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taichi24 02-20-2014 09:56 AM

Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I know this must have been discussed in various shapes and forms, but I still want to ask for advice.

- Which is effective to fend off school bullies yet does not get your kid into trouble (i.e. excessive force or injuring other kids severely)

- What is the appropriate age to start training without interfering children's physical development (I know some Kung Fu stance work is not good for childen's leg)

Thank you in advance!

PeterR 02-20-2014 10:06 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Quote:

Sam Leung wrote: (Post 335402)
I know this must have been discussed in various shapes and forms, but I still want to ask for advice.

- Which is effective to fend off school bullies yet does not get your kid into trouble (i.e. excessive force or injuring other kids severely)

- What is the appropriate age to start training without interfering children's physical development (I know some Kung Fu stance work is not good for childen's leg)

Thank you in advance!

I would go for Judo - kids just love to wrestle and school yard fights usually end up on the ground (yes I know shades of Gracie).

I know some great Aikido kids classes but really they must modify the curriculum, Karate, if the instructor knows what they are doing vis a vis joint damage are pretty good but really, pretty much like Aikido, wont do very much for the school yard.

Did I mention I would go for Judo.

Cliff Judge 02-20-2014 10:49 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I have read some warnings about bone growth plates in children being an issue for martial arts - too much trauma can really be really detrimental to a child's lifelong joint health. The problem is, i have seen Aikido, Judo, and Karate each get singled out as the "worst." Aikido because of joint locks, Judo because of hard falls, Karate because of the impact of striking.

phitruong 02-20-2014 10:56 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
parkour and systema. run first, fight later.

PeterR 02-20-2014 11:00 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 335405)
I have read some warnings about bone growth plates in children being an issue for martial arts - too much trauma can really be really detrimental to a child's lifelong joint health. The problem is, i have seen Aikido, Judo, and Karate each get singled out as the "worst." Aikido because of joint locks, Judo because of hard falls, Karate because of the impact of striking.

With Karate - I would be concerned most with the snapping of elbows during punching exercises.

I used to coach kids Judo in Japan (read volunteer at the village dojo) and those kids never really fell that hard - lots of grab, teeter, fall over, and wrestle on the ground. Of course by the time they got to the teen years the throws started looking more awesome.

Edgecrusher 02-20-2014 11:07 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Judo hands down, much for the reasons a gentleman posted above the school yard fight usually ends up on the ground. As he or she gets older they could parlay that into quite a martial arts career.

lbb 02-20-2014 12:22 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Quote:

Sam Leung wrote: (Post 335402)
- Which is effective to fend off school bullies yet does not get your kid into trouble (i.e. excessive force or injuring other kids severely)

None of the above. Martial arts training is not the solution for a child who is being bullied. Prompt action by adults to set and enforce appropriate standards of behavior is. If adults react to a bullying situation by signing the victim up for martial arts lessons -- even if it's just part of a larger set of solutions -- they are running a strong risk of sending a "I'm washing my hands of the situation, kid, you're on your own" message. Isn't that the way it goes down in the movies? Only in real life, there's no Mr. Miyagi to save the day, and kids know it.

I know that many dojos have "strong" kids programs (meaning, well attended), and that many kids enjoy "martial arts training" (yeah, it's in quotes for a reason)...at least for six months or a year, until they get bored or soccer season starts and they quit. Some of them are into it, for a time at least. But they're kids. How many of them have the capability of developing effective fighting techniques? And, in the extremely unlikely case that a kid does so, what are the odds that she/he will have the requisite level of common sense, judgment and character development to use these techniques appropriately? Don't make the mistake of thinking that sitting through some pablum recitation of "martial arts philosophy" about how we don't use our skills to hurt people etc., can instill those characteristics in a child. Common sense, judgment and character are developed through the process of living life, and a child just hasn't done much of that. There's a reason why we don't let five year olds walk around with firearms: because we don't trust their judgment to wield deadly force appropriately.

Rob Redmond has said it much better than I could -- read this essay for a really good treatment of the subject. His essay is specific to karate, but don't make the mistake of thinking, "Oh, so karate's no good, I'll just sign the kid up for judo/aikido lessons!" No, no, no.

jurasketu 02-20-2014 02:48 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I concur with Mary.

Also, when I teach Kids Aikido the Self Defense Version, escapes are the primary skill that I try to teach.

Stephen Nichol 02-20-2014 04:40 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Marine Corps Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training (SERE)?

Kids know who their bullies are, where they will find them, avoid them when possible, resist if necessary and escape as at all costs.

And Mary said it best when it comes to children.

Even as adults, dealing with the cause of the situation with your mind is a better path than simply trying to fixing it by training to deal with it after it has already happened once and 'for when it happens again.'

