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Old 12-17-2011, 04:59 PM
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I'm a taekwondo instructor. we have tiny tigers (3-6/7 based on the child) we even have a 2 year old boy who participates. they can learn at any age. 4 is a good age to start. =] always remember, it's just about having fun. it's not all about discipline and many kids have come out of their shells. we have many shy kids so it's a great age.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:00 PM
Location: Texas
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You can start martial arts pretty early. My grandmaster was taken to a monastery to learn when he was 3. We have had 3 year-olds in our school - their performance varies, but it's a great time to start because maintaining your flexibility as you get older gets harder. Little kids who are closer to the ground are also more adept and less inclined to get injured doing all sorts of tumbling activities.
They do learn to follow directions, self-control, discipline, and a skill that will last them a lifetime.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:01 PM
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by 88txaggie View Post
Kim - yes, the instructors can address aggressive issues. When to use karate and when to not, respect, etc. Select the program carefully.
Yes, if someone says, "Sweep the leg" or you hear them chanting, "No mercy, sensei!", don't go to that school. But also beware of biking at night.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:46 AM
102 posts, read 169,010 times
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I regret not starting Gong Fu at 5.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
My son started when he was 7. That was a good age, although I would go as low as age 5. Any younger, I don't know...

My son loves it! He had coordination and concentration problems and I think it has really helped with that. He is now up to his orange belt.

At first it is a lot of repetition learning kata, but once they begin sparring it is really fun for them. And the will only go up belt levels once they test so you won't be moved up unless you are ready to go on.

We are in Illinois shotokan karate club in our park district.

Good luck!
I was a shotokan kid. I recall there were no pads or safety equipment in shotokan, has that changed? I remember it was hard to get bloodstains out of the white outfit.

My 3.9 year old wants to do it, but I just can't see her getting the katas down.

I don't have a lot of respect for Tae Kwon Do...
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:54 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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3-5 depends on the kid
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:27 AM
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,974,208 times
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My 5 year old started TKD this year and enjoys it. They have a class that starts as young as 2.5, but we haven't put my 2.5 year old in it because I don't think she'd really get anything out of it yet. She might start earlier than 5 though if she is interested and my oldest is still involved, because she will be exposed to it. My husband and I take class there too, and the little one just goes to the child care right now. So I do look forward to when she can join us in class.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:44 AM
Location: Quakertown, Pa., USA
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I had trained from the time I was 16 in Wing chun and when my daughter was 4 I started her she is now 24 and still trains, my son I started when he was 3 he is now 16 and also still training and yes so do I, haha, I have to they both like to see if they can get me, but I remember most was watching both of them when they were so small, the hardest thing not to do was laugh, now they are both very confident young people.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:19 PM
Location: Striving for Avalon
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As someone who was bullied, I hope you started the kid yesterday. A respectful, gently reared, "church perfect" child is fresh meat for the knuckle draggers and bullies.

The difference between a doormat and a future healthy adult (when dealing with a gentle child) is the ability to defend themselves and the self-conciousness that comes with it.

Disclosure: I am starting boxing next semester. I was raised by my mother and taught to be a "gentleman" and never to strike back, ever. I've "fixed" certain accessory issues, now I am going for the main one. I want this issue "settled" now in college before entering the working world.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:46 PM
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,147,369 times
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Yes, no matter what age you start them, do be very careful about the classes, please.

We had one local karate instructor who had a huge following; classes for 2-18. He made it plain that he had been bullied in HS and took up karate to improve his defenses. What really came out was that he was training all of his students to be bullies - and to use the karate to attack and intimidate people. He was vicious in his training; one of my adult friends had several small bones in her foot broken during training and he demanded that she stay two extra hours sparring with him to 'learn to work through the pain". It was particularly horrible.

When my very gentle daughter started being bullied by a gang of "knuckle-draggers" at the age of 7 - they attacked her at the bus stop,battered her between them, and broke her front tooth - I asked a friend to train her in Sogo Doshindo - "Water karate". This is a purely defensive form of karate, where you learn to use your attacker's weight against him. She became very proficient. When she was 12, 3 boys in school were well known as bullies (two were in the aforementioned "karate instructor" 's class). They yanked a girl off of the monkey bars and threw her into the dirt, laughing as she burst into tears. Without another word, my daughter stood between them and their victim - so they attacked her. She beat the ever-loving crap out of all three. When their parents stormed into the headmaster's office, he burst out laughing. "Let me get this straight - we've been telling you your sons were bullies for three years, and you never did anything about it. Now when a single girl beats the crap out of them, you want to come whining to me? They finally got what they deserved, and we have witnesses. Get. OUT." No one ever messed with my daughter again - even now that she is an adult. She has always been the champion of the weak and terrorized, and after her training was able to defend others as well as herself.
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