Taekwondo Master too harsh for my almost 5 year old?

Markku P

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Hi, there!

Okay, so my husband and I have always wanted both of our children to take Taekwondo. We thought we "shopped" around well and decided on a place. Our Grandmaster is full Korean (trained in Korea) and has a good resume (8th or 9th degree blackbelt?), served in Korean military, etc.

This has nothing to do if the person is a good teacher. My first Teacher was 8ht Dan that time and he was horrible as a teacher. On the other hand, I have seen teachers who had low ranks but were very good as a teacher.

/Markku P.
 

Markku P

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However, he does use it to intimidate/scare a child into good behavior if they are not focusing (remember, my child is 4 1/2). More alarming to me, is he does wack/hit/pat (whatever you want to call it) on their back, bottom of their feet, bottom, etc. even when they just do something not right or if he feels they are not focusing enough to do it right. It is not enough to hurt, but to get their attention.

A professional teacher don't need teach like this. In my experience with Korean Masters is actually opposite. Most of them has been so good that they don't need to scare or intimidate students.

/Markku P.
 

SuperFLY

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couldnt have said it any better than Chris did above.

in my personal opinion, i think you're over-reacting.

the term 'corporal punishment', 'intimidation' and 'hitting' get thrown around way too much these days. they are COMPLETELY different to what you've described in your original post. sounds more like corrective methods to me.

is he old? is there a language barrier? would be far easier for him to tap a foot to get them to move it into the correct place than to stand there and try to explain it. where i train there are a lot of kids in some of the classes and they have to be corrected. either by moving their arms/legs into the proper place. we dont prod em with a stick but we will tap the arm, move it, shake it or whatever. it gives the child a clear message of what 'limb' they need to be moving. much more effective than just saying 'the left one' (you'd be shocked the amount of kids we have ranging from 5-12+ that still cant seem to tell their left from their right)

in short, you say multiple times he doesnt hurt them, he's friendly etc.. he's just using it as a teaching aid, a corrective tool.. nothing more. id say the disciplinary aspect of it is more a side effect and in my opinion can only be a positive one from what you've already described.

that said its your child and if he's unhappy and would prefer to go elsewhere then fair enough. id be interested whether he is actually unhappy though or that he just doesnt like getting 'corrected'
 

Earl Weiss

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Honesty time.
1. Sometimes I wish we had jst a touch of corporal punsihment to straighten some kids out.
2. Never hit a kid to cause injury - But - there is something I do that some might ?? consider inn apropriate. We allow punching to the face. I think getting punched in the face is bad. I teach a guarding stance where the lead fist is between your nodse and your opponents and the rear hand is by your ear. (https://1c47d0f0-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites...8qKu2MmVpO49zKUh_7HT1IPo1WQVUw&attredirects=0 )

When kids and adults are in this stance I tap their lead hand with the target paddle. It shows how the straight line attack is denied. If they drop their hand they get tapped on the forhead. I explain that they may not like getting hiot with "This" (Paddle) but getting hit with "This" (fist) is worse. I tell them to remeber this lesson when they spar and get hit in the face and see if they simply gave the opponent the opening.
 

miguksaram

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My suggestion is to trust your first instinct. If you're uncomfortable, there is an issue. More to the point, your child is uncomfortable and that is a serious issue.
I agree...if you don't like his methods, then it is time to find another school.

I have no problem with spankings and such. Got a few growing up myself. But the issue here that it is the parents job, not the instructor. Too be honest, if someone hit my son it would become a very bad day for them. Too be brutally honest, he'd find himself on the ground with an impending trip to jail.
While I agree that if some teacher hit my kid with a malicous intent, hit him extremely hard just to prove a point of discipline I would be all over it. However, I think you are over-reacting to the situation being presented or at least you seem to be taking this to the extreme. She already mentioned that he doesn't beat them or hit to hurt so much to initimidate.

I've trained children who were basically delinquents trying to get their act together. So the attention span and discipline wasn't always spectacular. But I used command presence, not a stick to keep their attention and focus. If this 'master' needs a stick, he's not a very good instructor. Particularly with children.
You do not know this for a fact on from the lady is saying. I am not sure if you teach 4-5 year olds, but what I have found is showing a command presence tends to intimidate them more to tears than a light tap with a stick. I teach 3 1/2 - 5 year class and while I do not use a stick I do use the kicking paddle to occassionally tap them on the head, or light pop on the butt when they are not behaving or to get their attention.

I know that some may consider this a 'cultural thing', well beating your wife in the middle east is a cultural thing but it isn't right or acceptable.

It is a cultural thing. If you understood Korean education system and how the parents discipline their kids, you would understand the intent here. Comparing what this instructor is doing to wife beating is a bad comparison. From what she has told us, he does not beat them. He uses it as a way to maintain discipline and focus, not beat them as a form a punishment.
 

miguksaram

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A professional teacher don't need teach like this. In my experience with Korean Masters is actually opposite. Most of them has been so good that they don't need to scare or intimidate students.

