Non martial artists teaching children to punch and karate 'chop'

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
Ok, I need some feedback on this, pretty please. The Girl Guiding Association here has put out some activity cards for the youngest section aged 5-7. One of those cards is 'Karate', it says things like 'rei is karate for bow' and 'karate is done in a dojo'. Ok no worries but then it tells leaders to get girls to make a fist ( 'make two thumbs up signs and curl your thumbs across your fingers, you've made a fist') and go around punching and 'chopping' into the air and then play 'karate tennis' punching balloons.
Now I emailed with my concerns about the punching as I have seen so many end up with sore wrists due to not knowing how to punch properly (due to lack of qualified instructor) and sore elbows due to punching into the air forcefully with straight elbows. I have even see a dislocated should due to punching like this. I was in a gym changing room once when a bunch of ladies came in from a class, they were all complaining about sore wrists and elbows, I asked how they were punching, with bent wrists and straight elbows with a lot of force! The instructor had been doing 'boxercise' and thought punching was just making a fist and throwing your arm about.

The reply I go was that safety was a priority ie the girls are told not to stand near each other and not to punch outside but they said nothing about my concerns for young joints! They did say they'd consulted British Taekwondo about how they should do a karate lesson. (Minor niggle there I'm afraid!)

Knowing young children they will put a lot of force into their punching and will carry on doing outside the unit. Guiding says it wants to introduce girls to new sports ( not against that) so if anyone is interested the instructors will have a nice time re-teaching them to punch.

Is it just me who isn't happy about people who have no idea about martial arts teaching a class on 'karate' thinking they know what it is and how to do it?


This is the page advertising the activity. It looks good I think to leaders and non martial artists but would you do gymnastics or Judo the same way? It also looks innocuous I know and it might just be me being protective of the young girls wrists etc. I know many won't teach children as young as this age group anyway. Ok please fire away and tell me I'm worrying over nothing!!!!

Rainbow karate.jpg
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,762
Reaction score
1,501
Location
Manchester UK
Ok, I need some feedback on this, pretty please. The Girl Guiding Association here has put out some activity cards for the youngest section aged 5-7. One of those cards is 'Karate', it says things like 'rei is karate for bow' and 'karate is done in a dojo'. Ok no worries but then it tells leaders to get girls to make a fist ( 'make two thumbs up signs and curl your thumbs across your fingers, you've made a fist') and go around punching and 'chopping' into the air and then play 'karate tennis' punching balloons.
Now I emailed with my concerns about the punching as I have seen so many end up with sore wrists due to not knowing how to punch properly (due to lack of qualified instructor) and sore elbows due to punching into the air forcefully with straight elbows. I have even see a dislocated should due to punching like this. I was in a gym changing room once when a bunch of ladies came in from a class, they were all complaining about sore wrists and elbows, I asked how they were punching, with bent wrists and straight elbows with a lot of force! The instructor had been doing 'boxercise' and thought punching was just making a fist and throwing your arm about.

The reply I go was that safety was a priority ie the girls are told not to stand near each other and not to punch outside but they said nothing about my concerns for young joints! They did say they'd consulted British Taekwondo about how they should do a karate lesson. (Minor niggle there I'm afraid!)

Knowing young children they will put a lot of force into their punching and will carry on doing outside the unit. Guiding says it wants to introduce girls to new sports ( not against that) so if anyone is interested the instructors will have a nice time re-teaching them to punch.

Is it just me who isn't happy about people who have no idea about martial arts teaching a class on 'karate' thinking they know what it is and how to do it?


This is the page advertising the activity. It looks good I think to leaders and non martial artists but would you do gymnastics or Judo the same way? It also looks innocuous I know and it might just be me being protective of the young girls wrists etc. I know many won't teach children as young as this age group anyway. Ok please fire away and tell me I'm worrying over nothing!!!!

View attachment 20892

I think punching balloons is a safe activerty. The way its going all the kids will be encased in bubble wrap until they are 18.

have you told them that doing the brownie salute might bring on an RSI?
 

