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#300693 - 05/29/08 09:15 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: jeff_andle]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
It's too young when you as an instructor don't have the skill or patience to deal with a child of that age.

At our main school, we have three little ninja classes. One for 3 year olds that meets once a week for half an hour, and one for beginner and advanced LN's from 4 to 7 year olds, which meets twice a week.

We've only had a LN program for a couple of years, so I've had the opportunity to see some of these students graduate out of that program and into our regular program at the age of 7. What I see is children who are more focused and disciplined and ready to learn. The little ninja graduates rarely get into trouble and are typically much better students. Will they stick around? hard to say, but many of them have already made it past the 3 year mark, which is hard to get to for any student.

As for teaching mixed age classes, yes it can be a real challenge. The class I teach is a mixed class which rages from 5 year old white belts to 40 year old second degree black belts. The nice thing is it does allow families to attend the same class. But it can be a real challenge to make it challenging for the advanced students, but easy enough for the beginners.

The trick I find is to break the class up by rank, beginner intermediate and advanced, and have them doing different things. For instance, the beginners might be doing turning kicks, the intermediate students jump turning kicks, and the advanced, 360 turning kicks.

I used to have two separate classes, based on age, but decided this past winter to combine them. There were a lot of concerns from the students and parents, especially from the older students as they were afraid that having younger students in the class would hamper their training.

Just the opposite happened though. The advanced students suddenly realized that they were setting an example for the younger students and started working a lot harder on their techniques, and the younger students started following that example. Within about two weeks, I would say about 90 percent of the disciplinary problems went away because these younger students wanted to be treated like the older students.

Just an interesting observation.
Laura

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#300694 - 05/29/08 04:03 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: Supremor]
TKD_X Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 786
Loc: HERE
Quote:

Quote:


here's something to ponder. i started when i was 4. nearly 12 years later i'm preparing for my 2nd dan test and i'm really grateful that i had the oppurtunity to start as young as i did.




As I said in my post, there are reasons for and against young children doing martial arts, and I'm not sure where I stand on that issue. However, my concern is purely for mixing ages like this, i.e. adults training with young children. That situation is detrimental for everybody IMO.




Hello Suprmeor:
I agree completely. Adults shouldn't have to deal with kids in their class. The only exception to this is family class where parents and their kids can take class together, while still participating in some separate drills.
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#300695 - 05/29/08 04:12 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: Ronin1966]
TKD_X Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 786
Loc: HERE
Quote:

Hello TKD-X:

With respect, well earned I have no doubt.... yet is also one of the meaningful serious arguments against you (generic) too. Consider the equasion 16 = 2nd degree. (Age + the number of the next rank to determine your potential age at that rank.)

16=2
19=3rd
23=4th
28=5th
34=6th
41=7th
49=8th
59=9th

69= top of the "pyramid" Can you see the basic problem some of us old guys/old timers might well have with that??? A double edged sword (sic. with some seriously honed edge)...

Jeff




your saying that some of the more seasoned folks will not appreciate a 16 year old telling them how it's done? i can see where you're coming from. i would probably feel the same if someone half my age was three times my rank (no math went into that, just a hypothetical number). however i don't know of too many middle aged people who start martial arts with the intent of becoming 4th dan or higher. i could be wrong. i believe however that a grandmaster, upon reaching that rank, should still be young enough that they can pass on all of their knowledge to the next generation. if i had just started now, at 16, i would probably be in my 70s before i became a grandmaster, if i still had the physical ability to become a grandmaster at that age. i can't speak for older martial artists, but i would prefer to have a fresh instructor that can still do what they were doing 30 years ago.
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#300696 - 05/29/08 10:20 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: tkd_high_green]
jeff_andle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 241
Loc: Falmouth, Maine USA
Laura, we have two year olds. I have some tiny tigers that are serious (for their 4-5 year old selves). On the other hand I rarely teach them. My favorite classes are the teens, adults and the motivated pre-teens.

OK, my FAVORITE are my Monday night semi-private lessons at a friend's house with his kids, but that does not pay the bills, as much as it feeds the soul.
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#300697 - 05/29/08 11:01 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: jeff_andle]
TKD_X Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 786
Loc: HERE
when i have kids, they'll be born in doboks and white belts .
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#300698 - 05/29/08 11:17 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: tkd_high_green]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

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

It's too young when you as an instructor don't have the skill or patience to deal with a child of that age. Laura




Thats great! Now I know why they call you "The Brain"

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#300699 - 05/29/08 11:19 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: TKD_X]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

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

however i don't know of too many middle aged people who start martial arts with the intent of becoming 4th dan or higher. i could be wrong. i believe however that a grandmaster, upon reaching that rank, should still be young enough that they can pass on all of their knowledge to the next generation. if i had just started now, at 16, i would probably be in my 70s before i became a grandmaster, if i still had the physical ability to become a grandmaster at that age. i can't speak for older martial artists, but i would prefer to have a fresh instructor that can still do what they were doing 30 years ago.




I think that many may miss the best part of being around or mentored by a real grandmaster & IMHO it has nothing or at least very little to do with physical attributes.......

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#300700 - 05/29/08 11:50 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: ITFunity]
TKD_X Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 786
Loc: HERE
i know that being around a grandmaster is incredible regardless of what they can do. i know from recent experience. meeting a grandmaster in his golfing clothes is just as good as meeting him in his dobok. i'm saying that as a grandmaster I would want to be able to do everything and more than what i do now. i want to be able not to say "back in the day i used to do it this way..." i just want to be able to demonstrate it. i'm not saying that i expect a grandmaster to do a backflip and walk on glass every time i see them, i'm saying that's the kind of grandmaster i want to be. my personal goal is to be a really cool grandmaster that can still do cool stuff before i become the wise grandmaster whose body is too tired to demonstrate. but if one starts later in life, then they become grandmaster at 70+ and they don't always get to be that supercool guy that did this or that demonstration last week. the respect comes either way, but i want to be active and stay kicky for a LONG LONG LONG time. i don't want to become a grandmaster and then retire shortly after.
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