Age groups in training.

Ironbear24

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In my sifus dojo we have ages ranging from 14 to 58. Is this normal for a dojo? I personally have always seen this but recently a parent complained to me and the sifu that it wasn't fair for their son to spar against me. He was very angry that I was allowed to "beat up on his son" and then called me cowardly and that "if I fought someone my age and get my *** kicked." I basically ignored this and said "It was sparring, I am not trying to beat him up, it is practice."

That did nothing. So my sifu handled the rest and said "it is self defense training, if your son is to be attacked, odds are it will be by someone larger than he is, do you want him to know how to handle himself or not?"

His son even told his dad that he is fine, the poor guy looked very embarrassed about this and his mother didn't look too happy either. He basically took his kid out of the class against his wishes and I really hope this isn't permanent, he really likes this dojo and loves martial arts so that wouldn't be fair to him.

Are your dojos similar to this as far as age groups go?
 

Kickboxer101

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From what I know it's normal. I mean where I did karate I started at about 13 and I sparred with people in their 30s and 40s. Fact is 14 year olds are to old to be in the kids classes so they have to be in the adults. From what I know most kids classes will be about 5-12 maybe anything above that is in the adults class. That guy just had issues I think I mean maybe his kid lost a sparring fight and his dad was a pushy parent who always wants their kid to win and got angry who knows. But I most schools or fight gyms do work like that
 

oaktree

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Didn't you say you don't hit kids in your got in a fight thread:D
I have been in schools where we had one or two teenagers No one thought much about it though we were a little softer on them.
I am trying to think in dad mode and he may have been concerned about his son facing in dad mode frame of mind an unfair obstacle and as dads, we overreact which to our dad mind is rational and his ego May have been bruised.
 

WaterGal

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It's very common to have teens and adults training together. I do think you should always consider your opponent's size, strength, experience, etc when sparring them, and don't go 100% on someone smaller and less experienced than you. But that's true whether the person is 14 or 40.

I think there are two main possibilities of what was going on with that guy. Either 1) you were going pretty hard and the dad was worried about his kid and did a bad job expressing it, or 2) the dad has some kind of an "issue"(anger problem, helicopter parent that feels their kid should win at everything, who knows). I don't know you or your sifu, so I can't make any judgement about it. You may want to ask your sifu in private if he or she thinks you were going too hard on the kid.

But honestly.... some people are just kind of wacko and more trouble than they're worth, and that dad might be one of them.
 
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Ironbear24

Ironbear24

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It's very common to have teens and adults training together. I do think you should always consider your opponent's size, strength, experience, etc when sparring them, and don't go 100% on someone smaller and less experienced than you. But that's true whether the person is 14 or 40.

I think there are two main possibilities of what was going on with that guy. Either 1) you were going pretty hard and the dad was worried about his kid and did a bad job expressing it, or 2) the dad has some kind of an "issue"(anger problem, helicopter parent that feels their kid should win at everything, who knows). I don't know you or your sifu, so I can't make any judgement about it. You may want to ask your sifu in private if he or she thinks you were going too hard on the kid.

But honestly.... some people are just kind of wacko and more trouble than they're worth, and that dad might be one of them.

If I was going to hard on him I am the kind of guy to apologize about it. I know he is much smaller than me, 130 5'6 something pounds and I'm 210 5'9. So yeah I am going to go easy on him but I don't want to baby him either.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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It happens in all three dojos I've been too..13/14 is the age where the people switch classes. I was actually talking with my sensei recently about how much it helped me, in judo for instance I would train with someone over 100 pounds heavier then me. Try doing that with bad form.

I've also never seen a parent hang around watching their child practice in the adult class either, unless it was for a belt test.
 

JR 137

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That's definitely an odd age in the MA IMO for most kids. They're too old for the kids' classes, yet they're not big, strong, or developmentally ready enough for the adults' classes either. If the dojo is big enough and can figure out a time schedule to put that age together at the same time, it would be a perfect world, although it is good for them to have the exposure of sparring adults too.

Many schools consider kids adults somewhere between 12-14 for class purposes. Then there's exceptions too. In our dojo, some kids a little younger than that are invited to the adults' classes because they're mature enough and physically ready. A few kids are older than that but may have some physical or psychological developmental issues that make keeping them with the kids the best thing.

Regardless of the age, you have to spar appropriately with your partner. You seem like a rational guy, and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you were appropriate (I wasn't there to know any different). Some people take issue with anything and everything not matter what's going on. Others take issue with it because the way it appears. It's kind of hard to really get it if you haven't been on the floor before. Or perhaps he was thinking "it's ok now, but what happens when everyone gets used to him being there and stop holding back?"

Keep doing what you're doing, if what you're doing is the right thing. If he's a rational person, he'll see his error. If he's not, he'll take the kid out for some other ridiculous reason shortly down the road. It's your sensei's job to manage/explain/rationalize what's going on to the parents, not yours. If he asks you, tell him what you did without getting defensive and don't get caught up in it. That's really all you can do and should have to do.
 

