Teaching Rug Rats

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR TRAINING IN YOUR CLASS?

  • 5+

  • 7+

  • 9+

  • 11+

  • 13+

  • 16+


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C

CHUNNER

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I really cannot be bothered teaching children martial arts. I have tried in the past and have attended courses on how to teach them but I cannot bring myself to turn my beloved art into a game for kids. I would like to hear other peoples opinions on teaching youngsters and what age is your minimum. Mine is 16.
 

tarabos

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i'm the same way...can't be bothered. i give the childrens' instructors all the credit in the world because they must have an infinite amount of patience to deal with that every day.

i'm pretty good with kids...just not strangers' kids...and just not a lot of them at once...
 
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C

Chuck

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I love it. I know that kids, some as young as 4, cannot really focus and have trouble with details, but they have fun. The ones in our school have an older sibling in class.

This last Saturday I was pleased to see a 6 yr old who had focus and concentration. When you demonstrate a technique, he tries to perform. I fyou point out a change to make he works on the adjuxtment. Rare, but where do Ernie Reyes Jrs. come form. He's a white belt.

I would not reccomend starting a child at 4 or 6, but the parents want to put them in the class. It's an adjustment for teacher and student alike. It teaches me patience.
 

cali_tkdbruin

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I wouldn't want to be in my Sabumnim's shoes when it comes to trying to train little kids. At my dojang the age that students are allowed to begin their TKD training is 5. Just from watching those kids' classes I see how hard it would be to try and teach them the MAs. :(

A lot of the little rugrats have low attention spans so they goof around quite a bit. Remember, a lot of the kids are forced to take the MAs because of their parents. If I were an instructor it would be frustrating to me to have some of those kids who didn't want to be there in my class, but, my SBN has much more patience than I do so he's able to keep the little punks in line.

But, not all of the little kids are goof offs of course, some really enjoy the MAs and are good practitioners. So what's a good age to start, 10+ :confused:

My daughter was 7 when she started, and has stayed with it to earn her Black. So I guess it depends on the kid. In any event, I wouldn't want to have my SBN's job. I respect him for trying to teach our Art to everyone.
 

rachel

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My instructor also teaches the childrens classes. My daughter is 9 and an orange belt. He is very good with the children. He seems to have a lot of patience but if the kids get out of line he will be firm with them. The fact that he does have a lot of patience shows because the kids really like and respect him. they don't get out of line very often that I see. i've heard some of the other parents commenting when their kids say "yes sir!" that they wish their kids were that respectful of them at home.:)
 

Cryozombie

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When I studied Hapkido, I did some student instruction for my Teacher. One of the things she assigned me as a "Duty"
was the Childeren's Self defense class.

MAN. WHAT A CHORE THAT WAS. Well, ok... It was fun, but focus and technique? Ha.

I mostly taught them stranger awareness and how to SCREAM "THIS IS NOT MY (mom/Dad)" Then Id have them march back and forth throwing punches and Kicks. I'm far from qualified to teach, but In Budo Taijutsu, if I WERE a Shidoshi, I couldnt see myself teaching anyone under 16.

Of course, training changes you daily (hopefully, if we are learning correctly) and when and if I ever DO rank that high and DO decide to teach, I may have a different opinion.
 
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R

RCastillo

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Originally posted by CHUNNER
I really cannot be bothered teaching children martial arts. I have tried in the past and have attended courses on how to teach them but I cannot bring myself to turn my beloved art into a game for kids. I would like to hear other peoples opinions on teaching youngsters and what age is your minimum. Mine is 16.

Couldn't have said it better myself.:asian:
 
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S

Shinzu

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training kids is not a bad idea. in this day and age even kids need to know how to defend themselves.

what i don't agree with is teaching kids that are way too young. for me that would be 4 and under. they don't have the attention span that it takes to grasp the art. more than once a child is there because the parents put them there.. not because THEY want to be there. this method will actually discourage a child from ever liking the art.

kids need alot of attention and patience. you have to realize that they are just children... don't expect the world from them and don't get too advanced. teach them what they can handle and let the rest follow. they will be better students and will enjoy coming to class.
 
