Author Topic: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old  (Read 16110 times)

Offline Blu

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Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« on: August 12, 2012, 08:29:41 PM »
My son is starting Kindergarten this year.  He has expressed intrest in "Karate".  I know nothing really about the different schools of Martial Arts, so I am hoping that someone can shed some light on it for me. 

We have a Taekwondo and a Karate place with in a mile of each other, is there are huge difference in what style a youngster should start in?

Offline archer

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 08:50:50 PM »
karate is an even mixture of kicks, punches, blocks, and strikes. tae-kwon-do focuses more on kicking. you might also look into aikido if your kid like more circular defensive movements.


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Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 09:05:56 PM »
Check out what is in your area and get the vibe of the instructors.  Instructors are more important than the art in many respects.

But if you want an style...Judo.  The combination of standing throws, unbalancing techniques and ground fighting combined with teaching competitiveness and not being intimidated by close contact is a great place to start a youngster out.  It is fairly ubiquitous if you think you might move sometime also.

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Offline atherts

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 11:15:42 PM »
Stay away from anything requiring breaking boards or bricks. That comes back to haunt you when you are older. Tae Kwon Do does a lot of this.
Judo is also hard on the body, but good for the throws.
Karate, especially the Okinawan Shorin Ryu is very good. More upright and softer than Japanese karate.
Kung Fu has a lot of styles and can be more entertaining for youngsters and keeps their interest.
Wushu or modern Kung fu is much less practical and more competition and show oriented.
Aikido and jujitsu are other good options.
Much depends on the teacher, so watch a few classes first.
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Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 05:19:58 AM »
my kids took tai kwon do, but if I had to do it again at that age, I'd go for judo with kids to start with.
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Offline UDI-Joshua

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 07:43:46 AM »
At 5 years old it is really less about the art itself and more about the instructor and what will hold their attention. Try a few different styles and see what holds his attention the most. If he isn't interested during class then he will become easily distracted and bored and it won't matter anyway.

Also, you will find out that at that age, it will be less about the art itself and more about discipline. Not the hard edge "You get in line" kind of discipline, but the kind where the instructor will give the child some kind of worksheet that they have to fulfill. They have to keep their room clean, do their homework, do their chores, be respectful to their parents, etc. Then the parents will have to sign off on it every week. This is another reason that you want to make sure that you find an art that will hold your sons interest, if he doesn't care, then he won't care about fulfilling the instructors sheet every week. This is just to teach the student self discipline, which will take them further in life than any particular style over another.

I will say this though, at 5 years old, Karate or Tae Kwon Do are probably your best bet. Kids aren't interested in the technical values of an art, they want to punch, kick and yell, these are the things that will hold their interest. But every kid is different, you just never know until you check a few out. If you do find, after trying a few out, that Karate or Tae Kwon Do are what your son are interested in, but you really want him to take something like Judo, then start him in the Karate or TKD to start getting him interested in the martial arts in general and then see what he thinks about trying Judo (or whatever other art) in a few years when he is more mature in the arts.

But, resist the urge to put him in any particular art because you think it's the better art, you may find that he won't practice and will probably quit, leaving you frustrated that you can't get him interested in the martial arts. It's like buying toys for him, just because you think it's a cool toy doesn't mean that he will. If he's anything like my son and most other children he has a small group of toys in his toy box that almost never get played with. But at some point, you must have thought they were really cool toys or would really be beneficial to him developmentally or you wouldn't have bought them.

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Offline markl32

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 10:31:30 AM »

I learned more and became a much better fighter in 6 months at a Boxing and Brazilian jujitsu (BJJ) gym than I did in 10+ years of Karate and TKD.  I would start the boy at a wrestling or BJJ gym.  My boy is only 4 but I've already scoped out a BJJ gym in my area I'll be taking him to when he is ready.  After he has a good ground game I'll move him into some striking when he is older. 

