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Thread: Children Martial Art Training

  1. #1
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    Children Martial Art Training

    In recent years, we have MA training for children (as early as 4 y.o.) in my city. The supporters say it is good for children to develop social skill more than to promote their physical health. But I doubt MA training at such an early age will do more good than harm to the student. What is your view then?




    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong

  2. #2
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    Around here, kiddie martial arts seems to be the main thrust of the majority of MA schools I’ve seen, with the probable exception of the ubiquitous (and dominant) MMA gyms. For most MA schools around here, children’s classes are their bread-and-butter that keeps their doors open. A lot of it is more like a form of day care. It is MUCH different from back in the ‘70s and even the ‘80s.

    The biggest problem I see is watering down of the art. Standards are lowered to accommodate children, and I’ve seen child ‘brown and black belts’ with very poor basics and focus. The teachers are afraid of frustrating their students and having them leave if they fail them on tests they shouldn’t be passing in the first place.

    That last part also applies to many adult students in many of the schools nowadays, too.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 12-29-2019 at 12:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    whats popular here is like Jimbo said, more fluff than tuff for kids, so in that light, if your goal as a parent is to give your kid a nice workout and "fellowship" after school or for daycare, that works. It doesnt help the quality of the young martial artist of the future however, by selling black belts or allowing kids to pass tests just for good sport. There should be a division of curriculum between "recreational" students and students of "the discipline" , whatever it may be.
    In relation you can look at it like an art class. Most kids go to splash pant around and make a colorful picture, however, that can also be a place where a kid can begin to take their painting seriously.

    my opinion is more slated towards the old African and Chinese ways of rites of passage (types vary depending on where you are) starting in early childhood. there is no politically correct way to do it on those terms. Its brutal to some, yet the method works.

    Shaolin starts kids training at 4 for various reasons. One of the main ones is the bodys is supple and shape able at that age. Kung Fu is a long hard journey and if a kid wants a head start, the best way is to stay loose, build that early stabilizing balance and strength that can be easily cultivated in to speed and power and explosive agility as an adolescence and mastery as a man. Any of you can probably testify to the difficulty of flexibility as an adult, ESPECIALLY if you didn't cultivate it in early life and maintain it.
    Another reason is discipline. The honest truth is, a kid who went thru vigorous training early will be better tempered emotionally and mentally, and also develop the ability to start something, be patient and work at it, and attain efficiency. These are priceless qualities for a kid to have going into teen years.

    like the RZA says "WU TANG IS FOR THE BABIES!!" lol and I echo that. teach them the ways early, and save them the trouble later, from the physical discipline to the meditation, and even philosophy of martial arts to the best of their comprehension.

    There are obviously wrong and right ways to teach a child martial arts, so I'll spare listing them. in general however, I think between the ages of 4 to 7 are the best times to start seeding youth with good, pro active habits that cultivate vital qualities like patience, focus, esteem, understanding, poise and discipline. Martial Arts covers all of that.
    Shaolin does it best in my opinion, and always has the troops to show and prove the work!
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    Amituofo
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    examples

    in this video, near the start, theres a small segment focused on an Shaolin disciples training as a child: Training Kids

    some of this is frowned upon in the west.
    I suppose I'm radical because I actually wish I had it this tuff at that age.

    Amituofo
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

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    Thanks gentlemen for your good input. It is sad to hear that MA training is being taught as recreation. But I am against brutal training to people of all ages.

    What is the earliest age to start MA training? 8 y.o. would be the ideal age. The fellow has good control of his motor movement, and should be intelligent enough to start learning martial art. A 4 y.o. is just one year or so after he can walk properly. Too early to start MA training.




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    KC
    Hong Kong

  6. #6
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    The methods used to train children in Martial arts in Asia is beyond the understanding of us here in the lands of softness.
    My only issue with kids in martial arts is the sparring aspect.
    Wrestling? Sure. Boxing? Are you kidding me?
    It's as if there is this idea that kids are immune to CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) Brain damage.
    They aren't and head strikes to kids is a terrible idea period.

    Forms, manners, discipline, sitting still, learning to not fidget....

    Milk to babies, meat to the strong.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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    I agree with David that sparring involving striking (especially to the head) should be postponed until a kid is older, like maybe into their teens; and even then, should be strictly regulated.

