How do you teach kids self-defense techs?

Q-Man

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I have a question for those of you that teach kids (8 - 12 years old). How do you teach kids self-defense techniques? Basic kicks and punches seem easy enough for them to learn but the self-defense techniques like counters to wrist grabs or lapel grabs seem a bit more difficult for them to learn.

What curriculum does your schools adult program follow (12, 24, 32 tech)? Do you have the same requirements for your kids program? If not what do you require for the kids? Do you teach any self-defense techniques (like 5 swords) besides basic punches and kicks to the younger kids (4-7 years old)?

Im being asked to help start a kids program at our school. Our curriculum has a lot of techniques similar to what I learnt and have seen in Kenpo so im hoping you could give me a little insight into your experiences in how to teach the material that is a bit more complicated than the basic punches and kicks to children. Thanks!
 

JTKenpo

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repitition repitition repitition...

With the younger kids they get less material and there for repeat it in class often. My 3-5 yr olds get 2-4 techniques per rank (white belts with stripes) and zero forms. My 6-9 yr olds get4-6 techniques plus the beginner forms. 12-15 yr olds get all the forms and 4-8 techniques per rank while the adults get 15 techniques per rank as well as 1-4 sets and forms. The younger the student the more the instructor is responsible for their practice. A young child is very rarely going to practice at home so hiding repitition I find is the key.
 

terryl965

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Kids self defense is basic get loose and run into a crowd of people yelling and screaming, it is the same material just modify for the younger ones. Also it is very inportant to tain what is actual self defense and what is actual abuse while defending.
 

tigdra

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I think it's all up to the time and dedication a teacher is willing or able to give their students.

check out 5yr old abigail

and then again
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6MZr31oFgo&feature=related

Not only are they long forms but they aren't repetitive or following a basic pattern like short 1 or short 2 and she learned both a fist and weapons form.
 
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KenpoKing

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Our kid follow the same program as the adults, but yellow belt is the first 4 tech from the adults yellow belt system, kids orange is the next 4 techs from the adults yellow belt system and so on and so on, basically when a junior gets to junior lack, they are the same as a senior blue.

With the young kids, we do not take on unless they are at least 5, the movements are very simple, more shown than spoken, so that they can understand them, as they get older, they are taught more, and gradually (and each child is differnt) when we go back over techs when they are older, they are told them in a little more depth.
 

Razorfoot

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It depends on whether the concern is other children or adults. Against other children (9-12), it is a little easier because you can pair them up with another child and go over techniques to disengaged yourself from someone else's grab or how to defend against the bully who is pushing you around. I tend to stick with very basic techniques which allow the children to get out of grabs or counter the push, and get the attention they need to resolve the situation. I do not emphasize too many strikes because at that age, both children could be/would be disciplined if they resorted to striking. It is taught as a last resort but the emphasis is put on controlling the situation, getting help/attention, and getting away from the person causing the problem.

With adult encounters at any age, I teach them to open their mouths and be heard. Draw attention to what is going on. No one has a right to touch them and if someone does, they should speak up immediately and draw attention to it. Once they have done so, use the basic techniques they have practiced to free yourself and get away from the person causing the problem. Then, run and let a teacher or adult know what happened.

12 and up, I would put emphasis on striking or grappling solutions because at this age, kids are more prone to do harm if they actually assault another student or child. The strikes would be basic combinations to end the confrontation quickly without doing permanent damage. The grappling would focus on submissions and locks that would cause pain and control the opponent (tendons, ligaments) rather than breaks. No one at this age would be taught chokes of any kind.

Understanding that they are children, the greatest part of the training would be having discussions repeatedly with them regarding when and how to appropriately use the techniques and skills they were being taught. They should have a full understanding that they are responsible for the amount of force they use when defending themselves against other children.

Conversation, demonstration, discussed appliations, repitition, more conversation, more repitition, and review. They don't have to become weapons, they only have to understand how to difuse a situation when they can, get attention and get away when they can't difuse it, or how to protect themselves from harm without being overly aggressive to the point where they can be misinterpretted as the problem or bully.

It is very difficult to know exactly what and how much to teach a child and it is a very fine line for the child to walk when applying self defense or they could be viewed as the agressor when dealing with other children. When all is said and done, you hope you have kept it simply enough to learn, comprehensive enough to do the job, and conveyed it well enough for them to know when to stop.
 

kenpofighter

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Kids are pretty smart! In my school the 8-12 year olds kids learn about the same thing as the adults, just not as technical. I think that the main thing is that no matter the age or rank, self-defense should be taught enough to get away for an attacker. Whether it is bitting, screaming, kicking, punching, or spitting. Give your kids a test and see how much they are able to learn. You can never teach e'm to much!
 

teej

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For me with my kids curriculm, I change all dangerous strikes. Ex. any chops to the neck become backfists, pokes to the eyes become heel palms. When they older and more responsible, it is easy to change the weapons to the adult version.

As for the actual technique, I give the kids shorter versions of the adult techniques. Again, when the kids become older, it is easy to add onto the version they already have. Kind of like learning extensions.

If you have an exceptional student that is really on top of things, you can always at your descretion teach them an entire technique.

Teej
 

stickarts

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I break techniques down into smaller steps for kids and also try and make analogies with things they already understand. The kids program doesn't have quite as many techniques as the adult program and doesn't have all the weapons like adults do.
 

celtic_crippler

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By the numbers at first.

I break tech's down into smaller parts, assign those parts a number (kind of like a technical breakdown), then work them through it over-and over- and over - and over....

Example Delayed Sword by the numbers
One! Student steps back into a RNB executes right inward block.....
Two! Student executes right front snap kick.....
Three! Student executes right sword hand.....
Four! Student covers out.....

...then I give the command "SET" which brings them back to the ready position (or attention stance)

Rinse & repeat....at least 500 times! :)
 

mook jong man

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I have taught very small children before some as young as 4 yrs old and they couldn't do the techniques the adults do.

So i just taught them the concept of using what ever is free , for example if the attacker grabs one arm , punch him with the free arm , if the attacker grabs both arms low heel kick his shin or knee cap or snap kick his groin.

They seem to be able understand this better than trying to do complex techniques involving leverage that require more co-ordination.
 

tigdra

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I remeber when I was learning my kenpo techniques when I was 6 ... we had to learn the same techniques as the adults, the only difference was that all the strikes and targets where changed (instead of a spear to the throat we would have to reverse punch to the jaw).

Your expectations really determine how seriously your kids take the program, children are smart most kids can out compute, text and game you now-a-days, but seriously the way that I teach is that I make a junior system composed of the same techniques as the adults only a little more spread out so by the time they get their junior brown or black they are the equivalent of a blue or green belt and their old enough to learn more difficult techniques.

What I do is that I relate it to normal things a wrist grab counter turns into a "hello wave" and a forearm to smash the elbow turns into a "oh yeah" like when you pretend to grab something from the air and pull it towards you.

The important thing is for them to learn the motion and when they are old enough you can explain to them sternum, elbow break, eye gouge...etc.
 

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