If it must be between Karate and TKD i would recommend the Karate.  I had about 4 years of TKD under my belt when as a teenager I sparred with a guy who had spent about the same amount of time in Isshinryu Karate and Judo.  He mopped the floor with me.  While I was "good" in within the confines of the TKD world I found myself completely ineffective against this other guy.  I felt completely one demential in that encounter.  My opponent was one step ahead of me in every way.    Lucky for me this was a friendly competition and I got a cheap lesson. 
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Offline Cool Blue

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 11:19:13 AM »
In my experience Taekwondo tends to focus more on the "sport" aspect of it (olympic style sparring, light contact) where as Karate is more focused on contact sparring.

For example, Karate would allow leg sweeps and punches to the head/face, while those are against the rules in TKD.

This all depends on the individual schools however.

Somebody mentioned that boards and bricks are common in TKD and not karate but in my experience is the opposite.  In my experience it has been the karate schools around here that are proud of contact sparring to create "tough guys" who do things like knuckle pushups on stones to build up callouses on their fists.

In my years with TKD I've never seen bricks being broken (except for a grandmaster who had about 40 years of training) and although boards are common its actually more about learning the trick/technique than strength (boards are VERY easy to break if done correctly, I used to do them with my big toe and thumb and never had any problems).

In my experience International Tae Kwon Do Federation tend to be more into contact sparring.

I was in a World Taekwondo Federation school (notice the difference in spelling TDK) and they tend to focus more on Olympic style sparring, demonstration teams and speed/technique over strength.  Girls tend to do well in WTF school.
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Offline Doug

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 01:49:06 PM »
I have a background in TKD, JKD, arnise, jujitsu, and combat kempo.  The TKD gave me a hell of a kick but it's limited since it's mostly focused on sport. Judo is too but as a self defense I rank it above TKD. Given a choice between TKD and Kenpo I go with Kenpo. I really like BJJ/jujisu but I'm not so sure I'd have a young kid getting wrist/joint torques since they are still growing and have loose joints.

Bottom line though he needs to be in a system he likes and will stick with until he's older. Equal to that is what is the instructor's personality.
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Offline XD40SHOOTER

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 02:31:21 PM »
I would personally go with boxing, maybe wrestling.  Although they're usually not as exciting for the kid.  Like someone else said, the more important thing is that the kid has a good experience with it and he can grow from there.  Go talk to a few places.  Any place that won't let you try it out for a week for free, I would pass on.

Offline pokeshell

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 03:10:20 PM »
Another option is to check out a MMA gym. There he will have exposure to many forms of martial arts. We are signing up as a family activity for the winter, we have an 8 year old. He did not like Karate, but did like kickboxing. The Karate was punching into the air, where as kickboxing, he actually kicked and punched the bag. It held his attention better.

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Offline Cool Blue

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2012, 04:05:36 PM »
It really depends on what you want out of it for your 5 year old.  I'm assuming for example that self defense isn't what you're looking for at that age.  I'm biased but I think TKD is good for kids that age due to their emphasis on sport and technique/speed over strength

Furthermore, a kid would be better off in terms of self defense with TKD because of the kicking (greater reach, stronger leg muscles), for example, with a good kick to the knee or groin than a grappling martial art where they wouldn't have much chance against a much larger and stronger opponent. 

However, any good instructor would teach a kid that the first thing to do in self-defense it to run away and only fight if you have no other choice.

That being said, when they get older and you're interested in self defense TKD isn't very strong on that side of things and has virtually no grappling (the strategy is keep opponents away from you/disable them with your longer leg reach).  IMO, grappling is important when it comes to self-defense.
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Offline Cool Blue

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 04:22:27 PM »
Quote
If it must be between Karate and TKD i would recommend the Karate.  I had about 4 years of TKD under my belt when as a teenager I sparred with a guy who had spent about the same amount of time in Isshinryu Karate and Judo.  He mopped the floor with me.  While I was "good" in within the confines of the TKD world I found myself completely ineffective against this other guy.  I felt completely one demential in that encounter.  My opponent was one step ahead of me in every way.    Lucky for me this was a friendly competition and I got a cheap lesson. 

