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Author Topic: Martial Arts  (Read 1271 times)

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Offline EyeomancerTopic starter

Martial Arts
« on: July 14, 2007, 02:54:45 PM »
So my sons have informed me that it is their wish to begin training in the martial arts.  I'm of mixed feelings about this, but I know that their father will let them go ahead cave if I simply forbid them.  Since it seems like they'll be going no matter what, I might as well try to influence the decision as best I can.

At best, I consider myself a well educated novice when it comes to knowing what's out there.  I know that nothing is going to substitute from going out and meeting instructors and finding out what I can about them, their schools their practices and philosophies, but does anyone know what would be a good place to start looking for a nine year old and a twelve year old - tae kwan do vs. jujitsu or silat vs. aikido, and so on.

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2007, 03:07:45 PM »
I have done ju jitsu, though I'm a few years out of training. I also helped teach the kids class for most of my own time in training. I started at uni, and mostly got dragged in by a friend who was already training. Now, that being said, I really enjoyed the ju jitsu (this wasn't the Gracie style one, which seems rather popular these days) I think mostly due to the wide variety of techniques we trained in. Its flexibility allowed that no matter ones build or fitness, there were good techniques that would suit.

Higher up the grades, we also trained with weapons, the jo staff (4 foot staff) being my prefered one.

As you say, it is worth going along, talking to the sensei, and sitting and watching a class before taking part, or letting your kids do so.

Offline Seven

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2007, 01:50:17 PM »
I was in Tae Kwon do when I was eight, through til I was 10. I enjoyed it, but it would have been better were I not lazy..

Anyway, point is, I haven't done any of the others, I was just in tae Kwon Do for two years. So you could look into that, or if you reall wanna compromise, see if you can't get your kids to wait a year or so.

Offline kongming

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 03:45:56 AM »
I did about a year of Tae Kwon Do, but despite my enthusiasm at first, I was maybe a little too young, and just lost interest (granted, I lose interest in everything all the time). Tae Kwon Do tends to be a "hard" art - that is to say, it is all about punches and kicks. So while this will help people to stay fit and gain muscle, as well as teaching them how to fight properly if attacked, you may not want them engaging in a martial art that focuses on striking.

Jiu Jutsu/Jiu Jitsu/Jujitsu/Jujutsu/whichever variant of the spelling you wish to use works well for keeping fit, self-defence, learning self confidence (so I hear) and also knowing how to recover from falls that have nothing to do with fighting. Additionally, it is not oriented towards striking and causing injury, but instead grappling, preventing others from being able to to attack. In some countries they do weapons training (to teach you how to disarm people armed with weapons), in other countries that aspect is illegal.

Wushu is an interesting one for those who want to learn martial arts similar to those seen in Jackie Chan movies (and for parents who don't want their kids learning actual fighting styles). It's very athletic and almost dance-oriented, even the weapons use is more appearance-focused than anything else. Looks fantastic.

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 07:03:42 AM »
Additionally, it is not oriented towards striking and causing injury, but instead grappling, preventing others from being able to to attack.

Not exactly. At least, for the styles I did. You do learn how to punch, kick, etc, but those tend to be used as weakening strikes, to distract your opponent from a throw or lock.

They are effective in and off themselves, but tend to be used in combination. I do recall a nice strike series that if applied would leave an attacker with a broken arm and leg.

We did weapons training after about a year or 18 months ... initially it is defence against armed attacks, though by learning how to defend yourself against a weapon you do get some knowledge of attacking with it as well.

Formal weapons training is only required from black belt up, and that starts with the katana and goes on from there. It is possible to learn before that ... I did a little with the tonfa and bokken, but the jo staff is my favourite ... but it isn't required.

Offline EyeomancerTopic starter

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 08:46:34 AM »
*blows whistle*  Time out, time out guys.  a 9 year old, and a 12 year old.  They are not going to do weapons training, I'm only grudgingly consenting to letting this go forward in the first place to keep some kind of control over it.  I want something appropriate for little boys, not to produce more effective fighters.

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Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2007, 09:22:40 AM »
I wouldn't expect a 9 and 12 year old to be doing weapons training. That being said, getting to black belt should take them about 5 years, so by that time, they should hopefully be mature enough to realise what they're about.

That being said, when I helped take the kids class, I would do work of my own with the jo staff normally before and/or after the class, just going through the katas. Some of the kids, as young as your youngest, wanted to try to. With the senseis permission, I did teach them the basic kata.

There was no hitting each other. It was all individual katas, though I did show them what they were actually doing, by performing the strikes that they were learning to block.

