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wmreed 04-21-2006 12:52 PM

Too dangerous for children?
 
I need some help.

I want to know if there are techniques that are too dangerous to teach to children, and if so, to what ages.

I'm looking for resources based on medical research, such as something that indicates that kote gaeshi is not safe for children because of the risk of damaging joints which have not matured to a necessary degree.

I have heard views on this by various senseis. Some who condone certain techniques, and others who assure me of the safety. What I _CAN'T_ find is documentation from a pediatric orthopedic perspective, if there even IS one.

Can anyone direct me to a documented resource?


Thanks!

Bill

ChristianBoddum 04-21-2006 01:05 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Hi !

There are many myths regarding children and technique .
I attended a course for children instructors and the word was ;children can do anything !
That being said , I will judge for myself what I think is safe.
For instance we don't do koshinage on our team ,not saying it can't be done , but
if the do it wrong they can easily hurt their backs ,since they are not strong and "stiff" enough in their bodies.
Taiotoshi might work - I will test sometime in the future.
Stretching while warming up will do little ,but get the blood flowing and warming up the major muscle groups is recommended.

yours - Chr.B.

wmreed 04-21-2006 01:27 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Who was presenting the course? Was it a doctor, a sensei, or someone else?

Lucy Smith 04-21-2006 02:43 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Personally, what I have seen is that children are specially elastic and can to anything. Some time ago I saw in the news a baby who had fall of a 3rd floor window, and nothing exept some bruises had happened to him. Pure luck, you may say, but I don't think an adult would have survived; at least they'd have broken all of their bones.
The only danger I can think of, is the children being careless and violent, maybe without even noticing it. Specially very young ones, do not have a sense of group of respect for others yet.
But this is only my point of view of course.

Chris Li 04-21-2006 02:50 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Quote:

Christian Boddum wrote:
For instance we don't do koshinage on our team ,not saying it can't be done , but
if the do it wrong they can easily hurt their backs ,since they are not strong and "stiff" enough in their bodies.

Judo is commonly taught to children, both in the US in Japan (as young as four years old). In Judo koshinage is taught from the very beginning. In spite of hundreds of thousands of young children doing Judo koshinage each year, I am not aware of any especially adverse injury rates. Mainly, the problem with koshinage in Aikido is that people don't do it very much (in general), and because of that it tends to be both performed and taught poorly.

The only thing that I'd really be careful with is over-application of wrist and joint techniques.

Best,

Chris

Michael O'Brien 04-21-2006 03:52 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Quote:

Lucy Smith wrote:
Personally, what I have seen is that children are specially elastic and can to anything. Some time ago I saw in the news a baby who had fall of a 3rd floor window, and nothing exept some bruises had happened to him. Pure luck, you may say, but I don't think an adult would have survived; at least they'd have broken all of their bones.
The only danger I can think of, is the children being careless and violent, maybe without even noticing it. Specially very young ones, do not have a sense of group of respect for others yet.
But this is only my point of view of course.

No perhaps luck to it; The child was very lucky. If she had landed on her head it would have split open just like anyone else I'm sure.

I read not too long ago about someone who had their parachute not open while skydiving and basically "walked away" from a 10,000 foot fall with no injuries. Occasionally someone adult or child gets lucky in a situation like that, but it is far from normal.

wmreed 04-21-2006 05:04 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
While these stories are similar to other testimonials that I have heard, I'm still wondering if there is any documented information by doctors with their conclusions on the safety of joint techniques for children in martial arts such as aikido.

Chris Li 04-21-2006 05:31 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Quote:

William M. Reed wrote:
While these stories are similar to other testimonials that I have heard, I'm still wondering if there is any documented information by doctors with their conclusions on the safety of joint techniques for children in martial arts such as aikido.

There's a good summary here that's focused on strength training, but talks about the hazards of stressing the joints.

Best,

Chris

wmreed 04-21-2006 05:40 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Thank you, Chris! I will read this carefully, but it seems to be the kind of info I've been unable to weed out from the web.


Bill

Mark Uttech 04-22-2006 12:27 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
In teaching children, one has to teach good ukemi. Children are no different than beginning adults in "forcing technique." Actually, teaching children ukemi is teaching them Aikido.

Eric Webber 05-15-2006 10:29 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Hi Bill,
Have tried to contact any pediatric orthopedic specialists in your area? I know of a couple in the Philadelphia area at St. Christopher's Children's Hospital. Contact info should be available on the web.

aikido0_0 05-15-2006 01:21 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Hi Bill,

I run a kids AikIdo class in North Wales, England and have asked the same question to the head of our association (Sensei Alan Ruddock who trained with O'Sensei).

Although not based on medical fact, he was of the opinion that kids are able to do most things but he said he would not let kids do joint techniques eg Koto Gaeshi, Nikkyo etc.

I think this is because the joints and bones of children are still forming and any joint techniques if applied to severely may damage the childrens joints or bones which may lead to problems in later life.

Having taught the kids class for about a year now, I tend to agree with him. The kids I teach are in the age range of 7-11 and they don't seem to quite grasp when they are applying a joint technique to severely and after consoling a number of crying children I have decided to leave these techniques out of the lesson until they are old enough.

Even so, even after all the crying I have found the kids to be pretty resiliant to most things but as a precaution I have decided not to teach the more painful techniques..

Hope this is of use.

Cheers ;)

David Kai 05-15-2006 05:46 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
The Journal "Perpetual and Motor Skill" (you can find it at your local University/College library) published a wonderful series of articles on the Anatomy of Aikido. If you talk to a University/College librarian, he/she could probably point you in the right direction towards the articles. I have copies of the articles that I made many years ago and keep them safe in a rather large binder. The info is absolutely priceless.