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M

MartialArtsGuy

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with kids id say its more about doing something to help them develop self-esteem. Also i think its impotant to lay the groundwork in case they wish to continue when they get older. Basic basics...... maybe some basic kickboxing. I think its also important to consider, a parents point of view regarding their child. I think many parents just want their kids active, and developing self-esteem in a positive invironment.

Leave the dim mak till atleast 10 years of age ;)

:jediduel: you have learned much young one
 

theletch1

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Minimum age at my kwoon for kids is 5. We have a good group of kids there and most of them are pretty serious about it (if you can consider some one that young serious about anything.) I have four daughters and all of them are in it. They eat, sleep and breathe it. The youngest is 9 (or will be this wednesday) and has this ability to memorize a move after seeing it just two or three times. The oldest is 13 and with the adolescent boys, and these days the overly aggresive girls, that she attends school with MA is a must. They are the reason that I began training and now I am more dedicated to the martial arts than I am to anything except my kids.
If you don't have the patience to teach kids then DON'T. There are some kids out there that can become some of the best martial artists you'll ever see but they need an instructor who is willing to put the extra effort into training them. I applaud all of you who say that you won't train kids for knowing that there are limitations to what you can/will do in the martial arts. I enjoy training the kids and get a real kick out of seeing the look on a kids face when he finally gets it. To a lot of the kids that train in the martial arts it is anything but a game. To the ones that do see it as a game they'll more than likely be gone in six months anyway. The ones that stick around for that junior black and continue to become instructors as adults are what will keep our art going long after we are gone.

respecfully,
theletch1:asian:
 
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M

MartialArtist

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My teaching style isn't very good with kids. For kids, I wouldn't suggest hardcore self-defense, kids usually don't worry about that. School bullies? I don't know, but I don't teach people how do deal with schoolyard fights from kindergarten to high school that are usually started over disagreements or something stupid like that.

But for kids, I wouldn't turn it into a game, rather, I would just get them a good base with the basics, and working on PERFECT technique, and I do mean perfect.

However, grappling with kids isn't bad at all. Kids naturally love to roll around and wrestle, so it's natural for them. I'm not talking about chokes, submissions, etc., but something like scholastic wrestling. Simple throws, takedowns, locks, and basic ground moves.
 
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M

MountainSage

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I think it is difficult to compare our children to children of non-MA parents. Our kids have watch us train at home, for some, since they were very young and being in MAs is a normal part of life to them. My children have play kicked and punched with me from the time they could walk. My only requirement was that my kids must be eight years old and have to come to me and want to participate. My only precise little girl started last week and I am trying to stay a far distance and let others train her.

Mountian Sage
 

cali_tkdbruin

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My Sabumnim told me he'd help me out by reducing my tuition for our martial arts training (I train with my daughter at his dojang) if I would assist him by helping him teach/train his lower ranking, younger students. BTW, I'm just a lowly 1st dan BLACK.

It was a great offer and I appreciate his help tremendiously. Well, I've tried it, but, I just don't have the patience to train youngsters in my Art.

When I go into the dojang, I go in there completely focused and I'm hard core, I just want to train all out. When I leave the dojang, I leave everything there and I look like a sweatbag, entirely spent.

Of course most youngsters don't have this type of focus. Me personally, I find it hard to teach kids because most have low attention spans. I guess that's why I'm not an elementary school teacher. I suppose I'll have to learn how to teach my Art to all students if I want to continue to climb up the dan ranks, but, I personally only like to train with people who are older and more mature, and want to be there in the dojang and are motivated. My thought is that if you're not motived to study the MAs then step away, and just go home.

This is why I have complete respect for SBNs and school teachers who do have the patience to teach youngsters.