The early weapons training I did, for blue belt IIRC, was defence against knives. It was done with wooden training weapons. You would not be using live weapons of any kind for training, not before blackbelt at least, and then it would be for katas. Anything involving another person, wooden weapons.

Any responsible martial arts teacher will stress that knowing when to fight is more important than knowing how to. The martial arts are not there to turn you into highly trained killing machine.

Offline kongming

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2007, 12:08:49 PM »
Yeah, the weapons training I'm referring to is training on how to not get killed with weapons. The basic premise is "Here is how someone is likely to attack you with ______, so here is how you parry that and disarm them."

And I for one am thinking of a Monty Python sketch.

Unfortunately, in most of Australia, they don't allow even this level of training, so if someone trained in a martial art comes across someone with a knife, they get stabbed and they die, with the result of "Everyone in Sydney has a knife or gun, the martial arts is optional/useless".

Anyway, assuming you just want them to do an athletic hobby that doesn't even teach that (I live in a place where you don't need to worry about self defence. Some people don't live in such places. It's up to individual discretion), you could go with a hard art like karate or tae kwon do - they are likely to have something along the lines of something safe that you are after, or a soft art like jiujutsu or judo (judo is even more soft than jujitsu. It is designed to be safe, effective, and safe for your opponent). Those are the best bets I would give for young boys. The most important thing is to speak with the instructors first, ask them what kinds of training will be employed, what standards of safety they have etc.

Offline Seereous

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 05:17:42 PM »
Finally, a subject that I can offer some insight into. 

I would first recommend something that is useful in the unfortunate event that they must actually defend themselves.  Unfortunate and not pleasant to think about, but there are bullies out there.

Now, I started boxing when I was 9 (I'm 27 now) and I continued with boxing and took Muay Thai at 15.  I enjoyed it, but looking back, it's not something that I would recommend for your boys.  I am belted in Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Russian Sambo as well.  I would actually recommend either Judo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for your kiddos. 

The main reason is that at that age most children have a tendency to grab at each other and try to throw each other down.  With Judo your kids will be able to put that person down.  There's nothing more sobering than getting thrown on your ass, it shocks the person thrown and at some level tells them that this is not a person to be trifled with.  Judo would teach balance and keep them very aware of their body.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would be beneficial as well.  If your kids must defend themselves against someone bigger than them, BJJ is good at helping them against that kind of opponent.  Judo teaches submissions as well, but a lot of Judo places now a days seem to teach only the throws and not focus on the submission side of the game. 

Given my attitude as a child and as an adult, boxing and Muay Thai were the best choices for me.  I had a lot of anger then and those two arts are rather violent and are useful in destroying your enemy.  Given your reservations about the boys taking martial arts to begin with, I would suggest that you find a good BJJ school or a Judo dojo with a judoka that understands and teaches the ground game as well as the throws.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have any other questions to ask.  :)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 05:26:08 PM by Seereous »

Offline EyeomancerTopic starter

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2007, 10:28:44 AM »
OK, for people who were curious to see how this turned out, the kids are enrolled in a school, and, after a week and a half, report loving it, the instructors, and fellow students.

I decided that I didn't want a generic Tae Kwan Do studio that would tie me into a yearly contract or anything like that.  Also wasn't interested in jujitsu or anything involving joint locks on their developing bones (got that advice from an aikido school, as a matter of fact, that told me they didn't do children's classes for exactly that reason).

The place I found does a month-per-month membership dues, and is *checks the pamphlets she was given* a studio that teaches a "Northern Shaolin Kung Fu system [that] is a very effective and complete art that teaches practical skills for every range of self-defense. The excellent footwork, blocking, punching and kicking techniques are combined with the throws and take-downs of Shuai Jiao and the controlling, locking and grappling techniques of Qinna. Our curriculum is well structured and progressive. Each level builds on the previous level and adds new aspects of our art through the forms and techniques that are taught."

Best part is that, from what I've observed, things tend to be friendly and cooperative, things are done safely and age-appropriately, and they seem to know their business as well.

Side-quest over.  Can I get my levelup XP now?

Offline kongming

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2007, 06:12:44 PM »
Best part is that, from what I've observed, things tend to be friendly and cooperative, things are done safely and age-appropriately, and they seem to know their business as well.

That is indeed the most important part. I think you get to gain a level *grin*

Offline Idachan

Re: Martial Arts
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 06:33:10 AM »
I'm glad you found a good place, indeed it seems like you had the fortune of talking to serious practices so I hope you and your boys will be pleased with them.