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curious

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Micheal Edwards, in reading your reply, parts of it I understood what it is your trying to say, for example these are the smartest things I have ever heard from you-
moderation and variation are important in our lives......experiencing things is a very different thing than reading about them.......If a young person demonstrates world class potential, it should be monitored through childhood and adolescence, but development of that potential should proceed cautiously; very cautiously.
You even brought up a topic that can discussed in a very MT way:
Although times have changed a bit, I heard that Mark Spitz spent just a couple of months in formal training prior to the '72 Olympics. Today, world class althetes do need to attend to their training at a higher level.
This is very true- athletes now a days do have to train harder thanks to advances in technology and health- people are stronger, faster, healthier and are living longer than they did way back when. Today athletes that compete are milliseconds away from each other when placed first or second. Times have changed- as humans we have to adapt if not you get left behind. When you were seven years old maybe you couldn't handle two hours of classes probably because of your upbringing or your health- who knows- that doesn't mean that today's kids can't handle it; 35 years ago is 35 years ago- as humans we have come a long way.

But then there are moments like your previous post and this next comment that just rub people the wrong way- in a very negative way- you really do have a way with words. I hope you realize that you opened a can of worms-
Specialization is for insects.
I couldn't help but notice your quote at the bottom of your post by Martin Luther King Jr. did you know he SPECIALIZED in human civil rights? Albert Einstein SPECIALIZED in science and in math. Doctors SPECIALIZE in research, cures, medications and surgery. Teachers SPECIALIZE in educating our children. How about all the Grandmasters that have spent a lifetime SPECIALIZING in martial arts? Without people SPECIALIZING in their personal preferences- humanity would not have evolved and the world would not be what it is today; we would still be living like cavemen. For you to quote Mr. King and then say specializing is for insects is a contradiction, an oxymoron, a hypocrisy- yet again you have offended me.
 

jks9199

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Originally Posted by jks9199
Personally -- I think if the situation is raising questions in your mind enough that you felt you had to find somewhere to ask about it.....You might just have your answer.......to me, the fact that Curious was concerned enough to seek outside opinions speaks loudly......
First of all this thread was started to find out information and to ask for advice on what to do for my son since he has decided that MA's is going to be his way of life. I have only recently started (couple of years ago) MA's myself- I am still new to all that there is in the MA world- so as a "newbie" parent with a gifted child I am trying to find out what I can and what better place than here at MT? I know from reading other threads and posts that there are a lot of people with years of vast experiences and knowledge that can help me and any other parent out there with questions, people that have been there- done that. Concerned? Yes, of course, I'm a parent- how can I not be? But in the way that your implying? NO. You didn't psycholanalyze my son but I get the feeling your are trying to do so with me.

I want to thank everyone for their replies I finally feel like we are getting somewhere. For those of you that have yet to say anything- what are you waiting for???

I think you've read more into what I wrote than was there. Very simply -- you have something going on with your kid and his martial arts training, and you're uncertain about it. Your first post included:

Despite that I am soooo ANXIOUS I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack!!!!!! In case you were wondering Karate hasn't affected his schooling he has excellent grades and is a very well behaved boy. This is more than a proud mother moment, something inside of me (call it mothers intuition) is screaming. Do I keep him were he is at or do I give him more like he wants? How much is too much?

Something about the situation was making you uncomfortable, and it certainly seems as if the instructors there haven't answered your concerns. Now, I don't have kids, and I make it a point to try not to tell others how to raise their kids -- unless I'm forced to due to professional contacts. That said -- to me, if a parent is uncomfortable enough to put the energy into internet postings (or neighborhood gossip or whatever) that you have, then it's pretty clear that the parent is pretty disconcerted. Sometimes, that's not a big deal; I've known several people as their kids got driver's licenses... For some reason, they were pretty nervous! Other times... It's a major red flag. I was involved in an investigation where multiple parents advised that the suspect seemed "strange." Fortunately, no one was seriously harmed... but maybe earlier action in response to those feelings would have prevented the investigation. (I'm deliberately being rather vague; forgive me and tolerate it. I'm protecting my own privacy and my job.)

YOU know your son better than anyone on this forum. YOU know your son better than his martial arts teacher. YOU seem to feel that just maybe he's moving a little too fast here. It's YOUR job as the parent to listen to your feelings (which you've done), gather information (which you're doing), and then decide what course of action to take. I can't tell you what to do; I can only offer my opinion. For me, given ONLY what I know from this thread about your son, I'd say slow down a little bit. Keep him in classes; let him move up to the kid's program instead of the peewee program (with the teacher's support), but keep the pressure and tournaments down. Be sure he's involved in other sports... His growing body demands that variety to develop effectively. And make sure that he's doing things with his mind and imagination, too. I've seen too many kids who can't figure out what to do if you don't hand them a playset and script.