Martial D

Senior Master
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
3,288
Reaction score
1,036
Ok, I need some feedback on this, pretty please. The Girl Guiding Association here has put out some activity cards for the youngest section aged 5-7. One of those cards is 'Karate', it says things like 'rei is karate for bow' and 'karate is done in a dojo'. Ok no worries but then it tells leaders to get girls to make a fist ( 'make two thumbs up signs and curl your thumbs across your fingers, you've made a fist') and go around punching and 'chopping' into the air and then play 'karate tennis' punching balloons.
Now I emailed with my concerns about the punching as I have seen so many end up with sore wrists due to not knowing how to punch properly (due to lack of qualified instructor) and sore elbows due to punching into the air forcefully with straight elbows. I have even see a dislocated should due to punching like this. I was in a gym changing room once when a bunch of ladies came in from a class, they were all complaining about sore wrists and elbows, I asked how they were punching, with bent wrists and straight elbows with a lot of force! The instructor had been doing 'boxercise' and thought punching was just making a fist and throwing your arm about.

The reply I go was that safety was a priority ie the girls are told not to stand near each other and not to punch outside but they said nothing about my concerns for young joints! They did say they'd consulted British Taekwondo about how they should do a karate lesson. (Minor niggle there I'm afraid!)

Knowing young children they will put a lot of force into their punching and will carry on doing outside the unit. Guiding says it wants to introduce girls to new sports ( not against that) so if anyone is interested the instructors will have a nice time re-teaching them to punch.

Is it just me who isn't happy about people who have no idea about martial arts teaching a class on 'karate' thinking they know what it is and how to do it?


This is the page advertising the activity. It looks good I think to leaders and non martial artists but would you do gymnastics or Judo the same way? It also looks innocuous I know and it might just be me being protective of the young girls wrists etc. I know many won't teach children as young as this age group anyway. Ok please fire away and tell me I'm worrying over nothing!!!!

View attachment 20892
I think you have a point. I think karate is great for kids in that it teaches discipline and respect, and offers an alternative to the screens and potato chips.

But if they are going to do it,they should do it right, or people could get hurt. Not only that, it's very bad form to advertise something as 'karate'(or anything else) when it isn't.
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,762
Reaction score
1,501
Location
Manchester UK
I think you have a point. I think karate is great for kids in that it teaches discipline and respect, and offers an alternative to the screens and potato chips.

But if they are going to do it,they should do it right, or people could get hurt. Not only that, it's very bad form to advertise something as 'karate'(or anything else) when it isn't.
those ninja turtles got away with that for years
 
OP
Tez3

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
I think punching balloons is a safe activerty. The way its going all the kids will be encased in bubble wrap until they are 18.

have you told them that doing the brownie salute might bring on an RSI?

Well, wouldn't expect you to actually understand. In Guiding we don't wrap girls up in cottonwool, we do a lot of adventurous activities BUT we have proper qualified instructors. We do climbing, canoeing, adventure training, camping ( cooking on fires no cookers etc) it's not too much to expect that if we have qualified instructors for all other sports and activities that we also have them for 'karate'

Oh and it's not a 'salute', it's the Guide sign and one doesn't do it continuously for an hour or more.
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,762
Reaction score
1,501
Location
Manchester UK
Well, wouldn't expect you to actually understand. In Guiding we don't wrap girls up in cottonwool, we do a lot of adventurous activities BUT we have proper qualified instructors. We do climbing, canoeing, adventure training, camping ( cooking on fires no cookers etc) it's not too much to expect that if we have qualified instructors for all other sports and activities that we also have them for 'karate'

Oh and it's not a 'salute', it's the Guide sign and one doesn't do it continuously for an hour or more.
there not actually doing karate though are they? They are messing about punching ballons, what level of instructed is required for that, maybe a 4th dan would do at a push, as long as they all wear gum shields and head gear and keep a fire extinguisher handy in case one of the rainbows spontaneously combusts with excitment
 
OP
Tez3

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
there not actually doing karate though are they? They are messing about punching ballons, what level of instructed is required for that, maybe a 4th dan would do at a push, as long as they all wear gum shields and head gear and keep a fire extinguisher handy in case one of the rainbows spontaneously combusts with excitment

The balloon thing is a game to play after they've punched and chopped. It's not the balloons I'm concerned about it's the bad punching into air that needs correcting, as I said about the boxercise ladies. All good instructors know you don't punch into air with your elbow straight. As I said I've seen someone dislocate their shoulder 'air punching'. children punching into the air for over an hour will end up with sore wrists and at five years old that's not good.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,822
Reaction score
5,699
It is not the style. It is the individual.

