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Old 05-02-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
pepsusan
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Question about age

Hi,
My son, 12, started his training in aikido today. I am very happy that he has chosen such a complete martial art, both physically and spiritually. I have a question, however, due to his age. He has not reached puberty as of yet and I am concerned that this kind of martial art with throws might affect his growth. I don't know if it is "old wife's tale" but I have heard that it may stunt their growth.
You are much more knowledgeable in this, can someone tell me if it is a problem due to his young age?
Thanks
Pepsusan
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Old 05-02-2004, 01:58 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Question about age

Susana,
when I started assisting with kids classes at my old dojo, I was told that younger children should not be recieving joint locks because -- if I recall correctly -- bone growth plate issues.
You could start here and travel to other links from it.
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/k...rowthplate.htm

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-02-2004, 02:01 PM   #3
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
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Re: Question about age

Quote:
pepsusan wrote:
Hi,
My son, 12, started his training in aikido today. I am very happy that he has chosen such a complete martial art, both physically and spiritually. I have a question, however, due to his age. He has not reached puberty as of yet and I am concerned that this kind of martial art with throws might affect his growth. I don't know if it is "old wife's tale" but I have heard that it may stunt their growth.
You are much more knowledgeable in this, can someone tell me if it is a problem due to his young age?
Thanks
Pepsusan
Haven't seen any research on this, but the Japanese kids seem to grow up hale and strong in spite of all the falls they take doing JUDO very young. I doubt that the throws would hurt them. Quite the contrary, knowing how to fall will get them out of jams (riding bikes, catching frisbees, etc.)

I'd be more concerned about the stress of joint locks on young bodies. At the local aikido dojo where they have a large kids class the teacher avoids these, prudently, I think.

Interested in input from others with more experience teaching kids/having been kids in aikido.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 05-02-2004, 08:51 PM   #4
GaiaM
Dojo: Bend Aiki Martial Arts
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Re: Question about age

Susana,
We have several 11 and 12 year olds in our dojo who train with the mixed adult class regularly. Our sensei started training when he was 11 and is now an amazing aikidoist and experienced teacher in his early 30's. Everyone in the dojo is sensitive to the young bones and joints, but there is nothing that the kids don't participate in. As long as your son's teachers are aware of the smaller size and flexibility that kids this age have, I'm sure Aikido will be a great thing for him! As far as stunting growth - I'm 100% sure this is a tall tale...
Good luck to your son - I hope he enjoys it!
Gaia

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Gaia Marrs
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Old 05-02-2004, 09:38 PM   #5
Jerry Miller
 
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Re: Question about age

I started Aikido when I was your son's age. I was able to study for 2 or 3 years before we moved away. That was over thirty years ago. I did fine, had great fun and had no adverse effects. The sensei will use any reasonable caution needed. Is he in an childrens class? We did not have those when I was a kid. I was the youngest back then. My current dojo has a childrens class and a few of them practice with the adults. This can be an enjoyable time in your sons life.

Jerry Miller
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:36 AM   #6
aubrey bannah
Dojo: Yoshinkan Brisbane
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Re: Question about age

Hi Susana,
I don't think you have anything to worry about, My four children have attended Aikido class fore many yrs & I think that physically it has been a benifit. My children are aged between 7 & 15. The three eldest have been training for 6, 7, & 8 yrs. The eldest is daughter, the others are boy's, they train thurs, fri, sat, four class, two adult, two childrens class & during school holidays they train every day in adult class. My eldest boy[ 14 ]trained with me twice a day in adult class every day for four weeks during the xmas holidays. The childrens class' has over 50 children attending & in 8 yrs there has never been a serious injury. I'm pretty sure that the training will not stunt his grow & with with any competent instruction should never suffer a serious injury. This amount of Aikido training has make my kids a bit of a handfull , but it is shaping them into very confident & mature young adults.

Such powers I poccess for working in the political field have been derived from the spiritual field. Mahatma Gandhi.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:02 AM   #7
PeterR
 
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Re: Question about age

The is some concern about fragile joints pre-puberty but as long as proper care is taken there should be no problem. Here we have kids as young as 5 doing Aikido and the curriculum for 12 and up is identical to the adults. Never heard of any problems especially with growth.

Proper care means not cranking hard.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:23 AM   #8
batemanb
 
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Re: Question about age

I teach a kids the junior class at our dojo, 7 - 16 years. I am not aware of any issues regarding growth problems as a result of ukemi. I agree with everyone here, it should be a benefit in the long term, along with the movement that they learn. The main thing that we take care with is joints, I do not teach any of the wrist techniques, this is because their bones are still developing and are quite soft so we don`t want to cause any damage there. The kids have a lesser sense of control in what they are doing, there`s still a lot of natural competition (look I can do it, you can`t) at that age so they try very hard, this could result in some very sore wrists if they were given the chance. outside of joints, anything goes, there`s plenty more in the pot.

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:34 AM   #9
Jeremy Gelman
Dojo: Yoyogi Uehara (Iwama ryu style)
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Re: Question about age

Hiya susana, I'm 13 and I've been doing aikido for a year and a quarter. I started aikido at twelve like your son and since I do aikido the "Iwama-style", I've gotten beat up many a time!

Tell your son that it's fun to get hurt at such an early age!

Please have him come here! I wanna talk to him, I've never known anybody about my age who does aikido!

Cheers!!!
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:39 AM   #10
Jeremy Gelman
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Re: Question about age

I don't think it's so much about a person's age (or puberty) which determines if he can do aikido; it's more about his or her body-size and maturity. I was about average body-size when I started in aikido but I suddenly started to become tall and strong once I started, so my training has been super positive for me.

Jeremy
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:39 AM   #11
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
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Re: Question about age

Current (UK) advice is to avoid joint locks pre-maturity (roughly age 16 - 18)as bone growth plates can be damaged.
IMHO though over-training is the biggest risk as some studies have shown that training too intensely at anything can damage youngsters.
I started at age 9 and am still training at age 46, I got hooked so I hope your son will too.
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:51 AM   #12
Qatana
 
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Re: Question about age

My sensei started training at age 13, he is now 53, 6'3" and about 225#. If his growth was stunted i don't wanna know by how much!

Q
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www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:03 PM   #13
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Question about age

As was mentioned earlier. Joint locks should never be used with the kids.

However all of the basic kokyu nages, irimi nages, ikkyo etc are fine.

Kids are running around and falling all the time. If anything aikido will be good for them because it will teach them HOW to fall properly.

I did gymnastics for 5 years all up through puberty. I'm 5'7" now with a really husky build (around 200 lbs). 5'7" isn't not enormous but it certainly isn't tiny. I'm sure gymnastics affected my growth a bit in some ways, but in gymnastics you put and incredible amount of strain on your growth plates and your entire body in general. But hey, i'm not dissapointed with how i turned out.

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