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LionsDen
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Joined: 06 May 2022
Posts: 177


PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2022 10:43 am    Post subject: Integrated age classes are highly inappropriate Reply with quote

I came up in a dojo where adults and children could train side by side. When I started dating my gf 5 years ago and she came to watch classes she mentioned how weird it was 50 year olds and 5 year olds were in the same class together, and I told her itís not weird itís common.
But after cobra kai introduced sting ray into the show they did a really good job of parodying mixed age group classes and how weird it is, and highlighting some of the dangers.

1. The way you teach and educate a 5 year old is different from a 15 year old which is different from a 50 year old.
2. Children including older teens often view themselves as more mature and better at making decisions than they really are, and by having children in classes with adults it helps validate to many children that they are as mature as they think.
3. Point 2 makes children extra vulnerable to manipulation by the surrounding adults.

I donít have a problem with parents doing a private class with their child, as 99% chance the parentís goal is just bind with their kid while doing something the kid enjoys so you really can focus more on the child without shorting the adult.

But other than family private classes there is no good reason to put children and adults in the same class. Thereís no good reason to put young children and teenagers in the same class.
Ideally classes should probably have a fairly narrow age range of 3-5 years at most but I understand thereís several reasons that may not be feasible.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2022 11:36 am    Post subject: Re: Integrated age classes are highly inappropriate Reply with quote

LionsDen wrote:
I came up in a dojo where adults and children could train side by side. When I started dating my gf 5 years ago and she came to watch classes she mentioned how weird it was 50 year olds and 5 year olds were in the same class together, and I told her itís not weird itís common.
But after cobra kai introduced sting ray into the show they did a really good job of parodying mixed age group classes and how weird it is, and highlighting some of the dangers.

1. The way you teach and educate a 5 year old is different from a 15 year old which is different from a 50 year old.
2. Children including older teens often view themselves as more mature and better at making decisions than they really are, and by having children in classes with adults it helps validate to many children that they are as mature as they think.
3. Point 2 makes children extra vulnerable to manipulation by the surrounding adults.

I donít have a problem with parents doing a private class with their child, as 99% chance the parentís goal is just bind with their kid while doing something the kid enjoys so you really can focus more on the child without shorting the adult.

But other than family private classes there is no good reason to put children and adults in the same class. Thereís no good reason to put young children and teenagers in the same class.
Ideally classes should probably have a fairly narrow age range of 3-5 years at most but I understand thereís several reasons that may not be feasible.

Solid post!!

I've never mixed-up age classes because they need to be separate for the reasons that you've pointed out. Retainment will suffer greatly if the ages of classes are mixed up, and the business needs to be aware of that. Parents won't tolerate an adult training with kids and vice versa. Neither would I.



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Wastelander
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2712
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2022 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, every school I've trained at has broken classes down by rank, and since they had the same ranking system (more-or-less) for children and adults, that resulted in mixed classes a lot of the time. You tended to have fewer children and more adults once you got about half-way to shodan, but it was still kids with adults. When there were enough adults that they didn't have to partner with children, that wasn't really too much of an issue, in practice, but it can definitely make some people feel uncomfortable.

I have separated my youth and adult ranks and curricula, entirely, and while I'm still only running private lessons, I do intend to have separate youth and adult classes this fall.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2022 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you make good points, and in a perfect world, it would be this way. But there are scheduling constraints to consider, how many students are actually available to the school, and things like this.

I'd love to own a school that had 30 consistently training adults, 30 kids between 5-8, and 30 kids between 9 and 13. It'd be super easy to validate having three classes per night. But in some areas, that just isn't the case. If I've only got 12 or 13 people that train consistently, it's not as productive to hold two classes of 6 people.

But as I mentioned, I do agree with the points you have made.
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R5ky
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Joined: 27 Jun 2022
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming from the standpoint of a martial arts consumer, I previously made a similar observation regarding how most Karate schools I encounter cater more to children without offering any classes specifically designed to instruct adults.
I'll encounter hybrid classes where adults and children of school age are together, which is off-putting to me.
However, I am aware that the main source of income is children.
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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 461
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our dojo does have a Saturday all-ages all-ranks class. Nominally, all the students are training at the dojo at the same time. However, what usually happens is the younger white/yellow/green belt students typically go to the upstairs dojo, while the advanced students and adults train downstairs. We'll do our warmups, accessory exercises, and sanchin kata, and then the instructors will break up the groups by rank and they will work on their rank material together.

So yes technically it is an all age/all ranks class, but the instructors break them down into rank-specific groups and they train as such. He will usually nominatte an assistant instructor to work with each group in order to keep things moving.
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Nevinyrral
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Joined: 16 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2023 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all of the traditional martial arts clubs I trained classes were mixed. In some there was at least two classes divided by age/rank but there were still some kids in the higher grade/age class.
While it was ok while doing some basic exercise or kata it got complicated during partner drills or kata.
There wasnt this problem in kickboxing and mma club I trained in. Might be because they were connected to fitness centres or just because there sparrings were full contact.
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DarthPenguin
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Joined: 03 Dec 2021
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2023 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There can also be positives from the mixed age classes (providing there are enough people to keep the sparring etc separate). Having skilled adults there can give the kids a clear target/view of where they can get to with dedication and training. That can be a useful source of inspiration for them
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R5ky
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2023 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There can also be positives from the mixed age classes (providing there are enough people to keep the sparring etc separate). Having skilled adults there can give the kids a clear target/view of where they can get to with dedication and training. That can be a useful source of inspiration for them


that is true in a good way, but I just feel strange as an adult hanging out with children; it reminds me of a scene from a Billy Madison movie.
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