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Unread 05-20-2007, 08:24 PM
 
Location: State College PA
394 posts, read 1,397,748 times
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Default what age to start karate?

I have a 4 year old boy that already is shy, scared of other kids making fun of him, etc. etc. I'm not one of those parents who want to spend the next 12 years shuttling my children everywhere, BUT...

I thought martial arts would be REALLY good for him. I think it would be awesome to learn self-discipline, appreciate exercise, and most of all - develop self-confidence.

But, what age do is it best to start them? I saw one place has classes for as young as 3. Is it worth it at 4? Any experienced parents with this?

Thanks!
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Unread 05-20-2007, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 7,858,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetegnc View Post
I have a 4 year old boy that already is shy, scared of other kids making fun of him, etc. etc. I'm not one of those parents who want to spend the next 12 years shuttling my children everywhere, BUT...

I thought martial arts would be REALLY good for him. I think it would be awesome to learn self-discipline, appreciate exercise, and most of all - develop self-confidence.

But, what age do is it best to start them? I saw one place has classes for as young as 3. Is it worth it at 4? Any experienced parents with this?

Thanks!
Both my boys started at three...and it's too cute at that age to watch them! My 11 year old is a brown belt and my 5 year old is an orange belt. We do Taw Kwon Do. But I think 4 is a great time to start them. As for shuttling them places....remember the Carpenters song..."You've only just begun"...LOL
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Unread 05-21-2007, 10:15 AM
 
5,199 posts, read 10,646,609 times
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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!
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Unread 05-23-2007, 10:42 AM
 
Location: City of the damned, Wash
429 posts, read 1,619,263 times
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I agree with the above. Our local, very reputable K school, however, will not allow kids under 16 to do the kickboxing classes, due to the potential damage to growth plates in the leg and arm bones. I was very surprised, but I understand the reasoning.
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Unread 05-23-2007, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,177 posts, read 9,384,749 times
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My son is shy too

We started him doing Taekwondo (Tiny TIgers age 3 to 6) at age 5

He's with little kids so he didn't feel scared.
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Unread 05-23-2007, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Utah
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My kids were 4 and 8 when they started karate (did it for 2 years). It was SO GOOD for both of them! I would have loved to continue it, but it got too expensive.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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I was a shy boy when I was a little and my parents put me into Kendo for 5 years (from age 8 to 12). Kendo is one of two major martial arts (the other is Judo) taught in Japan. It was good excercise and taught me disciplines. However, being shy will not be corrected by doing martial arts according to my experience. I was shy all the way till finishing high school even after I did martial arts for 5 years. Though it depends on the level of shyness we are talking. If your kid is scared of being teased by other kids, it is nothing to do with his lack of physical strength or doing martial arts or not. I believe it is simply lack of communication skills. If you want to correct your kids' shyness, you should put him into boyscouts or some other activities that requires interactions/verbal communication with other kids. If he knows how to communiate with other kids well, then he doesn't need martial arts techniques. Besides it should not be the main focus of learning martial arts. Self confidence should not be built upon the notion that you can beat somebody up if you wated to. Martial arts "never" allows you to attack somebody. It is only for self defence purposes.
If I look back now, I should have joined boyscouts or other activity which requires communication with others and some kind of public speaking to improve my shyness. Though I refused to do so at that time, but I think more you are being presented in front of crowds you get better at it and you become less shy. It is a matter of practice. But only if your kids wanted to do it. If they didn't, then leave them alone and don't force them. They have to like it to make it work for doing anything and being shy is not a bad thing. Of course if your kids avoiding any human interaction, that is a problem and you should consult professionals.
For your reference, I never regret doing Kendo now but as a kid, it was frustrating. For a kid to become higher grades/belts, it takes long time compared to teenagers or adults. Even though I did 5 years consecutively with almost no absence, I only got to 4th kyu (means 4 level below shodan "black belt") starting from 8kyu. I really worked hard for it. But I have run out of steam after 5 years. In Japan, you have to be age 14 before you are allowed to get a test for black belt in Kendo. Being black belt is not an ultimate goal doing martial arts, however for most kids it is. I just only wish if I stated a little later than age 8. I wouldn't recommend parents to put their kids to martial arts until at least age 12~14 for this reason. If you want your kids running around and have fun, then they should do soccer, baseball, or any other sports that they would enjoy as well as parents watching them doing but not martial arts. Martial arts are much more complicated and should be more long term commitment/activity and it is not a sport. Sports you can enjoy for a short term and quit and no problem. I see many people mixed up martial arts with other sports nowadays. Martial arts are life time study and commitment. I hope this helps.
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Unread 02-28-2010, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Australia
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Karate may be ok but consider team activities such as cub scouts. When he is a bit older, team sports like soccer.

Also how about dance or drama type activities?
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Unread 02-28-2010, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Florida
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my nephew is 3 and in karate. he's learning to follow directions more then anything. some schools have little preschool classes.
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Unread 02-28-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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My friend has her two kids in Taekwondo, the youngest is 4 and he just tested for his yellow stripe. He loves it and seems to be following instructions well. Martial arts is great for building self confidence, self discipline and getting excersise.
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