Better to be aware of your environment at all times and make choices (where possible) to place yourself in the safest possible position and minimize unnecessary risks. Teach kids to think similarly and in the case of bullies.. well, find which staff at the school truly care enough about that and make sure the children know they 'should' tell that person when they are threatened by said bullies.

Martial arts instruction for actual application for kids in those situation may not end well despite the best intentions.

JJF 02-21-2014 06:34 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I'm very much with Mary on her point of view. Signing your child up for a martial arts class is not a good way to handle a bully situation. In the long run it can prevent a situation, but it takes a long time no matte what style of martial art before the child will build the confidence and calm that discourage bullies.

I was sometimes bullied (small scale) in the lower grades. At age 12 I took up Karate. I couldn't split a piece of dry toast then, and I actually did not take Karate to 'kick but' or defend myself. I just liked it. But as luck would have it everybody saw *karate Kid' in the cinemas that summer, so since the word spread I was taking karate lessons the bullies seemed somewhat discouraged. So timing and impression is also an important factor.

When it come to the threat of physical injury to a growing body it is very difficult to set exact rules. It depends on the child, the way teaching is being done in that dojo and other factors. But of course judo, aikido and Jiu-jitsu will have higher risk of joint damage than karate, tae kwon do etc. Those on the other hand have other risks of damage during training.

The main thing is actually to find the best possible dojo/teacher combination in the area. One where you actually feel happy leaving your child for one to several hours every week. The actual art is of less importance. The teacher (role model) is the primary concern.

A typical soft style aikido "no answer" answer I'm afraid.

Hope it helps anyway.

JJ

PeterR 02-21-2014 07:04 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I think your average school yard bully is pretty selective - they basically smell lack of confidence.

I don' t think anyone is advocating training kids to take the fight to the bullies but training can build self confidence pretty quickly and that does help.

I still stand by Judo. I believe it builds the required confidence faster than aikido or karate just because the kids come to grips far quicker.

lbb 02-21-2014 08:28 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Quote:

Peter Rehse wrote: (Post 335435)
I think your average school yard bully is pretty selective - they basically smell lack of confidence.

I don' t think anyone is advocating training kids to take the fight to the bullies but training can build self confidence pretty quickly and that does help.

It could possibly help, yes...but if so, it's helping with a situation that should be addressed first and foremost through other approaches, because this approach is likely to fail (read the article by Rob Redmond that I linked to for another opinion on the "confidence" factor and its effectiveness). This is why I don't think "martial arts training" should even be a solution of last resort for a kid being bullied. In that situation, adults need to step up and do their job, period. Send the kid to "martial arts training" if the kid thinks it would be fun and interesting. Don't send her/him there as a response to a bullying situation.

phitruong 02-21-2014 08:34 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
for me, parkour would be a good thing for kids. it's what kids love to do. running, jumping, climbing, rolling around. it's good conditioning. it isn't about fighting. it's about self improvement. respect your limitations and the environment and people around you. you don't need other folks to practice parkour. you don't see a many obese folks in parkour. also, it gets kids to spend time more outdoor instead of sitting infront of a computer and playing games and watching tv.

Sojourner 02-21-2014 06:13 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I would agree with Judo, watch how the police deal with a violent situation, they don't stand there and throw punches, they go for a throw down and lock, it is a tried and true method of self defense.

Be as politically correct as you like, but the blunt facts are that your children can not be sheltered all the time by their parents sorting out all their problems for them. Sometimes you do have to give them the keys themselves to be being able to stand up for themselves in life.

Its also fair to say that "Stranger Danger" is a subject that should be discussed with children. In Krav Maga kids they have this very program where they teach children to escape the grasp of their attacker, what to say to get the attention of people in the public, how to open a car boot lid from the inside and kick out the tail lights and so forth. It is very good training and something children would likely get a lot out of when they can see the "why" answer to the question and not just someone talking to them from the front of a class room in a monotone about Stranger Danger.

Brian Beach 02-21-2014 07:20 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I'll throw in with Judo as well for the aforementioned reasons ( kids wrestle, good conditioning, self confidence) My 2 to add is with schools zero tolerance policy for fighting, if a kid needs to defend themselves, ( which regardless of policy, I think we should teach our children) little regard is given to who started it, just who did what to whom. It's much easier to defend "He fell down" or "I held him down" rather than I struck him. It looks less like a fight.

JoelLM 02-21-2014 09:01 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I have disagree with those that stated Martial Arts are not suitable for kids, kids being bullied. This comming from someone who started Shotokan Karate at 7, and boxing at 14. While Martial Arts didn't solve the problem with bullying on its own, it did help boost my confidence, tought me self controle, it made me realize at an early age that fighting isn't a game and people do get hurt. Before I took martial arts, I was getting into fights more often then not. Martial arts gave me an outlet to vent my anger and frustration. I was then able to make better decisions and avoid 90% of fights by walking a way, which often that's all it takes to disarm a bully. In fact I only got into two fights after I started MA, one was a group of teen that desided they wanted to beat the crap out a small kid they didn't know. ( I lost) second was an older kid that had something to prove, it never got passed a few pushes and a trip. Once he saw I wasn't going to be easy, he let it go.