I've also seen "young prodigies" who burnt out and walked away from positive activities (not only martial arts) 'cause they did too much, too soon. Or who's activity came to dominate the family, as they had to shuttle to tournaments, practices, and so on. Balance is essential in life... As a parent, it's your job to make sure that a 7-year old develops that balance.

In the end, if your son is truly such a prodigy, he'll be practicing on his own. And martial arts will still be there when he's 10...or 20.
 

jks9199

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I couldn't help but notice your quote at the bottom of your post by Martin Luther King Jr. did you know he SPECIALIZED in human civil rights? Albert Einstein SPECIALIZED in science and in math. Doctors SPECIALIZE in research, cures, medications and surgery. Teachers SPECIALIZE in educating our children. How about all the Grandmasters that have spent a lifetime SPECIALIZING in martial arts? Without people SPECIALIZING in their personal preferences- humanity would not have evolved and the world would not be what it is today; we would still be living like cavemen. For you to quote Mr. King and then say specializing is for insects is a contradiction, an oxymoron, a hypocrisy- yet again you have offended me.

But each of them specialized as an adult... not at 7 years old. Tiger Woods also specialized at an early age; he had a rather rocky several years not too long ago, both personally and professionally, as I recall. Britney Spears specialized in performing at an early age; I certainly have no doubt that you wouldn't want your son to follow her path! And there are more examples...

A colleague of mine has a son who is a very gifted athlete, and loves and excels at basketball. My colleague has taken great care to make sure that his son didn't over-specialize, over-work, and just plain over-do until he was in his teens. Even now, he's taking care to be sure that his activities are appropriately balanced. The boy plays varsity ball, and has been nationally scouted as a freshman in HS. But keeping him level-headed and on a path that will ensure that he's not only a good basketball player, but a healthy and productive adult (even if his basketball dreams end tomorrow) has always been job one.
 

Marginal

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(needless personal attacks snipped)
This is very true- athletes now a days do have to train harder thanks to advances in technology and health- people are stronger, faster, healthier and are living longer than they did way back when. Today athletes that compete are milliseconds away from each other when placed first or second. Times have changed- as humans we have to adapt if not you get left behind. ...that doesn't mean that today's kids can't handle it; 35 years ago is 35 years ago- as humans we have come a long way.

Nutrition and sports medicine can only carry an 8 year old so far. There are still physical limitations, and the more a body's used, the greater the wear and tear. Unless you're dosing your kid with HGH or myostatin blockers I think he's probably still a regular human rather than an invincible superhuman mutant that emerged after a scant 35 years.

It's great that you're excited by your son's potential, and since that is all you really want to hear.. That's all I'll say.
 
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curious

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Something about the situation was making you uncomfortable.....to at least to question the situation...very true. -- to me, if a parent is uncomfortable enough to put the energy into internet postings that you have, then it's pretty clear that the parent is pretty disconcerted....no.....wary of the situation- yes. Sometimes, that's not a big deal; Other times...It's a major red flag..........very true. I've known several people as their kids got driver's licenses... For some reason, they were pretty nervous! I wonder why? :shrug: As a parent I don't blame them!!!
icon10.gif
That will be me in about 5 years.
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maybe earlier action in response to those feelings would have prevented the investigation ........which is exactly why I'm finding out what I can now when my son is just starting so that I know what to expect later. (I'm deliberately being rather vague; forgive me and tolerate it. I'm protecting my own privacy and my job.)........very understandable and respected. YOU know your son better than anyone on this forum. YOU know your son better than his martial arts teacher. YOU seem to feel that just maybe he's moving a little too fast here. It's YOUR job as the parent to listen to your feelings (which you've done), gather information (which you're doing), and then decide what course of action to take.....Very true!!! I can't tell you what to do; I can only offer my opinion. For me, given ONLY what I know from this thread about your son, I'd say slow down a little bit. Keep him in classes; let him move up to the kid's program instead of the peewee program (with the teacher's support), but keep the pressure and tournaments down. Be sure he's involved in other sports... His growing body demands that variety to develop effectively. And make sure that he's doing things with his mind and imagination, too. As a parent, it's your job to make sure that a 7-year old develops that balance. Balance is essential in life.....:asian: thank you!!!!