Funny story:

In high school a friend of mine asked me to do a demonstration in the school gym for a class presentation he was doing.  I agreed and when I showed up I found out he also invited another friend who was in the local "contact karate" class.  This guy was really one of the "tough guy" martial artists.  Like his yells were over the top whereas when I do it it's just enough to tense my core muscles, not to impress or intimidate.

Well the class loved our demos and somebody asked if we could spar.  I'd never sparred somebody outside of TKD and I agreed as long as since it was just for show it was light contact.  I was on the demonstration team and I told him I even though I'd be going very fast, not to worry because I'd pull back at the last moment and only tap him with my kicks.  I stressed that this was just to put on a good show and gave a friendly warning:

"Do not try to block or catch my kicks.  You'll hurt yourself."

Well, karate guy wasn't concerned about putting on a good show and this turned out to be an opportunity to prove who was the toughest in public.  I saw his roundhouse coming, it was horribly telegraphed, unlike in TKD where we'd tuck in our leg and only whip it out at the last moment.  Because it was so sloppy I thought he wanted me to see it, because, as I said, this was just for show.  So I didn't move or counter it.

He connected to my mouth.  Hard.  I tasted blood and lost it.  I went full out on him, more to intimidate than to harm and in the middle of a triple jumping spin-kick he tried to catch my leg at the shin.

It seemed strange that when I next did an angle kick, just meant to bridge the gap so I could follow up with a back kick, but he stepped into it and allowed me to tap him in the ribs.  He seemed to just give up and since that was my 3rd point (under Karate sparring rules) the match was over and I won.

A few days later I found out from my friend that when he tried to catch my leg, I shattered two of his fingers.  That's why he gave up and let me tap him!

I warned him.  ;D
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2012, 01:38:56 PM »
Well, I'd like to add a few things, here.

First of all, let me ask. . .and you should be 100% honest. . .Why do you want him to study a martial art?

In my case, I've been studying various martial arts for over 35 years.  I began when I was 8 in TaeKwonDo and did that for 9 years.  After that, I started studying any style that interested me and that I could find as I moved around a lot for the military, school, work, etc.

Your kid's first martial art should be a throw-away.    I know many will howl and stomp and twist their hankies over that comment, but. . .most kids don't have the follow through for you to worry too much about which art you choose. 

Find a school that does NOT have crap like a 1-year contract or a "Black Belt Program" where you're locked in for a year (or more) in fees after your kid loses interest a month into it.

Find a good instructor.  Ask around.  Ask for a free month's (or at least a couple of weeks) worth of classes, up front.  This is both for you and for your son.   While your son is finding out if it's for him, you should be talking to the parents. . .preferably of the students who have been there a while.  Ask them about the instructors, etc., basically mining them for information.

If your son DOES take to it, and sticks with it for at least a year, THEN start considering other styles.

But, again, you have to ask WHY.  Does your son like it as a sport?  Does he like the discipline?  Does he like certain parts of the martial arts.

Based upon this, then start looking for a martial art that fulfills HIS needs.   Remember, he's young.  His priorities will change and you should really try to nurture his interests rather than allow outside influences to change them for him.

Despite the testosterone that tends to be thrown around when this martial art or that style is bandied about or the discussions of which style is "better" than another, there's really nothing wrong with having your son participate in the martial arts as a sport.  When he could be at home giving his thumbs a workout on a game, he might prefer to be in class perfecting a physical technique. 

No, he may not be a super-ninja taking on the entire football team and walking away without a scratch, he may not be doing the Jason Bourne thing on members of a rival school's Glee Club, but he is doing something physical.

