teaching Hapkido to kids

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by goingd, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. goingd

    goingd Purple Belt

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    I apologize if there are past threads on this subject.

    In the past couple weeks in the Taekwondo class I teach I have had some extra time, so I introduced some basic Hapkido to my students (I know some people have a problem with Hapkido being taught as something extra in Taekwondo, but that's not the point I'm trying to make right now). I had some teenage students who caught on to it pretty well, and even a couple of kids who got a handle on the concepts after a few tries. Though, these kids pay attention exceptionally well compared to most of the kids I've taught.

    How does everyone feel about teaching such a "controlling" style to kids? Are there any particular methods you use? Do you have a separate curriculum for them?
     
  2. TigerLove

    TigerLove Green Belt

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    I think that wrist and joints twisting can be dangerous for kids under 13-14 years.

    If u just doing concepts without any power or pain, it's ok.
     
  3. NPTKD

    NPTKD Brown Belt

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  4. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    My wife teaches aikido and she holds a special class for them so they can progress at their own speed. I don't believe this type of training is too meaningful for anyone not at least 14 years old. The physical sensitivity just isn't there for the majority of the children. I would have the same qualms about hapkido instruction.
     
  5. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    No apologies necesary. I am glad to see activity in the hapkido section!

    I think that introducing hapkido techniques into a taekwondo class is actually a good thing. It was the first introduction that many have to hapkido. I view taekwondo as kind of a gateway martial art. Everyone has access to it and often, aspects of other arts are blended in by instructors who have a diverse background.

    One nice thing about taekwondo with some hapkido is that both are Korean arts, so all of the language and terminology is the same. I also tend to consider Taekwondo more appropriate for kids, as the hyung help the kids learn to control themselves with solo work, but blending in hapkido concepts is a good segue into hapkido.

    The only real issue with blending hapkido into a taekwondo class is that often, the students think that they actually know hapkido. Unless the TKD class is really Hapkido with TKD forms as an add on, then the students really do not know Hapkido, though they may have a very well rounded style of taekwondo when all is said and done.

    Actually, I think that it is a good idea.

    Teaching kids a means of defending themselves that does not always default to punches and kicks is very beneficial. I realize that hapkido does not teach to endlessly defend the way some Aikido schools do, but in the public schools of my area (Montgomery county, MD), if you strike back in self defense, you could wind up suspended or expelled, even if you are the victim. Hapkido does provide tools to 'peacefully' defend, as well as tools to escalate if the situation calls for it; essentially a much more graded response than karate based styles like TKD.

    Also, kids are flexible enough to do it well, though I agree with Tigerlove: be careful with locks and such with kids under thirteen.

    I am occasionally asked to take the childrens' hapkido class at our school. I am not a BB, but our location has no HKD BB's, but I am the highest ranking student in the class. Additionally, I am a TKD BB and a third dan kendo instructor at the school, so GM Kim feels that I can handle teaching young white belts. I really enjoy teaching the kids. They love the rolls and I have them do ukemi from a kneeling stance (sonkyo, for those who are familiar with kendo) and have them apply any locks with light pressure. Enough to get the concept and the flow. I do a lot of footwork with them. Some of the kids are under twelve, some are in their early teens.

    By and large, they enjoy it more than TKD, mainly because it does not involve the memorization of forms and they can roll on the ground and be praised for it.

    Daniel
     
  6. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    Moo Sul Kwan in Southeast Missouri does not offer hapkido for children. As their bones and joints are still developing, wrist locking motions are a bad idea.

    As pointed out about, children don't have sensitivity — or the maturity — for joint damaging techniques or choking techniques.

    We teach hapkido as a combat-oriented martial art — serious business.

    What we DO offer is "pre-hapkido" classes for those under age 16. Students in pre-hapkido get a head start by learning kicks and basic hand striking, breakfalling and strengthening through calisthenics.

    Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with our stance on teaching children.
     
  7. goingd

    goingd Purple Belt

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    My plan for the future, if I am lucky enough to have a part time program to teach, is to teach Hapkido only to students fourteen and up. I started when I was fourteen, and I consider that a fair age to start off with. Whenever I taught my current younger students Hapkido, I taught very basic techniques like a release from a wrist grab and a deflect from a punch.
     
  8. sfs982000

    sfs982000 Master Black Belt

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    I think introducing it to the overall curriculum is great, but for kids it really has to be controlled IMHO. Most children don't have the control to understand how devastating nerve holds and joint locks are and how quickly you can injure someone using them.
     
  9. FearlessFreep

    FearlessFreep Senior Master

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    Keep in mind that Hapkido is more than just "joint-locks".

    You might want to pock up "The Taegeuk Cypher" for a good discussion of an approach to introducing other ideas of self-defense to the poomse.

    But in general, learning techniques other than punches and kicks for kids is a really good idea. However I'll echo that the nuance of how to properly apply joint locks may be a little much for most kids, and the younger joints will be more susceptible to permanent damage as they are still growing and forming
     
  10. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    Great point. And that is kind of the idea behind our "pre-hapkido."

    There is PLENTY to work on — FALLING, basic throws, kicks — for the couple of years before they are old enough to add in chokes and joint locks.

    Our late founder, Lee H. Park, reportedly believed that judo is the best martial art for children to start in. Since we don't have any judo instructors, the pre-hapkido curriculum is the next-best thing.

    I wish I would have had the opportunity to learn throwing and falling when I was lighter, less brittle and closer to the ground!
     
  11. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I was looking back through the older threads and found this one, thought it could use a bump as it has some good insight into it. Lots of good posts!
     
  12. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Having taught a modified form of TKD that includes joint locks and throws within a family class format for some time now, I have not experienced anything that would contradict what I wrote above in post #4. By and large, children don't get anything beyond striking. (Yes, I know there are exceptions. They however are the EXCEPTION.)
     
  13. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Thanks for the bump Kong Soo Do. It was a short but interesting read.

    zDom, that is an interesting concept. I checked you school site and see you are still doing it so I would guess it is successful.
     
  14. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    Not only is the pre-Hapkido class successful, the instructor, Ms. Mills, has added a class for an even younger age bracket she calls
    "Kid Skillz" class or something like that.

    Short term benefit: school has money to pay bills

    Long term benefit: an option for kids to get into hapkido earlier rather than losing them to TKD or some other art
    because they are "not ready" for our curriculum until age 16.
     
  15. dortiz

    dortiz Black Belt

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    Exactly! If you are going to have kids program just make sure its at their level. You have plenty of material besides joint locks. Imagine coming out of a kids program and having awesome falls/rolls, strikes, kicks, Dan bong and staff as well as Large circle techniques, hip throws, grab escapes ,sweep style take downs, basic arm bars, choke holds etc. Kids could do at least 5 years of this stuff before messing with the joint locks which as mentioned I feel is dangerous ground.123
     

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