/Markku P.
Depends on the instructor and how he was raised in the martial arts. My kumdo teacher would strike us on the wrist with a jukdo if we did not have our hand positions correct. My TSD/Wing Chun instructor was Puerto Rican and he would pop us on the leg if our stances were not correct. I had an instructor who had no problem round house kickig you in the gut if he saw you losing focus. Why, because that is how they were brought up in the martial arts. Also, keep in mind, that this was in early 80's for most of them. Now and days we live in fluffy happy world where these types of things just don't happen anymore.
 

Manny

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My mastre has in the dojang: a) a piece of bamboo from a shinai, this thin piece cust the air like hell when you wipe it, b) three bokens that surely he uses too to dicipline and c) something that remainds me a kind of oar.

I don't know if my master uses one of these devices to correct behavoir in little children, I don't think so but he definetively uses those devices if need it to correct the teens and youngsters even he slaps the students with open hand in the shoulder or the chest when the behavoir relaxes in class, some times he uses the situps/pushups to equailize a teen.

I feel 4-7 years old must not take martial簽 arts class, they are too little to comprehend, etc,etc, please don't crucifix me I juts don't like to teach small children, I think martial art classes are good for childrem from 8 years and ahead.

My ex sambonim (JDKwaner) could be be very severe with teens and above and always a strong look or word could makie things work out, howevere there was one time he sparred (no rules) with a black belt student (maybe 17 or soo years old) because the master give him a call and he did not listen to the master.

I know you are very worried about your child, he is to young and maybe scared of master, however you must know asian masters tend to be more exigent.

If you feel unconfortable maybe you should look another dojang where the master is more frindly with thje children.

Manny
 

Kong Soo Do

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She already mentioned that he doesn't beat them or hit to hurt so much to initimidate.

A grown man has no business intimidating a 4yr old with a stick. It is as simple as that.

You do not know this for a fact on from the lady is saying. I am not sure if you teach 4-5 year olds, but what I have found is showing a command presence tends to intimidate them more to tears than a light tap with a stick.

Then you don't understand what command presence means Jeremy. I'm not talking boot camp drill instructor. Command presence, which I teach to recruits can be non-verbal as well as verbal and commands respect more than causes intimidation.

I had an instructor who had no problem round house kickig you in the gut if he saw you losing focus.

Round-house kicking to the gut to maintain focus, what a great teaching tool :uhoh: I put this right up there with your buddy who needed a full year to recover from an injury his instructor caused but maintains it was a 'gift' he was given. Funny, I've taught professionals for decades who actually use this stuff successfully for real and never had to hit/kick/stomp/injure any of them. I've taught children who had less than stellar attention spans and never had to resort to threats or intimidation to keep them motivated and coming back. I don't except 'culture' as an excuse for bad teaching practices.
 

miguksaram

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A grown man has no business intimidating a 4yr old with a stick. It is as simple as that.
Apparently you never been to an old fasion Catholic school where a ruler seemed to work well.



Then you don't understand what command presence means Jeremy. I'm not talking boot camp drill instructor. Command presence, which I teach to recruits can be non-verbal as well as verbal and commands respect more than causes intimidation.
Yes, I can see that working for older kids, but we are talking about 4-5 year olds. Have you taught that age group?



Round-house kicking to the gut to maintain focus, what a great teaching tool :uhoh: I put this right up there with your buddy who needed a full year to recover from an injury his instructor caused but maintains it was a 'gift' he was given. Funny, I've taught professionals for decades who actually use this stuff successfully for real and never had to hit/kick/stomp/injure any of them. I've taught children who had less than stellar attention spans and never had to resort to threats or intimidation to keep them motivated and coming back. I don't except 'culture' as an excuse for bad teaching practices.
Whatever....What you deem as bad teaching practices seems to work well in many other countries, especially those that are kicking our *** in education.
 

Kong Soo Do

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Apparently you never been to an old fasion Catholic school where a ruler seemed to work well.

Would this be the same institution that allows the rapes of little boys then covers it up? Not a very good comparison.

Yes, I can see that working for older kids, but we are talking about 4-5 year olds. Have you taught that age group?

Works well for them as well since they are looking for role models at that age, not bully tactics from grown men that should know better. And yes.
Whatever....What you deem as bad teaching practices seems to work well in many other countries, especially those that are kicking our *** in education.

Your mixing apples and oranges, again. I doubt they round house kick a kid to the gut in math class in Korea.
 
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Markku P

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My philosophy is very simple. No threats, no physical punishments etc. ( not even push ups if you arrive late to class like my Karate teacher did with us late -70 )It doesn't matter if we are talking about adults or children. Not even with "sense of humor". A really good teacher don't need to any kind of abuse toward his students.