If/when he becomes interested in it as a combative discipline, THEN start looking to fulfill that need.  I, personally, prefer the Filipino Martial Arts for this.  But, again, that's an opinion.

In any case:

1.  Check out an instructor's credentials.  Make sure he has them.

2.  Check out the organization issuing the credentials.  Do a Google Search and dig deep.  You'd be surprised at how many BS credentialing organizations are out there and how low (except for the credentialing fee) the standards are.

3.  Check with the Better Business Bureau.  Make sure they don't have any unresolved complaints against them. If they do, be sure to bring this up to the instructor.

4.  Ask them outright if they have insurance.  Sure, they're going to make you sign a Liability Waiver/Release, but this doesn't absolve them of liability in most cases, especially if they are negligent.

5.  Don't sign any contracts.  Over 80% of students quit before a year is up.  Over 95% quit before two years are up. There are plenty of schools out there that do month-to-month.  It may cost a few $$ more, initially, but if Jr. quits six weeks into it, you're not on the hook for 10 more months of payments.  Save the contract for when it's a safe way to save $$.

6.  Ask about ancillary costs.  Things like uniforms, pads, belts, etc. all add up.  Many schools will sell them to you.  Some will sell them at an extremely high mark-up.  This is common among many of the larger schools with national affiliation.  You can only buy their uniforms with their logos an at their weights with only their brand of pads, etc.

7.  Don't overlook the guys teaching out of their homes or garages.    I have a friend who learned his grappling skills from a well-known BJJ instructor when they shared a stint in State Prison.  He learned it to defend himself and used it a couple of times before he got out (it was a tax evasion conviction).  Now, he teaches out of his garage.  He doesn't charge  very much (in fact, if the kid wants to stay and his parents have a hard time paying, he's been known to reduce his fees drastically and even trading, outright, for small jobs around the house), so he can't afford a $2000 lighted sign or a $3000/month storefront in a strip mall.

But who would you rather learn from?  Some guy who actually had to use his techniques against those who tried to injure/kill him, or some guy whose only claim to fame is a rack of shiny trophies lining the walls?  (Answer: whichever you feel the most comfortable with).

There are a lot of martial artists who practice and teach their sport for the sheer enjoyment of it.  Just because their studios aren't all flashy with the latest equipment or chrome-plated weapons doesn't mean they don't have a viable art/style.

And, finally, always check on how the kid likes it.  As others have pointed out, even the most politically-correct martial art sometimes pushes a student out of their comfort zone.  Many people are uncomfortable with the application of force.  Many don't like being touched, especially grappled.  Some don't like the comparatively "extreme" level of discipline in some of the more traditional styles while others feel extremely uncomfortable with the seemingly unstructured teaching methods found in certain styles such as Filipino arts or "reality-based" styles.

If your son seems to be having a problem, try to find out why.  There are many options, some of which may fulfill his needs and desires better than the first school you join.

Just some thoughts, sorry so long.  Hope they help.

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Offline inconel710

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 02:33:13 PM »
+1 to everything the Professor said.  My son started American Kenpo Karate when he was five and all I can say is we got damnned lucky.  Went to the closest school (literally a five minute walk away) and checked it out.   We took an instant liking to the instructor - he was great with kids, patient, and humble.  No "Sensei" this or "Master" that - even though he's a 6th degree black belt, he doesn't feel worthy of being call "master" yet!  No long term contract, no belt test fees, no pressure to advance (my son has been there for two years and has advanced twice), simply no BS. 

So, find a school like that - one where you feel comfortable, the kid feels comfortable, and you're not being taken advantage of.  I still have a sour taste in my mouth from the way one TKD school treated me when I was 18.
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Offline archer

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 04:44:20 PM »
+1 Professor


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Offline Blu

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2012, 07:22:13 PM »
Wow I am overwhelmed with the responses, I appreciate the amount of time and thought that went in to them.  We still need to go by the studios and meet the instructors and talk with a few more Friends before we make a decision.  I am all for him getting his feet wet in different sports, we are in soccer for the second season and he does quiet well.  I plan on letting him find his passion and not steer him into what I always wanted to do and did as a kid.  I will have to look for the hidden costs that some of you pointed out, as well.  Thanks again for the heads up.