    Other potential problems include things like hard stance training and body hardening (such as 3-and-5-star forearm striking, as well as other areas) should not be done until a child’s skeletal structure is closer to fully formed. I’m certain that many will disagree with me, but depending on the kid, that could be around 15 or 16 years old.

    Also, not every child wants to do martial arts. Some kids hate it. I personally don’t think a kid should be forced into it. I know that historically, many great masters were forced to train as kids. But I have seen many instances where a master forced his own kid(s) to train, and sometimes they even became pretty good, but they never even approached their father’s level. And as soon as they were on their own, they stopped training altogether and distanced themselves from MA. Just like sports or any other extracurricular activity, a child has to want it to some degree.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 01-08-2020 at 10:04 AM.

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    Jimbo, I agree. There was TV news showing kids who have not walked well yet, were then punching and kicking each other. They were carrying out sparring exercise! Shocking and terrible to me.



    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong.

  9. #9
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    Interestingly here in Urumqi, China, and from my understanding most of China, most of the people studying MA are children (4-10)

    My understanding of it is that at that age is when parents essentially decide what their child's future will be, so many parents put there kids in MA to see if they will be the next Jet Li or Donnie. When it becomes clear they won't, they drop the hobby. Also around 10 is when kids start prepping for serious exams at school?

    Anyone have any more information on this trend? Most of my knowledge is just from casual observation.

  10. #10
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    One reason and a good one for people to start studying MA before age of 10 is their modality is highest at such age. It has the highest chance for them to reach their full potential in the art. The same goes for demanding athletics like gymnasium, ballot, etc.




    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLau View Post
    One reason and a good one for people to start studying MA before age of 10 is their modality is highest at such age. It has the highest chance for them to reach their full potential in the art. The same goes for demanding athletics like gymnasium, ballot, etc.




    Regards,

    KC
    Hong Kong
    I really think it depends. Starting training before age 10 is more important if the art in question is something like standardized Wushu or Peking/Beijing Opera, or as you mentioned, gymnastics/acrobatics, or certain types of dance. And it depends on the child. In order to even have a chance to reach their potential, in addition to proper training, they have to really want it. And I don’t believe most kids that young would have that self-determination for martial arts training.

    For example my first exposure to MA came in 1965 or 1966, when I was 2 or 3 years old, when we would drop my older brother off at Judo practice. At that young age, seeing the tussling and hearing the loud thuds from the falls in that dojo actually frightened me. And although my dad taught me some ‘street Judo’ at 10, I didn’t go in for any formal training until I was 13. And that was through self-determination due to a conflict I was having at school. Unless a child him-or-herself is determined to learn, starting them too young can actually be detrimental to their potential, IMO, for reasons I posted earlier.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 01-19-2020 at 09:52 AM.

  12. #12
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    I started at 5...

    ...see where that's got me? You'd think I'd be more skilled..

    It's very different in elsewhere where martial arts is more a part of the culture. All those kids at Shaolin starting super young - that's so impressive. Here in the U.S., we're a gun culture. Firearms fueled our revolution and are such a political issue. That puts martial arts in a different light, one that begs the question - when should gun training begin?
    Gene Ching
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    ...see where that's got me? You'd think I'd be more skilled..

    It's very different in elsewhere where martial arts is more a part of the culture. All those kids at Shaolin starting super young - that's so impressive. Here in the U.S., we're a gun culture. Firearms fueled our revolution and are such a political issue. That puts martial arts in a different light, one that begs the question - when should gun training begin?
    in good ol 'merica they are startin em off early with tactical first person shooter games lol. Cant blame the games, its really a gun culture lie you said, from government and law enforcement always relying on gunpower, then movies to pop music promoting gun violence as a solution, video games just add the icing.

    smh.....with all the mental/emotionally challenged kids shootin up schools (churches/ county fairs etc) or feeling like shooting up their school I 'd say american kids need to be disarmed and taught some Ch'an Wu Yi. I'm called a radical though lol

    China has the right idea, parents see their kids showing the 'bad traits' , they send them to Shaolin, or a Wushu Academy. Thats a better direction in my opinion. let them figure out guns after they have figured out how to deal with their own emotions and thoughts.
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
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  14. #14
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    Child of Light

    I made a thread for this video , it's relative here still



    Amituofo
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

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    :)

    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
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