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#300663 - 11/15/06 03:41 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: tkd_high_green]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
I started TKD at age 4 and I think I turned out alright. It's not about the age of the student but their attitude. If it's just playschool, then it's a shame. I was learning proper TKD from the start and no doubt about it.

Discipline for kids in my school was tough. No talking at all during class, playing around was not allowed except during the 10 minute break period halfway through class and whining during drills was a no-no. We trained on hot concrete (literally foot-blisteringly hot on some days) but complaints were not allowed and they never turned up anyway. My dojo was far from playschool and I'm glad that it was. They treated the kids the same as the adults and respected them just the same as well. (with their physical differences taken into account, of course)

Some people think this is over-the-top but I think it did me a world of good. Besides, my first teacher was an army drill instructor as his day job, he was practically treating the whole class like babies compared to his usual work.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (11/15/06 03:43 PM)
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#300664 - 11/15/06 04:45 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: Leo_E_49]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
As a Instructor you have to generalize most 4 yr. olds are not mentally or physically able to keep up with 5-6 yr. olds. Attention spand wise theirs is even shorter then the 5-6yr old. There are some rare cases were the child comprehension and physical abilities are better then normal.

But its been my exeprience this is not the case, I've informed by the parent that the child was of age 6 yr. old. And found that he was 4 r 4.5yrs old.

My Instructor didn't take kids younger then 13 yr. old, I take kids at 5-6 yr old. 4-4.5 is much too young I know there are some acceptions, but at a glance you can't tell.

Its not good to generalize, but sometimes for the good of the class, you must.
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#300665 - 11/15/06 06:43 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: dinodude73]
cappo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 10
Loc: newcastle, australia
in my tkd class, we had a 3 year old boy, who's now 8 and a junior black belt. depends on the child probably
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#300666 - 11/16/06 07:23 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: cappo]
GizmoTKD Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Lublin, Poland
Well, I believe the youngest kids we ever had were 4. We do not allow students under 10 in the adults classes (unless they are really exceptional, and they still have to keep up with the adults afterwards...).

On the other hand, I feel that 8 years old is way too young for a black belt, even a junior one.
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#300667 - 11/16/06 09:18 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: GizmoTKD]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
Quote:

Well, I believe the youngest kids we ever had were 4. We do not allow students under 10 in the adults classes (unless they are really exceptional, and they still have to keep up with the adults afterwards...).

On the other hand, I feel that 8 years old is way too young for a black belt, even a junior one.




Can you please explain why you fell 8 is too young?

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#300668 - 11/16/06 10:04 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: GizmoTKD]
olga Offline
TKOlga
TKOlga

Registered: 08/29/06
Posts: 174
Loc: northern virginia
I think that since Martial Arts are not just about punching and kicking, you can start preparing kids for serious training as young as 3.5 or 4.They can learn MA discipline (different from what is taught at home), maturity, respect, coordination and other values as they relate to MA. These qualities will only help the kids in their future martial careers if they decide to continue on that path. They can also learn very basic moves.

As part of my own training, a fellow student and I teach a kids karate class for 4-7 years olds. Some of the kids are 3.5. They are not ranked and they don't have unifoms. Rarely it feels like a daycare, and overall, what we are giving to these kids is different from what they are getting at home. For example, one day the parents were shocked to see their kids lined up on the floor and quietly sitting in seza for several minutes. >Olga

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#300669 - 11/16/06 10:15 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: ITFunity]
GizmoTKD Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Lublin, Poland
Just my personal opinion. To me, one can be a junior black belt around the age of 12, and it should be really an exceptional person - to be honest, I still have my doubts here. Even if we concentrate on the sporting aspect only, I do feel that the average age for a black belt should be around 16 minimum, when people start to act more mature. For kids, TKD is usually a game, a way to have fun and I don't really think that they need a black belt - even a junior one - as an additional toy. I had an opportunity to meet Korean kids, some of them holding 2nd and 3rd Pooms, and although they were all super nice people, I wasn't really too impressed with their level of skill - and I mean technical ability here, not for example the level of fitness, power etc., which is naturally lower that with the adults.

I have some young students in my school as well. I have a fantastic group of 6 to 9 years olds. Some of the youngsters, who have been training with me for say 4 years, are now between 9 and 11. They are 5th and 4th Kups now and they have plenty of work before being eligible for 1st Dan. Some have tournament experience already. Some won national championships and competed internationally. Some had their 2nd or 3rd summer training camp this year (10 days of training 2-3 times a day) and had an opportunity to take part in seminars with foreign instructors. Yet they have still plenty of work to do before achieving their 1st dans.

I'm not that much traditional when it comes to training, but I'm still pretty traditional when it comes to awarding grades...

Besides - in my country, even in TKD WTF which has rather relaxed attitude when it comes to junior grades, I believe the youngest 1st pooms are/were around 11 when awarded, and there were really a handful of them.

Regards

Gizmo
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#300670 - 11/16/06 10:54 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: olga]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
MaAm:

I see your point & the value of what you do. I agree there are some benefits to be gained. However, IMHO the early start may contribute to drop out at an age prior to when one may want a youngster enrolled to have those same benefits, to counter act, the many negative influences that the young are subjectd to at later years, than they are at 3.5 - 6 years of age. Those younger ages, most children are still in a smaller, more protected world.

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#300671 - 11/16/06 10:55 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: GizmoTKD]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
I see & thank you. I just think that we may place different emphasis or weight on what a BB is or what it represents. I do see your very valid point. Thanks

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#300672 - 11/16/06 11:15 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: ITFunity]
ThomsonsPier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 475
Loc: Reading, UK
I think that part of the strength of martial arts training is that the teacher is able to make a judgement based on the individual rather than applying a blanket policy in all cases. A teacher generally knows what his/her students are capable of and can adjust accordingly.

The problems only begin when classes are large or instructors varied, at which point the dynamics of the training may not allow the flexibility required.
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