I think martial arts are fantastic for kids, any sport for that matter. Martial art on their own will not solve fhe problem however, as a parent, you need to sit down with your child, identify why he is being targeted by bullies and find a solution.

Now that being said, I wish my folks had put me in judo rather then Karate ;).

Larry Feldman 02-22-2014 02:41 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Judo vote here.

My old instructor in Ju Jitsu, who also taught karate started the kids in Judo.

Keep them away from joint locks for the growth plate issue mentioned above.

Brett_D 02-23-2014 06:28 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
It's been interesting to read this thread. I find myself completely in agreement with the article by Rob Redmond that Mary linked to. Having experienced a fair amount of bullying as a kid, taking up judo as a teenager, and working as a teacher for the last 25 years, I am not persuaded by any argument I've heard/read that taking up a martial art will help any child/teen deal with bullying. And I'm somewhat dismayed that the notion persists that bullying invariably diminishes when children/teens gain confidence - it's not true, because it's not that simple.

I think that it is important for parents (and martial arts instructors) to understand that bullying not only takes a variety of forms, but also occurs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it stems from kids who haven't learned to control their temper, sometimes from bad modeling (there are some parents out there who have a lot to answer for), sometimes it's about the "pecking order", sometimes it originates in a child's insecurities and lack of understand of how to deal with that, and sometimes it's because the individual doing the bullying is simply a nasty piece of work.

I had the misfortune of being the smallest, skinniest kid in my year group at school. I was an easy target. I didn't go looking for trouble, but it found me time and time again. I soon learned how to make myself hard to find, that being the only way to avoid being pounded.

When I turned 13, I took up judo. I enjoyed it, I'm glad I did it, but it didn't make much difference to the bullying. A few boys got a small surprise when they tried pushing me around and found themselves on the ground, not quite sure what happened, but these individuals were just testing the pecking order. My concerns lay with a different set of characters who operated in a different manner. They tended to move as a pack, and generally skipped the pushing phase and went straight to punching you in the head, more often than not when you were looking the other way. Judo was no help to me in such situations - keeping my eyes open and having well planned exit strategies was what kept me safe most of the time.

In my teaching career, I've dealt with far too many instances of bullying for my liking. And it's frustrating for teachers to deal with, because we are constrained in what we can do with troublesome students, in part by the rules and laws we must operate under, but also by the fact that too often we find ourselves dealing with parents who can't see the problem, or don't believe that their precious little darling could ever do something like that (and thereafter imply that either we misunderstood the situation or we have some 'issue' with their child), or who are simply irrational and react in the most ridiculous ways. I've seen parents, when confronted with their child's bullying behavior, not merely accuse the victim of starting it, but try to turn it into a police matter or threaten the school with a lawsuit.

Learning a martial art will not help your kid deal with the kind of bullies who simply walk up and punch someone in the head because they are bored and too feeble minded to think of something better to do. It will not help your kid deal with a pack mentality, nor will it prepare them to handle a surprise attack. But if your MA trained child does manage to fend off some thug, you may well find yourself having to deal with outraged parents intent on making you pay for the injury your brute of a child inflicted on their innocent lamb.

lbb 02-23-2014 10:47 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Quote:

Brett Duncan wrote: (Post 335465)
I think that it is important for parents (and martial arts instructors) to understand that bullying not only takes a variety of forms, but also occurs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it stems from kids who haven't learned to control their temper, sometimes from bad modeling (there are some parents out there who have a lot to answer for), sometimes it's about the "pecking order", sometimes it originates in a child's insecurities and lack of understand of how to deal with that, and sometimes it's because the individual doing the bullying is simply a nasty piece of work.

...or some combination of the above. You know what surprises me? People who want answers about martial arts and self-defense, and yet are unwilling to consider the question of the attacker's motivation. No, OP, I'm not looking at you -- this happens in just about every thread about martial arts in self-defense situations. "Will xyz martial art help me defend myself?" is not a question that can be answered, unless you can say what you're defending against -- and "what" includes not just the number, size, strength and skill of the attacker, but the attacker's motivation. Do they want your wallet, or do they want you dead? Likewise with the child who's being bullied. Force vs. force is such a small part of self-defense, and yet it's all that most people are willing to think about when such discussions come up. How can anyone claim to be seriously searching for a solution to a real problem with that approach?

robertle 02-24-2014 02:54 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Hi everyone,

I do go to a karate class once a week, and it is a small club which has primarily "mixed" classes, which means I train together with kids from 7 years up.