/Markku P.
 

igillman

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If you or your child feel uncomfortable then it is time to find a new school. It does not matter if the reason seems trivial or silly to you, the fact that you feel uncomfortable is enough to make the switch.
 

Kong Soo Do

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My philosophy is very simple. No threats, no physical punishments etc. ( not even push ups if you arrive late to class like my Karate teacher did with us late -70 )It doesn't matter if we are talking about adults or children. Not even with "sense of humor". A really good teacher don't need to any kind of abuse toward his students.

/Markku P.

Agreed. There are far too many good teaching tools to resort to these negative tactics. Failure on the part of an instructor to learn good teaching methods only demonstrates that maybe they shouldn't be teaching.

And yes, I'm very passionate when it comes to children. I've been on the receiving end of physical and emotional abuse as a child. It sucks and is something no child should ever go through on any level. Childhood is a special time that only happens once and although it can't always be puppy dog dreams and ice cream, a good instructor can make it a rewarding and positive experience that the child then passes on when they become older. Regardless of whether they teach MA's or not.
 

Markku P

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Agreed. There are far too many good teaching tools to resort to these negative tactics. Failure on the part of an instructor to learn good teaching methods only demonstrates that maybe they shouldn't be teaching.

And yes, I'm very passionate when it comes to children. I've been on the receiving end of physical and emotional abuse as a child. It sucks and is something no child should ever go through on any level. Childhood is a special time that only happens once and although it can't always be puppy dog dreams and ice cream, a good instructor can make it a rewarding and positive experience that the child then passes on when they become older. Regardless of whether they teach MA's or not.

What I am most worried is that many in this forum seems to think it's OK to give "physical punishment" even a small one. ( or am I wrong with this? ) I don't care if the teacher is from another culture or has learned that way. Today we should know better.

/Markku P.
 

IcemanSK

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My first master occasionally walked around (the adult class populated with many teens in the mid 80's) with an oak stick that was cane length. He would use it to correct our stances by moving (or lightly tapping) our leg. It was for intimidation more than anything. In fact, I'm not sure I ever saw him hit anyone hard with it. I'd bet that the stick was in the corner or his office more than it ever was in his hand. His tone of voice expressing displeasure was all the correction we needed. I doubt the kids class even knew he had that stick.

I've trained under several teachers with varying teaching styles. Some I could learn from, others I couldn't.

People (adults & kids alike) respond to different teaching styles. No matter how good an instructor is, he/she may not be able to connect with everyone. If a student, or a parent, doesn't feel comfortable where they are training, they need to go find a place where they can thrive. I applaud the OP for asking out loud the questions that she had. I wish her & her son the best.
 

Tez3

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As a few of us have said in a simliar thread that also current, a four year old even if he's nearly five should be, if you insist he has to do martial arts, in a class for children the same age, ie a class that just teaches the very basics suitable for that age, they play games and it is a preparation for starting martial arts at any time from about nine/ten upwards. Children who aren't much more than toddlers should be having fun not participating in adult type martial arts classes.
 

miguksaram

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Would this be the same institution that allows the rapes of little boys then covers it up? Not a very good comparison.
Apples and oranges. If we are going to take it to that extreme, then a public school which does not utilize a ruler to the knuckles has its fair share of rapes, and yes, the public schools get away with such atrocities as well, can anyone say Penn State?


Your mixing apples and oranges, again. I doubt they round house kick a kid to the gut in math class in Korea.
I'm the one mixing my apples and oranges? While they are not round kicking in the gut, they are smacking with a stick and smaking them upside their head. Perhaps you need to learn more about Korean culture and history, before you start condeming their methods.
 

ETinCYQX

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Whether we think you need a reality check is irrelevant. You and your son have to be happy with the training, that's all that's important. He's obviously not happy.
 

Kong Soo Do

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What I am most worried is that many in this forum seems to think it's OK to give "physical punishment" even a small one.

I'm afraid it has more to do with defending a culture with some on the board, than the actual practice itself. Not surprising, but it is a pity.
 

Rich Parsons

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Paying money to be hit by a stick is bizarre. When is it the student's turn to hit the Master?? Equally odd to me is hugging kids. As a man, that is the last thing I would do, for legal reasons.

I have paid for the priviledge to get hit with a stick. I also have gotten paid for it. And the chance is usually when you are not expecting it from the student. ;) :D Of this is TKD thread and not FMA.


*****

As to the topic, as already stated, if you do not like it move the child to some other place. It is your money and your child.

I also agree with JKS and that until you know more, the resume is nothing but the sign used to get you through the door. It does not tell you about quality, or the capaibility of the instructor to communicate with you. They might be great with adults and not kids, or great with kids and not adults. Or they just might not be anything but a person trying their best.
 
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