Take the MAs for what they are, they're not daycare or fun time for kids. For me it's serious, but, then again I'm not in the MA business side of it. I don't own or run a martial arts school so I don't have to worry about paying the bills... :asian:
 
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T

tonbo

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I have taught kids ever since I have been instructing at our school.

The kids classes can start at around age 3 1/2 +. They have their own class (the stereotypical "Little Dragons" program), where they learn the *art*, not just a game. Yes, we play "games", but they are all games meant to keep their focus. They are also the same games that we play with the older students (adults included).

The main things that aid in success when teaching kids, that I have seen, are as follows:

1) Have patience. Be willing to listen while some 4 year old tells you all about his/her new bike/doll/other toy, or while they chatter on about "useless" stuff. Remember, it may not be usefull for *you*, but may be to *them*

2) Keep the kids class shorter. Our normal class runs about 45 minutes for the medium and upper belt classes, and about an hour ("officially", anyway) for the BB class. The Little Dragons class only lasts about 30 minutes.

3) Keep the pace moving. You should be changing what you are doing every five minutes or so. Stay with one thing too long, and the kids will start to wander. Keep it moving, and they will stay with you.

4) Find the kids that are doing it right and *praise them*! Kids like to be praised, and like the attention. If one kid is praised for his kicks and gets to demo them, then other kids will want to as well.

5) Be visually exciting and approachable. You don't have to be Barney or anything stupid.....just be *happy*. Look like you are having fun doing what you do, even if you are not. Kids are drawn to fun, and will want to have fun if you ware as well.

And finally......(for now):

6) Talk to the kids as *people*, not as *babies*. Use "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" when answering kids' questions. Don't overexplain, but treat the kids as if they are at least reasonably smart--they will step up to the plate. Remember, that's what they get at school as well; however, the MA is a different kind of learning. They should be aware of what they are learning, even if they don't know all the details.

One thing I did with our kids class recently was to hold a "superhero" class, where all kids pretended to be their favorite superhero. The kids loved it, and, amazingly to some, we got a LOT done that day.

All of us remember what it was like to be a kid, to some degree. I got pushed into a lot of things by my parents as well. I tended to do best and stick with the subjects where the instructors were like my friends, rather than like an....ugh....teacher.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents' worth.

Peace--
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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I used to teach a lot of kids: we had as many as 60 kids in a single class.

Most dojos need kids to pay the rent! No kids, no rent payment, no school for the rest of us.

Anyway, I think Kids have to be old enought to comprehend what you are teaching. That's probably about 4 for TKD, 6 for J/O Karate, and 8 for Kenpo. It really helps if they can tell right from left! For most kids, that's between 6 and 8.
 
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W

Withered Soul

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I'm still stuck in the childrens class until Xmas. I'll be glad to get out. The kids, especially the younger ones, aren't very co-ordinated and are very difficult to spar with.
They develop a false sense of security. They got in their head that since they know [martial art] they can take anyone on.
 

hammer

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Old Fat Kenpoka said:
Most dojos need kids to pay the rent! No kids, no rent payment, no school for the rest of us.
.
Personally I think that the above statement sums it up. Additionally I read in one of the Ma success magazines those children under 12 makes up
65 percent,
Teens 10 percent.
Adults 25 percent

of the martial arts community (please dont quote me on those figures im running off memory) so it is a matter of survival that a studio teaches children , I suppose the difference is how you go about it whether you use the commercial based programs , or actually start teaching the art,


cheers
 

FearlessFreep

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Three of myt kids take TKD with me..two of them started before me. I have a 12 yo son, a 10yo daughter and a7 yo daughter in the class. My 5yo son probably won't start for a bit more.

I think it's helpful to the instructor that I am in the class with them

I got them started in TKD mostly just as a way to exercise and stay in shape. Since our class is strongly self-defense oriented, I think that the fact that my kids will be pretty good as teenagers, especially my daughters, at defending themselves is really a good idea. I'm glad I got them started as young as I did
 

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