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#300653 - 11/10/06 02:45 PM How young is to young?
dinodude73 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 7
Loc: MN
I am an apprentice instructor at a Tae-Kwon-Do dojang and I was asked to weigh in on an issue:
How old should someone be before joining classes?
this question comes on the heels of a few kids wanting to sign up and they are only 4 and 5.
what do you guys think? all comments are welcome
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#300654 - 11/10/06 02:59 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: dinodude73]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Is there an age that is "too young" to train?
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 11/10/06 02:58 PM
View the results of this poll.
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#300655 - 11/10/06 05:29 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: dinodude73]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Dinodude:

If you were asked to "weigh-in" on this issue then what are YOUR views on the topic ???

Simply as a BUSINESS idea 4 or 5 year old students are definately one ~market~ In terms of bone-fide martial arts instruction... that is a very different question however . They can and do learn martial things, but literally only the smallest taste, a hint of the real picture. At such a young age ~reality~ is not entirely certain yet... and hey they are 4 or 5 right?

Depending SPECIFICALLY on the presentation type/kind
/atmosphere a very young age is possible. However, at that young an age, it will be "sneaky teaching"... and contine to be so for several years. Hidden lessons, drills and exercises for learning by concealed repetitions, rather than by outright rote.

"Serious study" won't happen (and probably should not) for a very long time if that young. Can they study even that young... certainly, but it will only be a taste of the flavor, a droplet of the true receipe in its complete longer form...

Myself, if forced to choose a random number.... I'd pick the 7-9 age range . You are not being a baby sitter and by that age they can understand far, far more. Capable of classroom learning and appropriate group behavior....

Jeff

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#300656 - 11/10/06 11:21 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: Ronin1966]
dinodude73 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 7
Loc: MN
Thank you ronin I personally think that they are to young to practice any kind of stuctured activity let alone the martial arts.
I personally found that 6 and up do fine but I haven't heared of younger kids doing that well or sticking around to long.


Edited by dinodude73 (11/10/06 11:23 PM)
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#300657 - 11/11/06 11:45 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: dinodude73]
ITFunity Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2053
I agree with pretty much of what Ronin1966 posted. I guess at some point (age) a child would not learn anything (below 4years old). Of course at 4, 5 & 6 years old, they could & do learn something, but many would say not it is not a serious study or grasp of true MAs.
IMHO they are just like babysitting services with a kick! An arguement could be made that they are good for kids & the school, as it brings in much needed revenue. However, it has been experience that the benefits gained through early practice, wane over time, becuase those that start too early tend to tire & drop out by 8,9,10 & 11 years of age. It is MHO that these crucial formative years, they say a personality is developed by 7 & when the child starts to interact with others, minus the supervision, or the lessened supervision during ages 8-11 is when you would want your child to be in a wholesome MAs activity, where they would not only exercise, but would receive all important discipline in an ever shrinking discipline society. Iwould rahter build a child's interest when they are under 7, so THEY will want to join. Then joining at that age may IMHO have better & longer lasting positive effects in a world where we see positive influences shrinking.

I have always thought that if a child WANTED to train in the Arts & started at an age where they were already used to be in a structured formal education setting, they would last longer & would be involved at a time where many dangle in being introduced to the many negative forces that appear in today's society.

Okay, I am stepping down from the pulpit!

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#300658 - 11/14/06 02:16 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: ITFunity]
rageace Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 114
Loc: England
Just my opinion but I don't think I'd allow anybody under 7 (maybe six if they were really mature or their parents were doing it). I think it would turn into more of a cresh than a MA school.
Just my opinion
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The biggest fight you face, is with yourself when you stop out the door

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#300659 - 11/15/06 11:25 AM Re: How young is to young? [Re: dinodude73]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
Over the past 20 years I have seen dojo after dojo become overrun with near-toddlers. For the most part, kids 4 and 5 years old do not have the physical coordination, mental focus, or emotional maturity to benefit from martial arts training. Yes, there may be exceptions; however, they are few and far between.

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#300660 - 11/15/06 12:05 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: dinodude73]
vegantkd Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/06
Posts: 121
I think if they are capable of listening to their parents and understanding instructions then they are mature enough. I was 5 when I started and I excelled. But I've seen 4 and 5 year olds and even 6 year olds that just don't listen to you. Some people put their kids in there like a daycare center or like an obedience school and hope that we'll teach their kids what they should be teaching them. I don't think that is right. They need to get the fundamentals at home so they can be incorporated into activities like martial arts. So it's not really a question of age but of maturity.

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#300661 - 11/15/06 12:05 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: fileboy2002]
rageace Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 114
Loc: England
Well put.
My class had more juniors without uniforms, most of them under 8 in it than there were people with actual uniforms/official members. The mums were just loading the kids off there after school.
_________________________
The biggest fight you face, is with yourself when you stop out the door

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#300662 - 11/15/06 12:28 PM Re: How young is to young? [Re: fileboy2002]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish in the class the child is attending. The youngest age I could possibly see for a child attending an adult class would be 7, more likely 8 or 9. We have several children in this age group that attend the mixed kids/adult classes and frankly, its usually the adults that have trouble keeping up with the kids.

However, if the class is geared towards the childs age group, then you can start them younger. We have several "little ninja classes", the youngest of which starts at the age of three. Obviously you can't teach them what you teach your adult students, but you can work on the basics. Kicking, punching, balance, proper behavior, safety, etc. All of which is geared towards their age group. We've had several of these students graduate up to the regular program, and these students are quite a bit further ahead than the children that start at 7 or 8.

Its no different that the school system. I learned to read and write when I was four. Granted, what I was reading was very simple, but I could read and write. Over the years, the level of what I could understand increased. Where as if you took an adult who had never learned to read, and taught them to read, well they would probably be able to read and comprehend more complex information in a much shorter time frame. Does that mean then that we shouldn't start teaching people to read until they are adults?

I agree that some schools may misuse the little ninja programs to just pull in money, or as a glorified babysitting program, but that doesn't mean there can't be good learning occurring at good schools.

For instance, we don't allow more than five students per instructor in our LN programs. Parents are encouraged to participant and help their students learn, not just sit and watch, and each class has a syllabus to insure that the appropriate information is covered in that class. And these children don't move up to the regular program until they show that they are really ready for it.

Laura

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