I am truly amazed about the level of instruction for kids in these classes, because it's not about brawling at all. For them the main thing there is attention span, self discipline, and asserting themselves in a controlled and calm fashion, even if the opponent/partner is 5 times their age and 4 times their weight. Not to mention getting through the stress of the gradings with a straight face and a (although often quite clearly forced ;-) smile on their face.

So I think in a club like that what they learn is very valuable, and there is no danger that they develop into the bullies you want to protect them from, at least not any more than with any other sport or activity. I would be the happiest person if my kid decides to go to a club like that!

The other concerns about physical health in the long run also don't seem to be a problem there, the instruction is very technical and puts a great emphasis on correct movement. It isn't competition-oriented karate though, I could imagine that it would be slightly different in a "sport" scenario where by definition you trade long-term health for short-term gains.

So all in all, and as usual: I don't think it's the art that matters, but the specific club you send your kids to. I bet there are fantastic judo clubs as well. And one thing that has to be said for judo: you can always start doing karate when you are older, judo really isn't so much fun to start when your healing powers have already faded a bit ;-)

regards robert

Eva Antonia 02-24-2014 04:36 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
Hello,

from my limited family experience with school yard fighting and violent mobbing, I think any martial art is good, under the condition the child knows how to use it responsibly. My elder son did 4 years of aikido, before he suddenly lost interest, and he grasped the principles very well. In his then primary school there were lots of bullies, and once a technique for getting out of kubi shime helped him against a classmate who tried to choke him for some reason. And he managed to do this without hurting the boy.

But that is not the important thing. What I found much more impressing that at a time, some high school children started bullying another classmate of his, a timid redhead with bad marks in school, some serious family issues and a mother having a candy store. The objective was frightening him into robbing goods from his mother's store and give them to the bullies. My boy then started a "counter gang" with a girl doing judo and another boy doing taekwondo, with the sole purpose of defending Geoffrey.

I don't exaggerate, it changed the life of the boy Geoffrey. He had been afraid of walking to school, going to recreation, and once he got some confidence again and was able to go to school without being terrorised, his marks recovered and he managed to pass the sixth grade with tolerable results and get into secondary school. His teacher said at the final parents' meeting that it was a miracle that Geoffrey had turned around from total failure to reasonable success in such a short time.

The most interesting issue was that there was NO FIGHT. It was not necessary for the bully children, who were much bigger than the primary school pupils - they just shrank back from their extortion practices when they saw that actually Geoffroy had friends, and that they were ready to take organised action to defend him. So their respective judo, taekwondo and aikido techniques were never put to a reality test.

Obviously the problem of bullying cannot be solved by learning martial arts. Bullies could always turn to someone whose attitude translates his anxiousness and find a new target. But if you add solidarity with the weaker classmates to some reputation for fighting efficiency (be it bluff, who cares), this helps a lot.

I also don't think that sending a child to martial arts class is equal to "I give you the tools, now do it alone!". Why should a child see the fact that his parents enable it to learn new competences as a withdrawal or lack of support? It is more like "I help you to acquire the tools, use them responsibly, be aware of their limitations, and if you ever have a serious problem, I'm always here to help you".

And I think aikido IS efficient, also and especially the simple "going out of the way" techniques. I remember another case a boy was attacking my boy, who simply went out of the line, and the attack of the other boy went straight into the wall. At that time, there was some damage, but completely self-inflicted...

All the best,

Eva

Demetrio Cereijo 02-24-2014 07:23 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
In my experience, beating the crap of bullies was fun.

OT, I'd suggest Judo for the kid. It is a great sport and can be used for SD if needed.

Michael Hackett 02-24-2014 05:42 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I don't have any hard data, but anecdotally over my career in law enforcement I've found that bullies rarely have martial arts backgrounds. Maybe sending our little darlings to quality martial arts schools will help prevent THEM from becoming bullies.

kumachan 02-26-2014 03:15 PM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I'd also suggest Judo as well. It's a great sport, is an excellent foundation for high school wrestling (think college scholarship here), with the right sensei, will strengthen you own lessons on respect, etiquette, tolerance and correct behavior and, given todays obsession with handheld video games, a wonderful means of interacting with others off the mat. You can't, obviously, abandon a bullying problem to martial arts training, the parent has to be involved and intervene, but martial arts training can help to instill confidence in a child who is lacking self-confidence or whose confidence has been lessened. The dojo is a structured setting where that child can, under supervision and guidance, learn that s/he can overcome what previously had been insurmountable obstacles. This I know from my own personal experience of being bullied when I was a kid. Turned out pretty well!

taichi24 02-27-2014 09:41 AM

Re: Which Martial Art for Kids - Aikido / Taekwondo / Karate / Judo ...
 
I really appreciate everyone's response here and various perspectives that get me thinking. Thank you all!

Would you make a different recommendation, if the kid is a girl? Do girls fight on the playground, or it is primarily a boy thing?


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