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Patch
07-22-2009, 04:07 PM
My son & daughter, ages 6 & 9, had their first Tae Kwon Do class a few hours ago.
Anyone taking classes or have kids in classes? How's the experience been?

RebootedCorpse
07-22-2009, 04:11 PM
My son has taken okinawan karate classes. I think it has been good for him. Helps him stay focused and develop coordination.

Dave S.
07-22-2009, 04:18 PM
I'm taking Wing Chun, it's really good. But tough. It's very much about efficiency of movement, adhering to form, taking down attackers as quickly as possible and disabling them. Not really for kids.

TKD schools in the US are mostly what are known as McDojos. They are geared towards teaching kids some flashy stuff. It'll still help build discipline and coordination, as well as keep them fit. But it's not really geared towards practical fighting/self-defense. Mostly teachers tournament stuff. But at that age, you probably don't want that anyway.

The Crushtacean
07-22-2009, 04:39 PM
I'm taking Tai Chi. It's been quite enjoyable so far.

Patch
07-22-2009, 04:53 PM
My son has taken okinawan karate classes. I think it has been good for him. Helps him stay focused and develop coordination.
It seems like it's going to be a positive thing. My son is soft-spoken and a little shy and shouting those "HAI"s could make him feel better about that.


I'm taking Wing Chun, it's really good. But tough. It's very much about efficiency of movement, adhering to form, taking down attackers as quickly as possible and disabling them. Not really for kids.

TKD schools in the US are mostly what are known as McDojos. They are geared towards teaching kids some flashy stuff. It'll still help build discipline and coordination, as well as keep them fit. But it's not really geared towards practical fighting/self-defense. Mostly teachers tournament stuff. But at that age, you probably don't want that anyway.

Are you saying your kung fu is better than my kung fu? :)
This school doesn't seem like a McDojo so we're lucky there. I signed my kids up after we went to an open house and a Tae Kwon Do demonstration the instructor hosted. He used to be the captain of the Korean National team and helped fund the current team's U.S. tour. He seems extraordinarily good with kids and just had a student win two gold medals at the Jr. Olympics.

I like this guy.

Wigner's Friend
07-22-2009, 05:07 PM
If they're in public schools, I'd suggest Krav Maga so they can learn to defend against knife attacks.

hakubi
07-22-2009, 06:10 PM
As a timid child who eventually became a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, I can assure you that children do not simply become badasses because they know a martial art. The other kids didn't stop giving me crap until I had proven to be a good runner on the track/cross country teams(and was taller than the rest of those tiny bastards). But by that point I was almost in high school, when I'd quit taking lessons back in grade school.

Don't get me wrong, I would recommend it over soccer, baseball, or something like that. Just know that there are other factors involved in de-sissyfying your children.

Patch
07-22-2009, 06:42 PM
As a timid child who eventually became a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, I can assure you that children do not simply become badasses because they know a martial art. The other kids didn't stop giving me crap until I had proven to be a good runner on the track/cross country teams(and was taller than the rest of those tiny bastards). But by that point I was almost in high school, when I'd quit taking lessons back in grade school.

Don't get me wrong, I would recommend it over soccer, baseball, or something like that. Just know that there are other factors involved in de-sissyfying your children.

Making my kids badassses or "de-sissyfying" them isn't what I'm going for.

EdNEMO
07-22-2009, 07:05 PM
I teach martial arts and in the past have taught kids. My biggest recommendation is to make sure what the school is teaching is what you are looking for. A lot of schools teach a lot of discipline and good exercise and almost no practical self defense. While others do the opposite. Occasionally you find one that does both.

As Dave S mentioned on here, Wing Chun is a great martial art to get your kids into. It is very fast, teaches excellent hand eye coordination and is heavy in discipline. Perfect for kids and frankly anybody. However it is ideally aimed at people with thinner athletic builds. Not that anybody could not do it, but their other martial arts better suited for larger people. Ones that take advantage of the extra weight and strength.