KAI

ChristianBoddum 05-15-2006 05:48 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Quote:

William M. Reed wrote:
Who was presenting the course? Was it a doctor, a sensei, or someone else?

It was instructors of Jiu Jitsu - working and educated for
a larger organization i Denmark - specially trained for this area.

I came in high hopes of getting info directly from a
pediatric doctor ,I got some good info, but only secondhand
as far as the medical/physical stuff.

So That's why I wrote that I will judge for myself ,
what I think is safe practice,
I probably will anyhow :rolleyes:

Aiki x 05-16-2006 06:30 AM

Too dangerous for children?
 
I don't think it's healthy to teach young children joint locks. This can make their joints unstable and cause them problems in later life. I think young children are better learning Judo. Aikido can improved through out your life so there is no rush.

I think that it's better to wait until the age of about 14. Judo in the mean time can be used to develop ukemi, fitness and balance.

DarkShodan 05-16-2006 08:48 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
I've been teaching the kids class for about 4 years now. Like everyone else I've read joint locks are OK, they are bad, blah, blah blah. I tend to go with kids can do anything and as long as the joint locks are not to applied to hard, they will be fine with it. Three things I do not teach are chokes, finger locks, and elbow locks. Elbows and fingers can be unforgiving and I don't think the kids have the discipline to control Uke in these techniques. Chokes are self explanatory. We have a Dr. in our adults class who specializes in orthopedics. He says there is no proof the joint locks cause any permanent damage, just like in adults, as long as they are not applied too forcefully all the time.

wmreed 05-23-2006 09:02 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Quote:

Eric Webber wrote:
Hi Bill,
Have tried to contact any pediatric orthopedic specialists in your area? I know of a couple in the Philadelphia area at St. Christopher's Children's Hospital. Contact info should be available on the web.

That's a good idea. Thanks for suggesting it. I'll call Children's Hospital for some names.

Janet Rosen 05-23-2006 11:32 PM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
my understanding is the risk of damage to open growth areas in the long bones is the major concern but i have no citation for it.

ChristianBoddum 05-24-2006 03:42 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote:
my understanding is the risk of damage to open growth areas in the long bones is the major concern but i have no citation for it.

There is some truth here , but it is in relation to severe training.

DonMagee 05-24-2006 07:04 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
At NAGA last weekend I watched hundreds of children from ages 6 to 17 competiing with chokes, armbars, wrist locks, elbow and shoulder attacks, etc. Not a single one of them was hurt. In judo they restrict these techniques until you are in your teens, but in bjj they do not. Leg and ankle attacks are restricted though, even in novice adults because you have to learn what the danger feels like. By the time you feel pain in a knee bar you have already done damage to your knee, same with a heel hook. So I say teach your kids chokes, armlocks, wrist locks, etc. Its perfectly fine. Just teach them how to do the locks with restraint. And make sure you keep it fun.

Ron Tisdale 05-24-2006 07:30 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
I was injured in a knee bar myself...like you said, I didn't realize the risk until too late. Failed to tap. My fault entirely.

Best,
Ron

Mark Uttech 05-24-2006 07:30 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
I took a course in the Prevention and Cure of Athletic Injury. I highly recommend that people who want to be instructors check out sports medicine websites and study the latest news concerning injuries. On another note, in 17 years of teaching classes of 6-20 children twice a week, I have had two injuries, both of them many years ago when I was still new at the game. In gassho

jonreading 05-24-2006 10:08 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
I am not aware of anything in aikido that would prevent a child from participating. Most youth-related precautions derived from sports are in the areas of strength training, drug abuse, and obscure/undiagnosed health conditions.

That said, I think the challenges of aikido for children lie in the application and philosophy of the art. Judo and karate make great initial martial arts leading into aikido, and may prove better arts for starting a child's martial education.

George S. Ledyard 06-09-2006 09:34 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
Quote:

William M. Reed wrote:
While these stories are similar to other testimonials that I have heard, I'm still wondering if there is any documented information by doctors with their conclusions on the safety of joint techniques for children in martial arts such as aikido.

The lack of documentary evidence is indicative of the low number of instances in which there has been a problem. Just use your common sense...

We don't too much break falling with the kids, just enough that they learn to do them, but figuring that a lot of pounding over a life time of training probably isn't swell.

Little kids joints are not solid until they start hitting their teens
so we don't do the basic joint locks like nikkyo and sankyo with the little ones, The young teens do them but aren't allowed to do them with any power on their partners. If it hurts, it was too hard.

Once the kids hit their higher teens, about the time that the boys start to bulk up, is when we let them put a bit more energy into things.

As for the "documentary evidence" issue... every student I ever had who went to a doctor (except a sports medicine specilaist) with an injury was told to stop training. What we do stresses the body. It's debateable whether it's good for anyone. The more seriously you train, the more that is true.

Kevin Leavitt 06-09-2006 09:56 AM

Re: Too dangerous for children?
 
I have started my son (6) and my daughter (15 months) when the day they were born! Mainly holding them and helping them develop coordination and balance. My daughter will balance herself, fall, and roll around. My son, now that he is older is starting on rolling etc. Essentiallly tumbling. I am concentrating to be honest more on close in grappling and rolling at this point as I think it helps to work at this level from the ground. It is safer and the body connection and balance/feedback is much easier to communicate.

I have no evidence, but I am not a big fan of joint locks and throws at this age, at least for him.


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