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#273802 - 07/21/06 02:22 AM Need Help Teaching Kids
Kaibo101 Offline

Registered: 10/16/05
Posts: 23
I am now a brown belt hoping to go for my black belt in a year or two. In our style it is required to get some teaching experience before you can earn your BB. Up until now our classes were just filled up with being the yougest(Now 16). Now we have kids and I am having a hard time teaching them. I tried teaching them like I would an adult to quikly learn that is not the way to go. In our other dojos with higher ranking Senseis, they train kids like they do adults. They go as far as hitting a kid in the head to get them to listen and focus and the kids listen and focus and do what they are told after they get yelled at by the Sensei but my Sensei won't allow that kind of disipline. So my question is this, is there another way to give the kid the same amount of disipline and get them to focus without having to hit them. Domo Arigato for the advice.


P.S To be honsest I didn't like being hit when I first started to get me focused. I don't like useing that method but I do what I am told.

(edited for caps - tkd_high_green)

Edited by tkd_high_green (07/21/06 02:12 PM)

#273803 - 07/21/06 04:26 AM Re: NEED HELP TEACHING KIDS [Re: Kaibo101]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 921
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Best tip is don't treat them as children, give them respect and they'll respect you. Also make sure they know that there is a line they can't cross or there'll be trouble.

create games that involve the techniques that your teaching like shuttle runs with 3 stops 1st stop front kicks 2nd stop round kicks etc

Also even if you spend the lesson shouting and ballin' at them, make sure you end the lesson with a game and/or words of praise.


A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.


#273804 - 07/21/06 01:40 PM Re: NEED HELP TEACHING KIDS [Re: Kaibo101]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
If your instructors hit kids to teach them, a couple of things spring to mind;

1. They don't know how to teach.
2. They should stop teaching immediately.
3. If they say you have to teach, they will be continuing their poor teaching practices. Refuse.

John L

#273805 - 07/21/06 03:45 PM Re: Need Help Teaching Kids [Re: Kaibo101]
MartinVonCannon Offline

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 13
Ok. This is easier than it looks, just takes time.

First the average kid between the ages of 7 - 10 has an attention span of about 7 minutes. That is how long you have. Get that time and drive the point home.

You accomplish this by breaking the lesson down into chunks. Demo the technique that is being taught.

I agree with getting the kids attention. Hitting them is not the way to do that. When teaching them how to block, reach out with your hand slowly so they see it coming. Then they will block. This shows them how the block works.

For punches, use focus pads or targets. Let them hit it as hard as they can. Same for kicks. Correct technique as necessary.

Ease up with the "no"s. "No, Johnny that was not correct." Limit or even stop that. Use this instead, "Johnny that was good, to make it even better do this". This is called positive re-inforcement.

Discipline is another matter. Set the line and let them know not to cross it.

If you need more help, ask here. I have about 20 pages of various kid drills that I rotate through for my class. The kids in my class are between the ages of 7 & 12. Even the adults like some of these drills.
- Martin E. Von Cannon

#273806 - 07/21/06 05:22 PM Re: Need Help Teaching Kids [Re: Kaibo101]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Kaibo101:

There is NO valid reason to hit a child, to supposedly "teach" them. Outside of possibly a blocking exercise there is no conceivable reason to make any contact...

<<they train kids like they do adults.

What size and how old is your specific group?

<<my Sensei won't allow that kind of disipline.

That is not discipline, you describe abuse, and your instructor is dead right not to allow it! At 16 you are certainly able to help out with younger children. Discipline is NOT something you will be able to easily maintain... nor should you. They are NOT mini adults... they are c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n. I assume you have basic rules? Enforce them firmly & fairly. DO not try and be your teacher, be YOU, a 16yo person, with certain understandings and experiences... Do not pretend to be me.

Kids will try and see how far they can go with you, as the "new teacher", and will test you. They are little, young, kids. Be consistant, be firm, but stay in control... yelling is never a good teaching technique.

"...Actions have consequences. Correct actions have good consequences, incorrect actions other consequences. You are in charge of what happens to you... choose wisely class..."

Give them a warning perhaps? Tell them what reward you intend if things go WELL today... Regardless make certain as individuals they actually heard what you said... if they cross the line twice, you call them on it. If safety is the issue, do whatever is necessary to maintain it.