TKD is usually taught as a sport by people that are in a long line of people that have learned it as such. Occasionally you will come across someone who is a total TKD badass. TKD can be fast and powerful to someone who trains hard and knows what they are doing. But just be warned if anyone tells you high flashy kicks are going to save your butt in a fight, start taking what they are saying with a grain of salt. But if nothing else, TKD is a great starting point and the people teaching it are well instructed on how to teach kids.

Pick The System!
07-22-2009, 07:05 PM
I take BJJ every week and it's been great - we have an adult class and a kids class at the place I practice. Martial arts is really a lot of fun - it's a great way to get/stay in shape and it also helps with discipline, overall respect and setting/achieving goals one step at a time.

Definitely a lot of fun. Any form of martial arts is highly recommended.

WickedLittleHigh
07-22-2009, 07:41 PM
I got my yellow belt in Shudokan karate when I was younger, and I feel like it made me feel more assertive and confident. It also helped that my uncle, a 3rd degree black belt, was the instructor of the class and helped me when I was practicing at home.

ShortStack
07-22-2009, 07:51 PM
I took tae kwon do when I was 14-18 years old, study with a private instructor in a mixed form of kung fu now. I used to teach kids tae kwon do as well, I did a lot of stints at day camps as a special guest gym instructor. Tae Kwon Do is a super kid-friendly discipline. They will have a blast. Good on you for signing them up, I intend to sign any children I might decide to have in the future up for martial arts, especially girls.

Patch
07-22-2009, 08:36 PM
They will have a blast. Good on you for signing them up, I intend to sign any children I might decide to have in the future up for martial arts, especially girls.

Hey, thanks ShortStack.
In addition to the stances and kicks, the instructor spent time today discussing focus and respect.
All of the kids seemed to really tune into him and listen.

Sometimes it takes a village...
you just have to cough up a monthly fee :)

Jibberwashed
07-22-2009, 08:54 PM
I think it's more about the school than the specific discipline. If you raise your kids right, they'll never been in a fight, but if they have confidence, know how to interact intelligently with people, and are unafraid of physical challenges, then it will be overall beneficial. I've taken Karate for 2 yrs (1 yr shodokan, 1 yr Shyorin Ryu), a year of Kung Fu, and I'm in my 3rd year of Capoeira. Of all of them, I've loved capoeira the most, just because it's what I've had the most fun with. Never in my life did I think I'd be doing backflips, one-armed hand stands, and the like, but I'm continually surprised and what my body is capable of. Capoeira just makes me feel free. I realize that it's not all that practical, but my parents raised me pretty well. I've never been in a fight, and I don't ever plan to be in one.

Garth
07-22-2009, 09:18 PM
I instructed martial arts for 7 years and was involved in it for 14 years. It simply is great for children, if you find a quality school that (as Ed mentioned) has what you are looking for. I taught a combination of Karate, Aikido, Arnis, Judo, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, and weapons. But I feel like the main goal of our program was for discipline and also to give a good basis of practical martial arts knowledge and instruction.

EdNEMO
07-22-2009, 09:51 PM
I honestly think that to teach self defense (not martial arts) you have to have been in at least a few fights. The reason being you need to be able to adequately explain what happens, before, during and after the fight. Flight or fight response, followed by adrenal pump, followed by dump shock. How it affects you and the best mindset to use to get through it. What to do when it is all over. And explanations on tunnel vision, timing, and ensuring you have a proper safety zone when it is over and you can rest.

I found out from a lot of the bouncers that worked for me that they had specifically taken the job to find out how it felt to deal with lots of different types of violent situations. And it is honestly something that once you find out how you react to situations, you learn more than you ever can sparring.

Now I'm not saying for people to go out and get in fights. I just find it troubling to have anyone tell me what will and will not work when they have never fought for their life. Perhaps it is just me.

If you want to learn martial arts, great! If you want to teach martial arts, great! If you want to teach self defense...make sure you have been in a few self defense situations otherwise you will be doing your students a disservice.