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chrisward
11-28-2004, 03:02 PM
I have a little girl that is 5 years old. He nor any sensai in my reasonable area of commute will allow my little girl to start training prior to the age of 14 because of the risk to growth plate injury. I have even explained I would sign a wavier but they still would not take the chance. If you guys or gals were in my shoes what art would you put her in for the time being?
Thank You,
Chris

chrisward
11-28-2004, 03:04 PM
I meant to start the second sentence by saying that, my sensai nor any sensai in my area will accept my daughter at this time....

Larry Feldman
11-28-2004, 03:33 PM
5 is young, but you might try judo, she will learn to fall and roll. A local school I took my son to starts them at 6. If not put her in a gymnastics program

I would recommend you read this...http://www.atlantamartialarts.com/articles/rma-newb/index.html

Many martial arts schools now offer classes for 5-7 year olds. Beware signing any kind of long term contract, I would pay by the month for several months before making any longer committment to a 5 year old.

The carpool rule of thumb for most adults is an 8 mile commute, if it is longer than that you probably will get tired of dragging her around.

Chuck.Gordon
11-28-2004, 03:50 PM
IMHO,

5 is too young for martial arts training.

Give here a few years to grow and develop, then find her an art that a) she enjoys and b) she can learn without endangering her growing body.

Judo is good, not a lot of joint work there, and lots of falling down, getting up, falling down ...

SOME karate might be good. Depends on the dojo and teacher.

If the dojo is all about competition, walk away.

Don't push her. Let her grow into the desire, don't try to shape her desire for her.

Good luck.

Chuck

aikidoc
11-28-2004, 04:20 PM
I think the age issue depends on what they are being taught. High falls in judo would be risky without a very soft thick landing mat. I have taught them as young but it takes a lot of patience and you have to play a lot of games to keep the attention there.

JayRhone
11-28-2004, 06:35 PM
In my old karate dojo we would start children as young as 4. We ran a program for them, called it 'tiny tigers' and then 'li'l dragons' All we did for the class was play games. Things to enhance their skills. A game we called snake. You spin in a circle holding a jump rope and the kids all have to jump over it. If they don't make it in time it's 10 push ups then rejoin. Good for foot/eye corrdination. <--s/k? As well as about 10 other games we did. The kids absolutely loved it! We would also go over with them what to do if strangers approached them and then practice. Or what to do if someone throws you into the back of their car, and so on. Of course we would practice the karate too. Kicking, punching and katas. But nothing hard or anything. Just the basics. We had a very high rate of stable students. Especially for that age group. My advice, don't try and look for something for someone as young as your daughter to do what adults do. Just something to introduce her and more specific for that age range. We had our kids doing tumbling within the month that they started. So even if it is karate it can help prepare them for aikido. Just my two cents. =0) -Jay :p

MaryKaye
11-28-2004, 06:39 PM
We accept kids starting at 6 (used to be 4, but we couldn't master the attention-span issues with the younger ones, and the instructors got too frazzled).

The ones who have studied gymnastics or tumbling do really well with aikido; those would be good preparation.

It's too bad that you don't have anyone locally who will teach children. While aikido is probably not the easiest art for kids, the ones I've seen do enjoy and benefit from it, and we haven't had serious injuries. We have an eight-year-old in our kids' class who started out with a very short attention span and a tendency to goof off, but who has steadily become more focused and capable--it's amazing to see the improvement.

Kids' aikido does not (in my experience) generally cover all the same material as adult aikido; we de-emphasize the joint locks, and spend more time on tumbling, balance, and body awareness. But we now have two 13 year olds who train more or less as adults, and the kids' classes have given them a good grounding in almost everything except vocabulary. (I think we need to add a few more language drills to the kids' classes. We had a funny one the other day where they would shout out a Japanese word, and sensei would do whatever-it-was to me....that really got them involved with trying to remember words.)

Mary Kaye

chrisward
11-28-2004, 09:44 PM
I guess I should have mentioned in my first posting that my little girl will be 6 on January 1st not that it matter's much but I did not just take her to a dojo one day and put her in a class on my own accord. She watched me day after day after day leaving for class with my gi and she cried every time to go. So then I started taking her with my sensai's permission and I always noticed when I looked out of the corner of my eye that while we were on the mat, whatever we were doing she was doing in her own little area in the corner of the dojo. She kept begging me to train and I just kept trying to explain to her that my sensai said she was to young right now but that he looked very forward to having her as a student in the future. But she wasn't having it. She became so adamant about the deal that she had me buy her a little gi for her and she walks around the house in it from the moment she gets home from school until she has to leave for school the next morning. How can you turn your back on that kind of determination? Also, the thing I think she has in her favor is that GOD has blessed her with a tremendous IQ (unfortunately she did not get it from her dad). The child truly is a prodigy and go's to school for gifted students. I hope I am not coming across to proud here, I just wanted those of you who are trying to help here know that she is really mature for age and very patient. Thanks to you all for your help.
Respectfully,
Chris

Adramalek
12-01-2004, 11:50 PM
Judo will also teach her Koshi Nage (use of the hip for throws) will get her in a competitive frame of mind and this will help on possible encounters with males, fact is most woman are not weak, they just think they are because of social input saying that( if she does some activity that is mainly practiced by boys she stops being feminine) this is CRAP a female has more natural flexibility, more natural leg strength and more pain tolerance that us males, she only has to practice on further developing this natural gifts and Judo as a base is unparalleled, by the time she is 14 or 15 no aikidoka will compere to her sense of balance, projection of technique and finesse in throws if you don't believe this visit any Judo dojo and compare the 6, 8, and 10 y/olds to any other style But remember Judo does not deal with punches or kicks so it shoud be used as a developing art that gives a good intro. to chokes, throws, balance, Kuzushi(Points of Unbalance) and ground positioning with some Joint locks such as Juji Gatame (Arm Bars) but for self defense a much more complete spectrum of training should be explored and that's when Aikido, Brazilian Jujitsu, Boxing along with other arts[U] should kick in in her training if true self defense training is what you want for her. As a parent I beg of you!!!Please!!! PLEASE!!! STAY AWAY FROM TAE KWON DO!!! SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!

p00kiethebear
12-02-2004, 01:52 AM
We teach a 4 - 9 year old class in our dojo.

