Post
              Also Manning is 6'5 with a big bone structure.
              You can't train that shit.
              For sure. Prerequisites can exist in any sport. Size is a prerequisite in football. Which is a good point. Not everybody can succeed in any given sport, regardless of training.

              I saw something about little girls learning to dance in this really prestigious school. They had to audition at an early age and the instructors judged their bodies and if they decided they were going to grow to be too big or too skinny or whatever, they got the boot. Brutal, but effective.

              Comment


                Originally posted by Devil View Post
                Yeah, I think so. I don't remember the whole discussion. It was basically about cross training and building overall athleticism, right? Which I agree with.

                But it seems to me that if for instance, the goal is to help a child prepare for MMA competition as an adult that the cross training and general athleticism can be addressed while keeping the eye on the prize. If a kid is doing wrestling, boxing, judo, jiu jitsu, muay thai, eventually weight training, cardio, whatever.....is that not still cross training? Is it not building an overall athlete? It is, but it's done in a way that is smart and goal oriented. Maybe, anyway. That's just one man's perspective.
                My little girl doesn't wanna do anything but hip-hop dance and jits. I am certainly not gonna force her to play baseball or volleyball. I think as long as you keep a kids over well being in mind there really isn't a wrong answer.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Devil View Post
                  For sure. Prerequisites can exist in any sport. Size is a prerequisite in football. Which is a good point. Not everybody can succeed in any given sport, regardless of training.

                  I saw something about little girls learning to dance in this really prestigious school. They had to audition at an early age and the instructors judged their bodies and if they decided they were going to grow to be too big or too skinny or whatever, they got the boot. Brutal, but effective.
                  My "little" girl is still growing at 13 and is about 5'9 at last check. She did gymnastics a little bit but I certainly knew the Olympics were never gonna be in her future by using a height calculator at a young age.

                  Comment


                    So, what would you say are some other late development sports and what are some sports that you would not consider late development sports?
                    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.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                      In his classic text Periodization, Dr. Tudor Bompa refers to this as Early Specialization versus Multilateral training. The data is pretty consistent that multilateral training is going to yield better long term results. This obviously does not mean that a child cannot start the activity they end up competing in at a younger age, just that it should not be the only thing they do, or even the primary focus until much later in life.

                      In fact, there is excellent research showing that early specialization in most cases will actually hinder athletic development over the long term. Of course, the rate of improvement will be faster, but the heights reached are most often going to be lower. Early specialization was, and remains today, the model used by Communist countries. They start 1000 kids doing one thing very early, burn out as many as they need to, and are satisfied if they get a few Olympians and medals out of the bunch. That model does not work well if you are actually concerned about the well being of the child, quite obviously.
                      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?

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Devil View Post
                        Yeah, I think so. I don't remember the whole discussion. It was basically about cross training and building overall athleticism, right? Which I agree with.

                        But it seems to me that if for instance, the goal is to help a child prepare for MMA competition as an adult that the cross training and general athleticism can be addressed while keeping the eye on the prize. If a kid is doing wrestling, boxing, judo, jiu jitsu, muay thai, eventually weight training, cardio, whatever.....is that not still cross training? Is it not building an overall athlete? It is, but it's done in a way that is smart and goal oriented. Maybe, anyway. That's just one man's perspective.

                        Yes, and that a majority of champs didn't even start until 12yo.
                        I think there are some sports that are better for developing certain attributes early.
                        No true team sports in your list above for example.
                        Sport is for more than just sport's sake after all.
                        Being too goal oriented, too early is actually the pitfall itself.

                        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?
                          Because physical education has it's own merits above and beyond physical prowess.
                          I'm sure you're incorporating that but gross motor skills, body awareness, teamwork, coachability, and so on can get lost in "getting better at xyz".
                          You don't want to develop a good or even great child athlete, you want to develop a good adult human being.
                          If they decide to pursue being a great athlete you've given them all the attributes they need by then anyhow, without the baggage.
                          The variety is what develops a more complete, healthy, self motivated athlete.
                          Starting over in new stuff all the time is great at a young age.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Raycetpfl View Post
                            My little girl doesn't wanna do anything but hip-hop dance and jits. I am certainly not gonna force her to play baseball or volleyball. I think as long as you keep a kids over well being in mind there really isn't a wrong answer.
                            I would never advocate forcing a kid to do any sport they don't want to participate in. I think that's cruel.

                            But on the other hand, I believe that sometimes when you see someone who is truly heads and shoulders above their peers it's because all those things came together just right. Focused training, enthusiasm from the child, determination, desire, the whole nine yards. That seems to me like it may be how you can occasionally manage to catch lighting in a bottle and end up with a Tiger Woods or Lebron James or whatever.

                            They're the rarities obviously and again, that's my point. I'm talking about greatness and how it can be achieved.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Raycetpfl View Post
                              My "little" girl is still growing at 13 and is about 5'9 at last check. She did gymnastics a little bit but I certainly knew the Olympics were never gonna be in her future by using a height calculator at a young age.
                              Of course.

                              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 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,
                                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.
                                Last edited by Dr. Gonzo; 5/26/2016 1:52pm, .

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