Buka

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I feel sorry for the boy.
 

crazydiamond

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I don't know if you would call it real sparing, but I have put on boxing gloves and did contact, or had basic arm to arm contact with partners as young as 16, including girls, and ones that I outweighed by 130 lbs, and been over a foot taller. Frankly I go super duper light and fun. The first time I "spared" in a situation like this was with a 16 year old girl - we had to put our partner against a wall - punch - and they had to put their hands up to defend - but ya know what - she was two belts higher then me, and as she was defending she was coaching me - "your stance is off, your dropping your left hand". She was a feisty tough girl and helped me !

Also -your teacher or coach should always be watching the class and should correct anyone not using the appropriate level of intensity or power with a partner. I always get alot of feedback from my teachers - usually that I am going too light and nice. However my smaller partners usually respond "no no thats okay the way he was training with me";)

I will add in the kids class - 5-14 I do believe that kids should be separated into sub groups of age , belt level, and/or size when sparing or lighting contact drills.
 
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Tortoise

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In my sifus dojo we have ages ranging from 14 to 58. Is this normal for a dojo? I personally have always seen this but recently a parent complained to me and the sifu that it wasn't fair for their son to spar against me. He was very angry that I was allowed to "beat up on his son" and then called me cowardly and that "if I fought someone my age and get my *** kicked." I basically ignored this and said "It was sparring, I am not trying to beat him up, it is practice."

That did nothing. So my sifu handled the rest and said "it is self defense training, if your son is to be attacked, odds are it will be by someone larger than he is, do you want him to know how to handle himself or not?"

His son even told his dad that he is fine, the poor guy looked very embarrassed about this and his mother didn't look too happy either. He basically took his kid out of the class against his wishes and I really hope this isn't permanent, he really likes this dojo and loves martial arts so that wouldn't be fair to him.

Are your dojos similar to this as far as age groups go?

I have never trained at a studio where there were enough teenagers that they could only sparr each other.

If the kid wanted to train that hard, his Dad is probably doing him a disservice by getting in the middle.

OTOH, I did know a large, adult man (240 lbs. and not overweight) who admitted that he liked to sparr the teenagers because he did not have to feel bad about "breaking them" because they could just "sit on the couch a few days to heal up" unlike the adults who had to go to work. He dislocated one man's arm, broke a bone in another man's face, broke a woman's hand, wrecked another guy's knee ...
 

Danny T

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We have ages 4 up adults in their 60's and we have classes for age groups
4-6
6-12
12-16
16-up

There is always the exception based upon size and maturity.
 

Tez3

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OTOH, I did know a large, adult man (240 lbs. and not overweight) who admitted that he liked to sparr the teenagers because he did not have to feel bad about "breaking them" because they could just "sit on the couch a few days to heal up" unlike the adults who had to go to work. He dislocated one man's arm, broke a bone in another man's face, broke a woman's hand, wrecked another guy's knee ...

That's the type of bloke that gets special coaching from our chief instructor. :cool:

Sparring lightly with smaller/weaker people is good for you, yes going full on is also good but sparring lightly reminds you to use techniques not power as it's likely that you will spar someone of the same strength and weight as yourself so there is no advantage other than good technique.
 

Tames D

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OTOH, I did know a large, adult man (240 lbs. and not overweight) who admitted that he liked to sparr the teenagers because he did not have to feel bad about "breaking them" because they could just "sit on the couch a few days to heal up" unlike the adults who had to go to work. He dislocated one man's arm, broke a bone in another man's face, broke a woman's hand, wrecked another guy's knee .
And this is a bad thing? :)
 

JowGaWolf

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In my sifus dojo we have ages ranging from 14 to 58. Is this normal for a dojo? I personally have always seen this but recently a parent complained to me and the sifu that it wasn't fair for their son to spar against me. He was very angry that I was allowed to "beat up on his son" and then called me cowardly and that "if I fought someone my age and get my *** kicked."
Most of the times this is an over reaction and a disconnect with reality when it comes to training a martial arts. Next time someone complains, then show them the difference between what you do and this lol

As far as the age group goes, it depends on the child's ability to focus. We don't have a separate adult and kids class. Every child that trains with us trains with their parents. A teenager is welcomed to train without their parent, but if the child is 7 and younger then we make it mandatory for the parent to be part of the class and train with their child.
 

Jaeimseu

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Something to keep in mind is that while your perception is that you were going easy on a smaller opponent, your opponent's perception may be different. What you perceive as light contact may not be light at all to someone else, never mind what it may look like to a (biased) third party.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

JowGaWolf

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Something to keep in mind is that while your perception is that you were going easy on a smaller opponent, your opponent's perception may be different. What you perceive as light contact may not be light at all to someone else, never mind what it may look like to a (biased) third party.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hopefully his sparring partner is wise enough to let him know if the power is too much.
 
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Ironbear24

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Most of the times this is an over reaction and a disconnect with reality when it comes to training a martial arts. Next time someone complains, then show them the difference between what you do and this lol

As far as the age group goes, it depends on the child's ability to focus. We don't have a separate adult and kids class. Every child that trains with us trains with their parents. A teenager is welcomed to train without their parent, but if the child is 7 and younger then we make it mandatory for the parent to be part of the class and train with their child.

This guy is just an *******.
 
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