The class is hardly about aikido. It's more about falling and rolling and MOVEMENT MOVEMENT MOVEMENT.

You would not believe how uncoordinated some people are these days. Teaching them about how to move their bodies. Respond to things coming at them. Falling safely. This is what is important at that age.

Getting them coordinated at a young age is what's most important. If you can't find an aikido class or a judo class, put them in gymnastics. At that age it's all about balance and rolling around.

Best of luck

Lyle Laizure
12-05-2004, 11:02 PM
This is an interesting query. I have taught children 5 years and up in Aikido for some time now. We learn the same locks and such as we do in the adults class but we are carefull that the application does not inflict pain per sue but provides stretching. I am not sure if this affect growth plates but I will look into it further.

Dazzler
12-06-2004, 10:28 AM
I don't have much experience of teaching kids but with developing limbs I'd be very concerned even about stretching.

Covered a bit about this on recent BAB coaching course and tried unsuccessfully to access a relevant download.

Looking into it further is a good idea.

Cheers

D

Qatana
12-06-2004, 07:11 PM
Darren, little children have been stretching in ballet classes for several hundred years now and all it has done was turn them into flexible dancers. I started at 7. My dojo is in a ballet school and there are 3 & 4 year olds learning how to stretch.

One of my kohai has four little kids who sometimes come to watch class and sensei will teach them the techniques we are doing and he lets them throw him. So far none has asked to do ukemi...but yeah, I'd see if she might get interested in gymnastics, and as her falling skills develop you could start showing her some basics.

rachel
12-07-2004, 09:48 AM
My home dojo offers classes for children beginning at age 6. Certian children can start at age five if they are very intelligent and focused.
If your dojo doesn`t offer children`s classes, they, of course, cannot have just one child in class, because it would be very unsafe.

You might consider enrolling you child in another martial art, such as judo, if you can.
Also, activities like dance and yoga will benefit her if she begins Aikido laler, so they are excellent options.
You can also teach her simple aiki taiso at home and do them with her.

You may just need to move! ;)

Bronson
12-07-2004, 01:49 PM
they, of course, cannot have just one child in class, because it would be very unsafe.


I disagree. Currently I have an 11 yr old girl who is quite small for her age in my adult class. There have been no safety issues and everyone loves practicing with her. I've had other young folks in class and have never had any safety issues. Same with my sensei's dojo. There are dedicated kids classes but often the kids will attend the adult classes in addition or in place of kids class. Again, no safety problems that I've ever seen.

We are always taught to adjust the level of our technique to the level of uke. Same with a child. You have to adjust to who you're working with be it a 90 yr old woman or a 6 yr old boy.

Just another take.

Bronson

rachel
12-07-2004, 02:00 PM
I disagree. Currently I have an 11 yr old girl who is quite small for her age in my adult class. There have been no safety issues and everyone loves practicing with her. I've had other young folks in class and have never had any safety issues. Same with my sensei's dojo. There are dedicated kids classes but often the kids will attend the adult classes in addition or in place of kids class. Again, no safety problems that I've ever seen.

We are always taught to adjust the level of our technique to the level of uke. Same with a child. You have to adjust to who you're working with be it a 90 yr old woman or a 6 yr old boy.

Just another take.

Bronson


You are absolutely right about this on one level. You must realize, however, that adult beginners are generall unsafe practice partners for children, as they do not have the control yet that you and your fellow aikidoka have likely aquired.

Also, even regardless of size, there is a big difference between an 11 year old, and a 5 year old (which is the age I was talking about, in response to the original question.)

I don't have much experience of teaching kids but with developing limbs I'd be very concerned even about stretching.

Stretching is one of the best things for children with developing bodies. As their limbs grow, they will be able to stay flexible if they stretch in their childhood. I have taught both aikido and dancing to children and have found that stretching is very good for them and causes no damage.

Bronson
12-07-2004, 02:11 PM
You must realize, however, that adult beginners are generall unsafe practice partners for children,


Ahh, we rarely let beginners of any age practice together.


Also, even regardless of size, there is a big difference between an 11 year old, and a 5 year old (which is the age I was talking about, in response to the original question.)

Oops, I guess I was stuck in what we do. The youngest we allow children to start is 8, so we wouldn't get in the situation of having a 5 yr old on the mat in first place.

Bronson

rachel
12-08-2004, 11:09 AM
Well, not having beginners practice together is good, but I wouldn't have someone practicing with one of my children aikido students until they were probably at least 3rd kyu, but maybe that's just me being a safety freak... ;)

fatebass21
12-08-2004, 12:02 PM
This comes as a surprise to me. My dojo here in California actually has a very high amount of children who begin at a young age. I would guess that some of them are 4-5 years. In fact, the children's classes have triple the amount of students than the adult or advanced classes. The kids cant even all fit on the mat at once!!

-chris-