View Full Version : Is he too young?

Failure Drill
07-02-2004, 11:07 AM
My 5 year old (just turned 5) boy just had his first karate class. Has anyone else started their children this young? Wasn't too sure about it, but he seems to enjoy it so far. PS. we paid for a good school, not ymca training. I was hoping he could learn discipline, as well as gain strength and flexability for sports later.....

Any thoughts?

Sam Spade
07-02-2004, 11:15 AM
Lotsa thoughts.

Talk to me tomorrow.

07-02-2004, 06:54 PM
I started boxing at 4 or 5. Just keep an eye on the teacher(s). I prefer judo as a starting point. Learning to fall correctly has probably done more for my self preservation than everything else combined.

Al Lipscomb
07-02-2004, 09:41 PM
My youngest daughter started at 5, she is doing fine. My son started at 8 and at 12 has his first black belt.

For starting out just look for a good teacher that is not teaching the kids trash.

Lou Costello
07-03-2004, 06:08 AM
I know several who started at that age and they are doing very well. Of course, they have a very good teacher.

07-03-2004, 10:38 AM
I kinda lean toward there being a window of opportunity with kids. 5-6 yrs old is a really great time. They seem to be more receptive.

I think it's way better to start them off young, than to put them in when they're 14.

Information that matters doesn't seem to sink in nearly as easily during the teen years.

It's always been my experience with kids that started very young, that they got into less fights, and had less problems. Mainly because they had a level of confidence that was genuine, and valid. They don't have any thing to prove, because they KNOW what they can do, and what the results are. There isn't any of that, TV Commando imagery in their mind changing their perceptions.

07-03-2004, 04:30 PM
5-6 is fine, just make sure the teacher is not teaching him bad habits. Safety shoud be paramount, and the main thing is that he have fun, develop discipline, learn to fall, learn what contact is like and develop timing and coordination. I think kids need to learn contact sports, and I also think that judo or wrestling is good to start them on. He will develop a great deal of flexibility and strength, which will serve him well for other sports later. Just remember that very few karate schools will teach much that is practical unarmed combat, but for developing discipline and athletic ability, it is fine.

Dr. Snubnose
07-07-2004, 10:14 AM
I refer you to my thoughts on another thread further down on this page, Doc " How yung should one start learnning Self Defense"

I started Martial Arts training when I was three years old and have been involved now for 48 years. I see a lot of schools out there whose students are mostly children. I don't think it is that important for a child to learn Martial Arts at a young age. I think what is important is that a child learn Kinestetic Sense, (the ability for muscles to memorize movement. This can be accomplished through a good gymnastics program or even Dance class. I feel programs like these better prepares young people for the serious study of Martial Arts later on. I think Martial Arts training is most appropiate for children in their teens. To many young people study the art at too early an age just because its something everyone else is doing, or just another after school activity to push children who might not be ready for such a thing or to get rid of the kids for an hour or so. The problem lies with the fact that if a child has a bad experience with the Martial Arts at an early age he might just quit and never again want to do it. Discipline and Respect in my opinion should be taught at home...it's good if it is reinforced at the dojo, kwoon etc. Self-Defense can be taught at home, using a little common sense, and emphasizing Prevention. You don't need Martial Arts training to hurt someone if that is your intention, someone once told me I forget who said it, but it was said that "the criminal element doesn't have the time to develop himself as a weapon, he just goes out and buys one." What Martial Arts training really teaches is Patience, Preserverance, and Instestinal Fortitude, and these are the lessons that need to be learned to master anything in life, not only Martial Arts. I feel these things are best saved for the teenager who can truly comphrend their meaning.

07-27-2004, 02:59 PM
Good points Dr Snubnose! I think the marketing from schools about instilling discipline and character are just that. Home is the place. The martial arts by strict definition, are war arts. IMO, they should be treated as such. That is what they are for.