Young children have minds but need guidance literally. They understand many things but because they are children, cannot see the outcome of most of what they do, because they are kids!

Are you dealing with specific problems, or simply overwhelmed in general? If there are specific problems many can help with more details...


#273807 - 07/21/06 08:01 PM Re: Need Help Teaching Kids [Re: Ronin1966]
sunspots Offline

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 650
Loc: Southern Oregon, USA
A few suggestions that have worked well for me:

Try a game of "Sensei Says" Like Simon Says, ony with MA techniques, moves, drills, etc. to encourage listening. 5 push-ups for mistakes. (Not enough to be "punishment," but gets their attention!)

Sandwich constructive criticism between layers of praise. "You are coming along. You need to get the kick up a little higher, but your hand position was great." Makes it easier to swallow.

Notice what they do right, or just better, and mention it out loud. Everyone needs a little positive energy, and to not feel they are toiling along alone.

When they are getting tired or way too jumpy, I've had good luck with sitting them all down, and asking if they have any questions about what they are doing. Sometimes you get to the bottom of "issues" this way.

Hope this is helpful.

Green Belt
Parker System American Kenpo
"Anything unattempted remains impossible."

#273808 - 07/22/06 01:49 AM Re: Need Help Teaching Kids [Re: Kaibo101]
jc4199 Offline

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 362
Loc: Pevely, MO U.S.A
Have a lot to do you wont get to it all but if you start to lose them change what you are doing. Like if you are working on punches change to kicks or bag work. Most kids are not going to retain what you are teaching them and they are going to be doing it again s if you don't get it all out its ok. Play games with them that use karate skills. We use a lot of game on our Saturday class the one I get to help with and do the boring type stuff on tue or Thurs.

We do a game called flag sparing take two flags and tuck them into each students belt on in front one in back. Have them put headgear on and the object it to grab the flag. They can block all they want to no holding your flag and if they start to run around stop them and put up out of bounds post. They love it and it a good intro to sparing. Also put a time limits on them 1 min to 2 min should be good and pair them up well.

We also do a game where you get a plastic bag and toss it into the air and have them kick it to keep it up in the air. Watch the kicks and count them. Make this game a bit harder limit them to one type of kick.

We use pool noodle for {whacker sticks} swing them at them and let them block them. Then do it on the walking beam.

You have to have a high energy level at all times I don't mean that you have to be bouncing off the walls but the first time they see you not into being there you are done.
hope this helps a bit.

Edited by jc4199 (07/22/06 02:11 AM)
Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.

#273809 - 07/22/06 08:07 AM Re: Need Help Teaching Kids [Re: Kaibo101]
underdog Offline

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
Here are some other suggestions. Plan several different activities. Children don't have the concentration of adults and activities need to change more often. Choose just one or two corrections to work on when doing something like kata. If you correct everything, then you will loose them. Everything said above is right too.
The older I get, the better I was!

#273810 - 07/23/06 10:19 PM Re: NEED HELP TEACHING KIDS [Re: Dobbersky]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Dobersky:

<<Best tip is don't treat them as children, give them respect and they'll respect you.

"Don't treat them as children...." they are children!?!?!?! Please explain some more...


#273811 - 07/23/06 10:32 PM Re: Need Help Teaching Kids [Re: Kaibo101]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Kaibo101:

I've read the others posts with curiousity... another point or two I believe should be added to the discussion.

Children should enjoy themselves, and certainly should have "fun". But this is NOT empty time-filling "fun and games" with NO purpose beyond that. If that is the case then you are wasting their time...

There are millions of "sneaky things" as a young person, a beginner of teaching that you can do, which definately has a martial arts purpose, but they might not perceive it. Oooopsy... build their leg strength....made them concentrate.... but not in a manner they realize/recognize.

Sneaky teaching is still teaching. Invent silly games which revolve around techniques/ideas you want to be reinforced. Start with the drilling routines quickly and tell them if they do WELL and you SEE they are doing their best then you have some "new games" to try out...

After a while you return to the original drill, and go to the next exercise. Games cannot be all they do or they will always beg, plead for them. Beware of falling into the ~only games~ trap...

Fun yes, but never always a "game"...

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