I couldn't help but notice your quote at the bottom of your post by Martin Luther King Jr. did you know he SPECIALIZED in human civil rights? Albert Einstein SPECIALIZED in science and in math. Doctors SPECIALIZE in research, cures, medications and surgery. Teachers SPECIALIZE in educating our children. How about all the Grandmasters that have spent a lifetime SPECIALIZING in martial arts? Without people SPECIALIZING in their personal preferences- humanity would not have evolved and the world would not be what it is today; we would still be living like cavemen. For you to quote Mr. King and then say specializing is for insects is a contradiction, an oxymoron, a hypocrisy- yet again you have offended me.
But each of them specialized as an adult... not at 7 years old.
JKS9199- when I made that reply it was in reponse to Micheal Edwards comment- it had nothing to do with my son and it was completely off topic. I was referring to Micheal Edwards comment towards Terry1965 that "specializing is for insects." That is a direct insult to everybody that has ever taken the time to specialize in anything- man, woman or child. I find that offensive if this was not his intentions then he needs to find another way of making his comments.
 

Shotgun Buddha

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JKS9199- when I made that reply it was in reponse to Micheal Edwards comment- it had nothing to do with my son and it was completely off topic. I was referring to Micheal Edwards comment towards Terry1965 that "specializing is for insects." That is a direct insult to everybody that has ever taken the time to specialize in anything- man, woman or child. I find that offensive if this was not his intentions then he needs to find another way of making his comments.

I think perhaps you're being a little bit too easily offended here. Any healthy well rounded invidual, will have always have more than one focus in their lives. So yes, Doctors might focus on their craft, or a grandmaster their art, but they still try have a life outside of that, or else run the risk of a breakdown. And thats just with an already developed adult. With someone who's still developing their personality and mentality, over-specialization in any area can result in severe diffuculties in later life, has its left their personality under-developed in other areas.

Personally, I think while kids should be encouraged to train, they should never reach the point where that training is the focus of their life.
 

MJS

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If my son were enrolled in an adult class then I would understand your concern but this has not been the case. In Peewee's my son was not being challenged, it became "too easy", he was becoming over-confident, conceited and arrogant. When he became a Peewee Student Leader he was really bossy and acted very snotty towards his fellow classmates. By putting my son in the kids class he is no longer in first place and has to work hard to achieve a high status and guess what- the experience of actually being challenged has humbled him.

I obviously do not know you, your child, the school he goes to, the instructor or how classes are conducted, therefore, I'm only able to base my opinion on what I read on here. Over my years training, I've done alot of teaching, so yes, I have seen those kids that thought things were 'too easy' and always wanted to move on. There is a big difference though, when someone does something, thinks its easy and wants to move on. The question that should be asked is, how well does the person really know it? Many times people wanted to 'move on' because things were 'too easy' and I'd watch them do a kata, and I could pick out a number of things they needed work on. I'm not saying this is the case with your child, again, I do not know all the facts, but my point is simply that just because someone thinks they got it, they may not. Surface wise they may, but digging deeper, they may not.


Pushing him? Yes, to a certain extent- for him to be a better person- like any parent out there should want.

Been there, done that. Every parent wants their child to go above and beyond. However, a line needs to be drawn. At a young age, the child is learning that this is the way things must be. As I said in another post, what happens when the child does not do well?

The only thing though- since my son has been in the kids program he has shocked us all by working his way up "the food chain"- showing us he's a bag of chips and then some. Not only that he wants more, as it turns out he likes being challenged and is ambitious enough to "push himself." As parents aren't we are supposed to encourage our children to take initiative and do something with their lives? In all honesty though I proud of the fact that he rather attend classes than sit in front of the t.v. watching cartoons and playing games all hours of the days. We don't have any Nintendos or X-boxes in this house just a couple of Sega's with like four games on it (we have way more family board games than electronics) and my kids can only play with it on weekends for two hours after they do their chores. I don't appreciated or approve of parents that let their children become couch potatoes and turn their brains to mush.

With all due respect, you seem to be twisting my words. I never said parents should not want their child to do good. Yes, its healthy to have an active kid, rather than one who sits on the couch with one hand on the remote and the other in a bag of chips. I, as well as a number of other folks on here, are simply saying that a child, especially one as young as yours, needs to be able to be a child. You and his instructor should be doing what you feel is best for the child, not what the child wants. Of course kids want to do more and more, but as I said above, do they really understand the full meaning of what they're doing? I'll say again, I can only go by what I see written here.

Additionally, in your original post, you said this. I'm also going to bold a few more key things here.