Offline archer

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2012, 07:41:59 PM »
beware the contract! avoid the contract!


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Offline osubuckeye4

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 01:40:44 PM »
I'd ask your child what s/he wants to do, then, I would personally meet with different instructors at different gyms in your area and find one that seems like they would work well with your child.

As another poster said... at 5 years old, the attitude/philosophy/delivery of the instructor is MUCH more important that the actual martial art itself.


Myself? I took a few years of Shotokan karate (more of a defensive style that has a heavy focus on balance) when I was in grade school and it taught me a lot of lessons about discipline/balance/posture and proper striking technique. I moved on to kickboxing in middle school and did some amateur boxing in high school and college. My last two years of college I held mits at a local MMA gym for some additional cash and did some wrestling and very basic BJJ training.

One thing I would caution on... absolutely do NOT sign your 5 year old up at any gym that allows contact, even if it's monitored sparring. At 5-6 years of age, a kid should be learning technique, not applying technique on others.  You probably (hopefully) will not run across any gyms that would even suggest this, but I've heard some stories over the years that make me shake my head in disbelief.


Oh, and definitely beware any gym that is going to try to make you sign a long contract... or that will not allow you to sit in and observe a class if you ask for permission to do so in advance.

Good luck! I'll probably be signing my daughter up for karate in 5 years or so, hopefully I'll remember the advice I just gave.  :)

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2012, 03:41:09 PM »
I'm a 2nd degree black belt in tae kwon do, my family ran a school... I only say that so I can validate what Im saying with experience.

If you're interested in classes for discipline purposes....id suggest either, I saw a lot of kids develop discipline from taking martial arts....style doesnt really matter....its the instructor more than anything that matters. It can really help with ADD and kids with anger issues.

If you''re interested in classes for real self-defense your 5 yr old can use... traditional martial arts is not the answer... a panic whistle, one of those preprogrammed cell phones that only dials one number, situational awareness training and running is probably more effective. I hate to say it but a 5yr old will never be able to defend themselves in 99.9% of all situations, trained or not....they just dont have the muscle mass or weight to be effective in a defensive situation. Once they get a little more height and weight on them styles like jujitsu or Krav Maga become real options... striking arts like karate and tae kwon do arent really effective in real life fighting situations... thats why you dont see those guys on UFC anymore :)

One thing to really keep in mind is that I'd say 50-75% of martial arts schools couldnt care less if you're actually learning anything... they just want you to keep paying dues and fees. dont pick one just because its close... it gets expensive and you're going to want to make sure you're not just wasting money for your kid to just go play around.

just my 0.02

Offline blademan

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2013, 12:28:00 PM »
+1 to the Prof and to Livinitup! Good answers both of you.
 Contract schools (ie you owe even if you don't come) are unilaterally rip offs and are being run by unethical people, I don't care how they justify it, they are trying to obtain money they didn't earn, you comming to a few classes doesn't mean you should pay them for a year. Its the same business model that fitness centers use. I did that once, with a fitness center, and that was it.
   
   Here's my suggestions:
One, at 5, just play "karate" with your kid. Do some research, see if you can find some videos that are reputable that don't cost a crap ton of money. Make a family thing out of it. Sure, you aren't going to learn acient mystical secrets of self defence and mind control from a video, but basic principles and ideas facilitating a family workout, sure. One or two videos probably cost less than going to a school and gives you the chance to see how interested in it your kid is.
 
