Steve Mullen wrote:
From my very limited experience i think it makes you look at your own technique in more detail when you have to explain it to someone who maybe cant make the mental connections that an adult can (by which i mean work out for themselves what you have said) so you have to be bang on otherwise they just plain don't get it.
Actually....I find that kids, because they do not have any preconcieved notions, often make the mental connections long before adult beginners!
I started teaching kids when we opened our own club....and - even now - I underestimate them. I'll think that they'll only get one or two techniques....and then the class is only 1/2 over....so I have to rapidly think of things to do.
I had 5 kids on the mat last night 10 minutes before class. All of them started practicing rolls. No one told them to do it...they just started doing it! Kids love to tumble, they love to compete in a genuine and good manner, they love it when they can feel powerful (I had one 11 year old girl...a tiny thing....discover that if she dropped during a throw, that she could really throw my husband really far....she laughed about it all night and told me it was her favorite thing that she had done so far).
I don't force my adults to train with the kids, but I do encourage them. It benefits the kids, and it benefits the adults. (Kids can be tricky, so your technique has to be spot on...and as someone already pointed out....your suwari waza can improve tremendously!)
My husband was initially against kids in our dojo (we don't have any kids ourselves), but his mind has changed since we have been teaching them....like me, he's continuously amazed at what they can do!