Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Martial Arts, Unarmed Self Defense, Hand To Hand Combat, and Physical Fitness

Martial arts for kids

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donaldj:
I would keep her enrolled in the best of the two schools that you have there.

Additionally, find some seminars or videos where you can see escape techniques from grabs, chokes, and holds. If there is a self defense seminar in the area, take her and get the knowledge (this is your job while there!)

Most escapes require an atemi (strike) of some type to loosen the attackers grip or to distract. The escape is then more effective, while an additional atemi might make it harder to follow/chase. She is learning atemi well in TKD or Karate.


Once you have the knowledge of these escapes, practice them with her in addition to her going to class. You aren't going to be able to add info you get from some video or seminar to your "tool box" without repeated practice and exploration of the techniques. Try a multitude of various grabs, from various angles, and let her work them out. Once she's older, more formal grappling arts can be introduced.

madcap1one:
I am not sure that I have the same professional experience as the other commenters here, but I have been practicing various arts for 24 years, and teaching for about 14 of those.

My simplistic recommendation - put her in a class and with other students and teachers/senseis that she loves, and will continue to attend merely for the social aspect of it. No matter what sort of expertise she might develop in one style or another - its pretty much a moot point if she doesn't enjoy and internalize the lessons.

When I am dealing with children, my primary goal is to entertain and keep them coming back (and btw, I am not a professional teacher but a volunteer - so no argument that I am just extending their parents paying me to do so.) I want those kids to have a positive experience, learn some discipline, practice going beyond their mental capabilities (not in gung ho fashion, but learning the joy of mastering a challenge they had previously thought impossible.)

I wholeheartedly agree that TKD has done some fabulous work on a global scale in deliberately aiming towards younger practitioners. I started with judo and TKD at the local YMCA 24 years ago, and it instilled a love of martial arts in me, mainly because I was hanging with my buddies, and the teacher was super cool. I have never used those arts directly, but they certainly gave me a solid foundation.

In terms of specifics, when we are discussing smaller kids, I would think that the main lesson for self defense is situational awareness, and E&E if the threat demands it. This doesn't require a dojo, it requires hands on but non-hovering parents. Honey, if you feel threatened, here is how to get away, here is why you are right to be cautious (without scaring the %$^% out of her) and here is an example of my response to your actions (a big hug and a kiddie size AAR.) Show me the biggest 9 year old, with 9 years of martial arts training, and I am still going to be able to sit on the kid as a bad guy.

The above paragraph aside, there are one or two non-traditional modern arts, which would give a 9 year old the capability to injure. I would not (and do not for my nieces and nephews in that age range) advocate teaching them to children as the cognitive ability to delineate when appropriate to deploy those tactics is questionable. If we were approaching TSHTF situation in which I deemed the general public a threat as opposed to isolated BGs, I might consider doing so. Much as you folks and I feel this world is spiraling down, even living in downtown Chicago, I do not teach 9 year olds how to debilitate adults by taking out knees, collapsing trachea, and eye gouging. I read the Chicago news, the cop blogs, am aware of predators - but am still hesitant to teach kids these things. I dunno - I am an uncle and not a dad - perhaps that might be the decisive factor. I DID however teach some of these things to my sister and brother in law, if they choose to train their kids that way as parents, that is their choice... I will just continue buying the kids ice cream when mom and dad say "No sugar..." 'Cause thats the sort of crazy uncle I am proud to be.


javabrewer:
The kids who do BJJ at my gym are always having a good time and the ones who have grown into the adult classes that I take are always top notch.  The earliest my gym starts children is 3 y/o and I'll sign my boy up then.  They really don't do much at that age other than roll around and learn some of the basics but they have a good time and it sets a great foundation for their future teachings in any MA.  When they are 7 or 8 they start to get very comfortable with controlling their movement and coordination and begin to really do well.  My teacher's son is around 11 y/o and he can hold his own against the blue-belts because of his good technique.

Tommy Jefferson:
BJJ for kids is great, but it's really hard to find outside a major metropolitan area.

Gracie Barra is doing some good stuff with kids.

javabrewer:

--- Quote from: Tommy Jefferson on June 04, 2010, 01:09:50 PM ---BJJ for kids is great, but it's really hard to find outside a major metropolitan area.

--- End quote ---

This is so true.  There are a few reasons why I hesitate to move and one of them is the availability of a legitimate gym.  A few of my trainer's studnts have opened up gyms outside of town but they aren't at the same level especially for the kids programs.  I am not trying to knock them or anything like that it's just they don't have the experience or the participation that the more densly populate  areas offer.

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