Look. People teach self defense who have never had to defend themselves. People teach martial arts with no accountability. No training in safety and no consistency in product.

Martial arts is quite simply a mess.

What is described is a bit tragic. But hardly unusual.
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,762
Reaction score
1,501
Location
Manchester UK
The balloon thing is a game to play after they've punched and chopped. It's not the balloons I'm concerned about it's the bad punching into air that needs correcting, as I said about the boxercise ladies. All good instructors know you don't punch into air with your elbow straight. As I said I've seen someone dislocate their shoulder 'air punching'. children punching into the air for over an hour will end up with sore wrists and at five years old that's not good.
what children need is plenty of robust exercises not mollycodling I really doubt they are going to be punching the air for an hour, id be surprised if their attention span is five minutes.and if they get tired or bored they will stop And i doubt their punches will look much like punches,And if they get sore arms that's good, that helps them develop,
 

Midnight-shadow

3rd Black Belt
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
928
Reaction score
242
Tez, I share your concerns and I see the same thing in a lot of sports, most often from parents trying to teach their kids a sport when they themselves have no clue what they are doing. I've seen are the parents who think it's a good idea to try and teach their non-swimming kids how to dive into deep water..... "hey little Jonny, you can't even put your head into the water comfortably but let's take those arm-bands off and I'll show you how to dive headfirst into water where you can't stand up! What could possibly go wrong?!" The worst part about this is when I've tried to explain why this is such a bad idea to the parent, they look at me like I've gone insane.

In short, people are stupid and generally speaking only understand immediate dangers, rather than the long term side effects of what they are doing. Joints and ligaments? Who cares about those!

What also doesn't help is that some people who should know what they are doing either don't care about the long term effects or are just ignorant. This causes even more problems because the parents generally watch the classes and will copy the teacher. If the teacher allows poor technique to go uncorrected, the parent will assume the technique is correct and copy it.

As to the situation with the girl guides, for something like this I don't think there needs to be a dedicated Karate instructor for it, but they should bring in a qualified instructor to teach the group leaders the proper technique first rather than giving them a sheet of paper and telling them to get on with it.
 
Last edited:

Touch Of Death

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
11,610
Reaction score
844
Location
Spokane Valley WA
Ok, I need some feedback on this, pretty please. The Girl Guiding Association here has put out some activity cards for the youngest section aged 5-7. One of those cards is 'Karate', it says things like 'rei is karate for bow' and 'karate is done in a dojo'. Ok no worries but then it tells leaders to get girls to make a fist ( 'make two thumbs up signs and curl your thumbs across your fingers, you've made a fist') and go around punching and 'chopping' into the air and then play 'karate tennis' punching balloons.
Now I emailed with my concerns about the punching as I have seen so many end up with sore wrists due to not knowing how to punch properly (due to lack of qualified instructor) and sore elbows due to punching into the air forcefully with straight elbows. I have even see a dislocated should due to punching like this. I was in a gym changing room once when a bunch of ladies came in from a class, they were all complaining about sore wrists and elbows, I asked how they were punching, with bent wrists and straight elbows with a lot of force! The instructor had been doing 'boxercise' and thought punching was just making a fist and throwing your arm about.

The reply I go was that safety was a priority ie the girls are told not to stand near each other and not to punch outside but they said nothing about my concerns for young joints! They did say they'd consulted British Taekwondo about how they should do a karate lesson. (Minor niggle there I'm afraid!)

Knowing young children they will put a lot of force into their punching and will carry on doing outside the unit. Guiding says it wants to introduce girls to new sports ( not against that) so if anyone is interested the instructors will have a nice time re-teaching them to punch.

Is it just me who isn't happy about people who have no idea about martial arts teaching a class on 'karate' thinking they know what it is and how to do it?


This is the page advertising the activity. It looks good I think to leaders and non martial artists but would you do gymnastics or Judo the same way? It also looks innocuous I know and it might just be me being protective of the young girls wrists etc. I know many won't teach children as young as this age group anyway. Ok please fire away and tell me I'm worrying over nothing!!!!