Two:
  If you are looking for something for your child to get into and really like and that's probably easier for your kid to learn, see if you can find a Systema instructor that will teach a child.
  I remember Jack saying that a lot of Systema reminded him of how a child moves and acts. That might be a pretty interesting school for a kiddo.
  If you can't find a Systema class, you might be able to find a Krav Maga class, its anothe style that I think would work well for young children.
  Research the instructors, there are a lot of people who say they teach any kind of martial art that are documented charlatans and liars. There are recognized organizations for most martial arts including Systema and Krav Maga that have registries of recognized instructors.
   As far as the comment about not going to a school that allows contact sparing for kids under a certain age, I understand and partially agree.
 However, I went to a school in which as an adult I "sparred" with handicaps agains 4 year olds and up. Now, I wasn't really trying to win, just let the kid feel like he was doing something and to learn the concept. It was fun for all.
  Good Luck.
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Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.

Offline yoshi

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2013, 01:05:25 PM »
TheProfessor got it right on the head. I was going to post something similar to his 8 point list, but he got it perfectly.

Nice job, Professor!
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Offline osubuckeye4

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2013, 02:14:52 PM »
   As far as the comment about not going to a school that allows contact sparing for kids under a certain age, I understand and partially agree.
 However, I went to a school in which as an adult I "sparred" with handicaps agains 4 year olds and up. Now, I wasn't really trying to win, just let the kid feel like he was doing something and to learn the concept. It was fun for all.
  Good Luck.

By contact I meant situations where a 4-5 year old would be put in a position to get struck. There's really no need for that at that age... technique should be taught.


Obviously when I use the word "contact", one would want to use common sense.

I wouldn't ever pull my daughter out of karate because the instructor threw on a chest pad and let kids throw sidekicks at him/her (even though that is technically "contact") and observed their techniques.

I would definitely pull her out of a class if the instructor was pairing all the kids in the class up and telling them to full contact spar while s/he ran around and observed each of them for a few seconds at a time. That should really not be something kids should be doing until they are a few years older and have more experience under their belt.


Every kid wants to walk in the door and start breaking boards and throwing head kicks... good instructors shouldn't cave in and allow them too.

Offline blademan

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2013, 06:15:39 PM »
Buckeye, gotcha man. +1
I've never seen a class where more than one actual sparring match went on at once. I probably wouldn't like that McSparring approach, its like speed dating for Karate. I'm sure it happens, I'm just glad that the places I learned didn't do it that way.
  Just misunderstood what you meant. My instructors usually didn't allow little kids to spar little kids either. They were always paired with an older more mature person so that accidents could be avoided.
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.
Fear is the mind killer.

Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.

inbox485

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2013, 11:11:38 AM »
Just my $0.02, but anything in the aiki-jujitsu vein (aikijitsu, aikido, jujitsu, judo, etc.) or any of the cross cultural similar styles (hapkido, win chun, systema, etc.) have my solid vote. They are all upper class (ie, not cannon fodder masses taught katas to be 1% better than the other side's cannon fodder) arts based on softer movements that don't degrade the body. The younger they start the more valuable it is to find something that doesn't trash the joints. Also you might want something that can hold its own outside of point sparing (I'm sure that pisses off more than a few people - sorry, nothing personal), and doesn't miserably fail the octagon BS test (would work great in an octagon, but would get your head kicked in or your kidneys knifed if you pulled that stunt in a self defense situation).

inbox485

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2013, 11:26:43 AM »
If you''re interested in classes for real self-defense your 5 yr old can use... traditional martial arts is not the answer... a panic whistle, one of those preprogrammed cell phones that only dials one number, situational awareness training and running is probably more effective.

Probably a good baseline for kids.