I was planning on putting this in the Womens or EPAK forums but figured there would be even more information and advice by placing it here. This thread is about my seven year old son, at this tender age he is already displaying amazing talent, my instructor and I believe that my son has possibly found his calling. Many other parents, onlookers, teachers and students at times have been left speechless by him and other times they can't say enough. When he first started he was only five years old in Peewees attending EPAK crossed with Ju-jitsu and Kickboxing. Since my son earned his 3rd degree brown belt six months ago my son went from two 45 minutes of Peewee classes to 10 hours of Peewee, Kids and Advanced Kids classes at HIS REQUEST actually he demanded it. Not only that he is an official Peewee Student Leader and assists at the YMCA on Saturdays. Last month he earned his 2nd degree brown belt passing me and my eleven year son!!! Our instructor and I felt like this was too much for him and were worried but my son has more than proved himself and wants more. Next month he is going to compete in a tourney for the first time!!!!!! I am not worried about my son getting hurt he grapples with 14- 16 year olds and does way better than some twelve year olds, all double even triple his size and weight. Despite that I am soooo ANXIOUS I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack!!!!!! In case you were wondering Karate hasn't affected his schooling he has excellent grades and is a very well behaved boy. This is more than a proud mother moment, something inside of me (call it mothers intuition) is screaming. Do I keep him were he is at or do I give him more like he wants? How much is too much? I have a potential FUTURE world champion on my hands how do I nurture that? At the tourney he's going to be placed with kids at his "level" (Peewee's) is this cheating? I have so many questions and concerns I'm drowning in them WHAT DO I DO?!?!? HELP ANYONE????

So, reading this first post, it seems as if you are looking for advice. You seem to have some legit concerns about what is the best route for you to take. So, when people replied and addressed their concerns as well, its almost as if you took offense to that. It seems as if you were looking for advice, but you were not getting the advice you wanted. I'm sorry, but speaking for myself, I'm not going to sugar coat something. I'm not going to say, "Yes, Yes, Yes!! This is the best route to take!" if I honestly do not feel it is. Apparently others feel the same. Once again, I do not know anything more than what I see you type. But, it is apparent to me, you're getting upset because you're not seeing the answers you want.

Respectfully,
Mike
 

michaeledward

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But then there are moments like your previous post and this next comment that just rub people the wrong way- in a very negative way- you really do have a way with words. I hope you realize that you opened a can of worms-I couldn't help but notice your quote at the bottom of your post by Martin Luther King Jr. did you know he SPECIALIZED in human civil rights? Albert Einstein SPECIALIZED in science and in math. Doctors SPECIALIZE in research, cures, medications and surgery. Teachers SPECIALIZE in educating our children. How about all the Grandmasters that have spent a lifetime SPECIALIZING in martial arts? Without people SPECIALIZING in their personal preferences- humanity would not have evolved and the world would not be what it is today; we would still be living like cavemen. For you to quote Mr. King and then say specializing is for insects is a contradiction, an oxymoron, a hypocrisy- yet again you have offended me.

If you believe that Martin Luther King Jr. 'specialized' in human civil rights, you either have an incomplete understanding of Doctor King's life, or a misunderstanding of the root word specialize.

The sentence I used is not something which I made up. It is a phrase that should be fairly well known in popular culture. If one does not know the original source of the quote, the idea, at least, should be understood.

Robert Heinlein said:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

And, I will argue the exact opposite of your last point. It is precisely because human beings are not 'specialists' that we are no longer "cavemen". It is an individuals ability to become moderately proficient at many different tasks that allows society as a whole to develop and advance.
 

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But then there are moments like your previous post and this next comment that just rub people the wrong way- in a very negative way- you really do have a way with words. I hope you realize that you opened a can of worms-I couldn't help but notice your quote at the bottom of your post by Martin Luther King Jr. did you know he SPECIALIZED in human civil rights? Albert Einstein SPECIALIZED in science and in math. Doctors SPECIALIZE in research, cures, medications and surgery. Teachers SPECIALIZE in educating our children. How about all the Grandmasters that have spent a lifetime SPECIALIZING in martial arts? Without people SPECIALIZING in their personal preferences- humanity would not have evolved and the world would not be what it is today; we would still be living like cavemen. For you to quote Mr. King and then say specializing is for insects is a contradiction, an oxymoron, a hypocrisy- yet again you have offended me.

Everything in moderation, everything. You get offended easily don't you?

Lamont
 

bluemtn

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ATTENTION ALL USERS:

Please, return to the original topic.

