MA Teachers who teach kids... Question.

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Sep 3, 2009
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Pueblo West, CO
Whether or not to teach your own child is a matter of personality and temperament for both child and adult. I wont teach my own boys until they are around 10. Until then I would bring them to someone else to "have fun". However I have played ninja turtles with my 5yo. That lasts about 15 minutes then he's on to something else. Professionally speaking I usually don't take children under 6. It just never seems to work for me. My own temperament I guess.

I agree completely with this. My wife is a black belt candidate, one of my daughters reached 3rd Geup before moving away, and my son reached 4th geup before moving. I've enjoyed training with them all.
But I've always avoided being their primary trainer, and I've never had anything to do with their promotions.

The Great Gigsy

Orange Belt
Aug 7, 2015
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As others have already 3 is probably a little too young to get a child going in formal training. This doesn't mean you can't use your son's interest as a launch pad for later in life. I myself have been bringing my youngest with me to jkd since she was 1 and like you described with your son she enjoys mimicking dad. I use this as a chance to bound with her. Just my 2 cents.


Master of Arts
Jul 16, 2012
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I teach Taekwondo to 3-5 year olds, and in my experience, it's possible to teach kids as young as 3, as long as the kids are mature for their age and you have reasonable expectations of them.

At that age, they're still working out how their body works, so make sure to work on very basic motor skills stuff, and explain things in very very simple/basic steps. Ax kick, for example: "pick up your leg, and kick down on top of this pad". Don't expect much refinement of technique for a long time, and don't be surprised if you have to explain the same thing 10 or 20 times.

They have a very short attention span, so don't spend more than a few minutes on any one thing. Give them, say, 1/3 of a form to learn, and have them do that 1-2x. Then move on to a kicking drill that you do for a minute or two, than a different one. Then something else.

Also, kids that age may not have any awareness of fighting or martial arts. What I mean is, you tell an adult "keep your hands up when you spar", and they know what that means right away. I told a 3-year old that a couple weeks ago, and he put his hands on top of his head.