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I hate to say it but a 5yr old will never be able to defend themselves in 99.9% of all situations, trained or not....they just dont have the muscle mass or weight to be effective in a defensive situation. Once they get a little more height and weight on them styles like jujitsu or Krav Maga become real options... striking arts like karate and tae kwon do arent really effective in real life fighting situations... thats why you dont see those guys on UFC anymore :)

I don't think much of Krav Maga, so I'll bite my tongue, but jujitsu has options. Really depends on what you are calling self defense. There's not much you could teach a kid to keep an adult from pounding them into the dirt, but there are things you can teach kids for things like people trying to grab them and run off to a van. Good luck finding a place though. I know one guy and I keep trying to get him to do some video series, but any one of his kids could put a guy in the hospital if a guy tried to snatch them. I'm sure that same guy could beat them senseless and then carry them off, but that isn't exactly the norm for a kidnaper.

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One thing to really keep in mind is that I'd say 50-75% of martial arts schools couldnt care less if you're actually learning anything... they just want you to keep paying dues and fees. dont pick one just because its close... it gets expensive and you're going to want to make sure you're not just wasting money for your kid to just go play around.

just my 0.02

All true, but my experience puts that number north of 99% if you lump schools that either don't care or have nothing worth learning together. Decent schools are hard to come by. Work on a proper BS filter, and you'll find one eventually.

Offline blademan

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2013, 10:56:18 AM »
By all means inbox air your opinions on Krav. I haven't parctised it, but am cosidering it. Its all but impossible to find instructors for it that aren't crap. There's one Systema instructor where I live who "looks" legit from his website, but have yet to investigate further.
  All that said, obviously, a child's best self defense is that child's parents. And I really think this is best served as a basis of learning and developing life long skills for the adult a child will become, rather than something the child will effectively use for defense against any opponent in the near future.
  It reminds me of several different news stories I saw growing up about 9 or ten year old kids that were so accomplished in Martial Arts that they could put grown men in the hospital, bla bla bla.
  Sure, in a sneak attack or with a lucky shot, but I agree with you inbox that for the most part if a a person puts their mind to trouncing a person that is almost an order of magnitude smaller and weaker and less mentally prepared for the encounter, the smaller person will most likely loose, their level of martial skill not withstanding. And unless we are talking about the smaller person being armed ballistically,  almost regardless of armament.
   What is your dislike of Krav about? I'm curious, I find your opinions cogent even if I ocasionally disagree with them.
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.
Fear is the mind killer.

Two rules for a happy life:
1. Never sling shit at an armed man.
2. Never stand next to someone who is slinging shit at an armed man.

inbox485

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2013, 11:58:07 AM »
You asked, so I'll preface by saying anybody that is offended is welcome to show me the light. I've yet to see one single demonstration of Krav Maga that wasn't absolute crap that would get somebody killed or hospitalized if used against anybody who wasn't either a compliant training partner or a down syndrome patient. After seeing a handful of live demonstrations, and hours and hours of you tube videos, I gave up on finding the elusive Krav Maga techniques that were worth anything. It is a sub par rip off of the karate/kempo junk renditions that were floating around post WWII. Nothing I have ever seen from that style has ever passed the BS filter. I would rank it at least a few if not several steps below TKD. It is a good way to get a false inflated ego and a fatal reality check.

inbox485

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2013, 12:08:11 PM »
Also you are spot on that a child that has been taught the best martial arts since they could barely walk would still fail to defend themselves if a grown adult simply pounced and beat them into submission. But that isn't the norm outside of child abuse cases. Generally, what I've seen happen is either a) the child is defending themselves from other children (this is one area where I give huge bonus points to the soft arts for being subtle and restrained vs the normal punching it out in the school yard) and b) an adult trying to quickly and discretely grab them and sneak off with them (which is where the subtle sneak attacks are useable, and even if not fully effective to disable the adult in the conventional manner, they tend to draw attention).

inbox485

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Re: Which Martial Arts for a 5yr old
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2013, 12:13:07 PM »
And finally (sorry for batch posting), I generally give systema a general thumbs up. As always the instructor will make or break the school, but I've watched a bunch of Val's stuff, and I'd happily train with him or his students if I was ever in the area.