-tkdgirl
-MT Moderator-
 
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curious

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I haven't forgotten this thread I will continue it. I've been gone for a couple of weeks due to a urgent family emergency out of state. I barely got back yesterday so I will make a response at a later time when things have calm down.
 

tshadowchaser

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I think every parent wants their child to progress and to achive all that they can. I think most children want to reach the highest level they can.

Some things to watch as this child grows in knowledge and ability.
make sure his ego dose not outgrow his knowledge and ability
Be sure he is safe at whatever level he trains at
make sure he is not given rank he can not defend, interpeit, understand
make sure he is humble and works well with those not as gifted

tournament are a game of tag and a place to learn what may work againsst others not a place to seek personal glory. Remember its plastic not gold
 
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curious

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I'm back...not a 100% back...but I'm here...my heart is still with my family in Arizona...still feeling their pain...still dwelling in mine. I'm taking this moment to honor the memory of someone special.....J. Rivera...my brother-in-law who was recently brutally taken from us. After missing for about a week he was found murdered and dumped in the desert- out in the middle of no where. To this day we still don't know what happened but this I know for sure- who ever killed him is a coward. My brother-in-law used to be a streetfighter up until he settled down and got married. I remember once when he was only 15 years old he got jumped by a bunch of gangbangers about 7 of them he fought them all by the time his brother got word and went to his defense "J.R." was already half ways finished. Only once I had the privilege of watching him fight- he was a force to reckon with. His father used to be a professional boxer in Mexico he taught his kids how to fight at a very young age. So if he had gotten into a fight there would have been a body or two beside him. Who ever killed him did not have the ****ing balls to face him one-on-one...he shot him. Why? We may never know. I know I sound angry and I'm ranting...can't help it...I'm sorry if I offend anyone. He didn't deserve to go out the way he did...he was one of the good guys- very caring, hard working, dependable and trustworthy. He always made you laugh...he was always there for you no matter what. My children and I did not want to come back home at all...the day we left for the Bay Area was one of our darkest ever. As soon as we got back I tried getting my boys back on track but our hearts are not into anything any more...all we can think about is going back to AZ. I thought that by continuing to go to MA classes would be a good way of letting it all out, of relieving all that stress. My seven year old seems to be getting back on track...my eleven year old and I...different story.

The reason I say seems is because he is no longer interested in being the next Jet Li he now wants to join the IFL (International Fighting League). I can't help but wonder if the death of his uncle has influenced his choice since the IFL and the UFC have a certain streetfighting "taste" to it. Or could it be because mixed martial arts has become very popular- the new "it" thing? Honestly after watching my son these past couple of weeks I get the impression that he's angry. Since we have been back my seven year old has stopped helping out at the YMCA and has become even more serious than before...no more goofing around or interacting with the other kids between classes, instead, he sits on my lap. As a student leader he has become a drill sargeant and reprimands the other students instead of helping them out like he used to. I tried talking to him but it's like talking to a wall, how is that even possible he's only seven years old not a teenager. At the beginning of this thread I was like "HHHMMMM???!!!" but now I am really worried. I think that by keeping them in MA's it gives them a healthy outlet but I'm thinking of pulling my boys out of the student leader program and switching them to semi-privates at least until they learn how to deal with their emotions. If that doesn't work then I'll have to pull them out and find some other way to help them. I hope it doesn't come to that...I had planned on moving to Phoenix by Christmas but because of this situation we're moving to Scottsdale by the end of June. My boys and I were going to sign up somewhere new after a couple of months of moving there, getting settled in and checking out places. If I pull them out now that would be at least six months before I get them back in. When you consider their schedule and how active they are...I know for a fact they will become restless and most likely take it out on each other. Too much has happened too fast and that was only the beginning...there were many of you that have offered me very good advice before...what do you think I should do now???
 

Lisa

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Curious,

I think a break may be just what your boys need. In times of tragedy in their lives, we as parents need to make hard choices. It seems to me (going strictly from what you wrote cause I don't live in your home) that you are all hurting immensely from this family situation.

Recently, I lost my Dad after he suffered in the hospital for over three months. The day after he passed, my youngest left to go and compete in a national competition for shooting. It was hard for her to leave, it was hard for her to compete and it was hard for her to miss the memorial service. When she came back, she was glad she went, because she knew her Papa would have wanted it that way. However, my husband and I insisted she take a month off and recharge. A month of not picking up her gun, a month of having nothing to do with shooting and she even missed a competition because of it. It allowed her time to recharge, to grieve and to regain her perspective.

In the beginning she didn't want to and wasn't very happy with us for insisting. In the end, she agreed it was the best thing for her.
 
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