View attachment 20892
Now, add in all that kick boxing Aerobics, and we have us a real problem.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,990
Reaction score
4,547
Location
Covington, WA
I get the concern but i think this is a bit over the top. Kids aren't going to be ruined by chopping the air a little and punching some balloons.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
10,419
Reaction score
3,450
As long as the instructors don't try to teach how to punch and just let the kids use their fist in a way that feels natural then the kids should be fine. Kids have a tendency to move in ways that are more natural and proper on their own. It's not until unqualified people start teaching punching techniques that the problems.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
10,419
Reaction score
3,450
As long as the instructors don't try to teach how to punch and just let the kids use their fist in a way that feels natural then the kids should be fine. Kids have a tendency to move in ways that are more natural and proper on their own. It's not until unqualified people start teaching punching techniques that the problems occur.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
9,127
Reaction score
3,132
Location
New York
Personally, I wouldn't be too concerned about it, mainly because of the age. I guarantee you 5-7 year olds are punching the air anyway, pretending to be ninjas. If it's something that gets them into karate and their parents take them to an actual dojo, great. If they get bored or hurt themselves and don't continue, that sucks but it's not the end of the world. Regarding your over an hour statement; are five year olds continuously working on their punches for over an hour? Seeing kids classes run, I find that tough to believe, but even if they are, one hour of incorrect punching is not going to damage their joints to an extent they will know it 20 years down the line. Kids are more resilient than that.
 
OP
Tez3

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
As to the situation with the girl guides, for something like this I don't think there needs to be a dedicated Karate instructor for it, but they should bring in a qualified instructor to teach the group leaders the proper technique first rather than giving them a sheet of paper and telling them to get on with it.

We get instructors in usually to have demo or proper sessions in everything else, I just don't know why this one thing they've decided not to. it would be very easy to get an instructor from a local club in for a session and then the girls if they like it have a point of contact to join. The instructor can also answer questions knowledgably because the girls always have loads of questions!
The girls will be doing it for an hour or more, I've been told that in the trial sessions they did and they are 'told how to punch' not left to themselves because it's 'only a punch that everyone can do' direct quote from email I'm afraid. Other leaders have said they lined the girls up like in 'Karate Kid' and did lots of punching, walking up and down the room and also 'squatting' and punching. then they had them punching and 'chopping' stood around the room. the leaders said the girls liked it so they let them carry on for the full time.
The problem is so many people have seen martial arts on television and 'know' how these things go.

As for mollycoddling children, that's a nonsense. If other people's children who we have responsibility for get hurt that's not 'tough' that's negligence.
 

Headhunter

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
4,765
Reaction score
1,591
Personally, I wouldn't be too concerned about it, mainly because of the age. I guarantee you 5-7 year olds are punching the air anyway, pretending to be ninjas. If it's something that gets them into karate and their parents take them to an actual dojo, great. If they get bored or hurt themselves and don't continue, that sucks but it's not the end of the world. Regarding your over an hour statement; are five year olds continuously working on their punches for over an hour? Seeing kids classes run, I find that tough to believe, but even if they are, one hour of incorrect punching is not going to damage their joints to an extent they will know it 20 years down the line. Kids are more resilient than that.
Agreed most of those kids have probably thrown a punch before either in a fight or just messing around and there's no way a bunch of kids can do 1 thing for an hour hell it's a struggle to get kids to do something for more than 5 minutes without getting bored. Fact is injuries are going to happen in anything people do. Whether it's karate, football, gymnastics, sewing. Is it a good thing? No course not no one wants kids getting hurt. Is it something that's terrible and going to cause lasting damage? I very much doubt it
 
OP
Tez3

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,356
Reaction score
4,646
Location
England
Agreed most of those kids have probably thrown a punch before either in a fight or just messing around and there's no way a bunch of kids can do 1 thing for an hour hell it's a struggle to get kids to do something for more than 5 minutes without getting bored. Fact is injuries are going to happen in anything people do. Whether it's karate, football, gymnastics, sewing. Is it a good thing? No course not no one wants kids getting hurt. Is it something that's terrible and going to cause lasting damage? I very much doubt it

I disagree with the getting the kids to do things for five minutes without being bored is difficult, we do a great many things with the girls that go on for the whole meeting, you just have to know how to get them interested and engaged which I will say we are extremely good at. :) we usually run over time because we are busy doing something rather than have to keep finding things to do with them. Units have already done the 'karate' sessions for more than an hour. I've found the same in proper martial arts classes, children don't get bored if you know how to lead and teach them.
Of course injuries are going to happen but should they happen because a non qualified person who has never done an activity in their life is teaching it? While the cards are a guideline many leaders take it far beyond the suggestions ( one of the reasons the girls don't get bored), the cards are a suggestion, leaders bounce off them and come up with even more. They don't follow just what's there they go on and do a vast amount more hence the 'Karate Kid' lessons.

It actually doesn't take much to hyperextend young joints by the way and cause damage, I've checked with a couple of health professionals who are also martial artists before saying this. If they do this on their 'own time' it's not our problem but if they do it during Rainbow time then carry on because the leaders taught them how to do it yes it's our problem. It goes national as such problems have before, it only takes one post on 'mumsnet' (Active Conversations even politicians fear that lot, the language is ripe for parents too) it's the power of the internet, one so called 'newspaper' has already had a go at us because they said we should be learning to sew, make cups of tea and do crafts not interfere as they put it with 'men's' things like politics, engineering and science!

Very, very few girls have fist fights so won't have made fists and punched before, 'girl' fighting is different from the way boys fight. We are an all girl organisation, we don't take boys.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
26,826
Reaction score
8,233
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Ok, I need some feedback on this, pretty please. The Girl Guiding Association here has put out some activity cards for the youngest section aged 5-7. One of those cards is 'Karate', it says things like 'rei is karate for bow' and 'karate is done in a dojo'. Ok no worries but then it tells leaders to get girls to make a fist ( 'make two thumbs up signs and curl your thumbs across your fingers, you've made a fist') and go around punching and 'chopping' into the air and then play 'karate tennis' punching balloons.
Now I emailed with my concerns about the punching as I have seen so many end up with sore wrists due to not knowing how to punch properly (due to lack of qualified instructor) and sore elbows due to punching into the air forcefully with straight elbows. I have even see a dislocated should due to punching like this. I was in a gym changing room once when a bunch of ladies came in from a class, they were all complaining about sore wrists and elbows, I asked how they were punching, with bent wrists and straight elbows with a lot of force! The instructor had been doing 'boxercise' and thought punching was just making a fist and throwing your arm about.

The reply I go was that safety was a priority ie the girls are told not to stand near each other and not to punch outside but they said nothing about my concerns for young joints! They did say they'd consulted British Taekwondo about how they should do a karate lesson. (Minor niggle there I'm afraid!)

Knowing young children they will put a lot of force into their punching and will carry on doing outside the unit. Guiding says it wants to introduce girls to new sports ( not against that) so if anyone is interested the instructors will have a nice time re-teaching them to punch.

Is it just me who isn't happy about people who have no idea about martial arts teaching a class on 'karate' thinking they know what it is and how to do it?


This is the page advertising the activity. It looks good I think to leaders and non martial artists but would you do gymnastics or Judo the same way? It also looks innocuous I know and it might just be me being protective of the young girls wrists etc. I know many won't teach children as young as this age group anyway. Ok please fire away and tell me I'm worrying over nothing!!!!

View attachment 20892
I doubt they'll do enough of these activities to injure themselves more than they would just batting the balloons about. Some will get hurt, but probably not more than with other activities that have them swinging arms near each other.

The idea that this is somehow related to Karate, though, is ludicrous. To use your gymnastics analogy, it would be like having them do the "T" (from the steel rings) and the dismount (from horse, parallel bars, etc.) as set of dance moves and claim they're introducing gymnastics. Utter rubbish.

This activity is probably something used by some TKD schools for entertaining the kids between lessons. It's not a bad idea, but probably doesn't actually teach them anything useful. Doing it without the actual lessons with kids that age (and telling them they are learning to punch and chop) will probably make it hard for them to learn properly if they try to take up Karate (or TKD) in the next year or so.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
26,826
Reaction score
8,233
Location
Hendersonville, NC
The balloon thing is a game to play after they've punched and chopped. It's not the balloons I'm concerned about it's the bad punching into air that needs correcting, as I said about the boxercise ladies. All good instructors know you don't punch into air with your elbow straight. As I said I've seen someone dislocate their shoulder 'air punching'. children punching into the air for over an hour will end up with sore wrists and at five years old that's not good.
For an hour? Yeah, that's bad. I didn't catch that when I read your OP. I thought it was mostly about the balloon exercise. I can see no good in someone who doesn't know how to punch teaching kids how to punch, then having them do it for an hour.

I can't imagine the kids will be thrilled, either.
 
Top