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muttley
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Posts: 264
Location: United Kingdom
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:27 am    Post subject: TKD for youngsters Reply with quote

Hello

I am looking for a martial art for my son to do, he is a rather boisterous 3 year old (4 in August) and I feel a martial art would help him greatly. The issue is this, in my area of the UK, there are only Kung fu, Karate and TKD classes, most of these run on evenings and I don't think that my son would be suitable for these as he has an early bed time. There are 2 TKD classes in my area that train kids on Saturdays, one is and "Olympic TKD club" which only charges a yearly membership fee of 40 and doesn't charge training fee's. The other is this club http://www.wolftkd.com/wolf-cubs-from-4-years.html which I am interested in as I could actually train there on an evening (shift work - not great for structured training) - I used to train in Shotokan.

Would this benefit my son? Would I find it hard to change from SHotokan Karate to TKD?

Many thanks
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truejim
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 30 Oct 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Virginia
Styles: Kukkiwon/WTF

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:56 am    Post subject: Re: TKD for youngsters Reply with quote

muttley wrote:
Would this benefit my son? Would I find it hard to change from SHotokan Karate to TKD?


I started my son in taekwondo when he was 5. By age 6, he had a lot more discipline and focus. It's hard to know though: how much of that was attributable to taekwondo, and how much was attributable to the extra year in age? Personally, I think taekwondo had a lot to do with it. I've seen the same sort of transitions among many of the younger kids at our local school. Our instructors do a great job though of mixing discipline with fun and humor. The kids love it there, but they also know to be serious when it's time to be serious. I think the quality of the instructors is a huge factor, in terms of benefiting younger children.

I don't think you'll find it difficult to change from karate to taekwondo. I studied karate back when I was in college, and my son and I do taekwondo together now. There are differences of course, but they're easy to pick up.

http://taekwondo.wikia.com/wiki/Taekwondo_History#World_War_II_to_the_Present
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muttley
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Posts: 264
Location: United Kingdom
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I think I might go along one evening as I need to do something and I think starting a fresh in a new club would benefit me more than starting from where I left off. At least one of the clubs trains a lot of evenings which is good.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6155
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: TKD for youngsters Reply with quote

muttley wrote:
Hello

I am looking for a martial art for my son to do, he is a rather boisterous 3 year old (4 in August) and I feel a martial art would help him greatly. The issue is this, in my area of the UK, there are only Kung fu, Karate and TKD classes, most of these run on evenings and I don't think that my son would be suitable for these as he has an early bed time. There are 2 TKD classes in my area that train kids on Saturdays, one is and "Olympic TKD club" which only charges a yearly membership fee of 40 and doesn't charge training fee's. The other is this club http://www.wolftkd.com/wolf-cubs-from-4-years.html which I am interested in as I could actually train there on an evening (shift work - not great for structured training) - I used to train in Shotokan.

Would this benefit my son? Would I find it hard to change from SHotokan Karate to TKD?

Many thanks

Shotokan is quite similar in a number of ways to (ITF) TKD and should be easy enough to pick up. In fact, a lot of the patterns (forms) borrow heavily from Shotokan kata. TKD is great for kids that age of the class is structured appropriately for them; I wouldn't expect much TKD learning but more games to develop gross motor skills and a few techniques to lead into the standard classes later on.

Master Wolf's school should be quite good, we used to do the same tournaments as his school and the students were always good at both patterns and sparring.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27790
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that 3 years old might be a bit too young yet. There are some 3 year olds out there that can focus well enough for a short class, but I think the age of 4 or 5 is a bit better, but each child is different. The best thing to do is talk with the instructor, and see what his/her opinion is.

As for the change from Shotokan to TKD, I wouldn't think it would be too much of an adjustment. As with anything, there will be some learning curve, but with diligent work, you will overcome it.
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truejim
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 30 Oct 2014
Posts: 32
Location: Virginia
Styles: Kukkiwon/WTF

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
I think that 3 years old might be a bit too young yet...


Focus is definitely a problem at 3-4-5 even. I started my son at 5 and he was barely able to manage to pay attention most of the time...barely. Once he hit 6 though he was fine. We have some 7-8-9 even who still struggle to stay on task though.

At the school my son and I attend, I sometimes help-out with the 3-4 "cubs" class. Of course the "cubs" are not really doing much taekwondo per se. They do a lot of balancing drills, jumping drills, some forward rolls...all good stuff for developing gross motor skills. Then they also do middle punch, low block, high block, front kick, and the first 8 steps of Kicho Hyeong 1.

I will say this, when our "cubs" finally do turn 5 and hit the regular "kid's white belt" classes, the time they put in as cubs really does show. They immediately tend to have a lot more focus, better balance, better technique, etc.

Kids learn so fast anyway though: I would say that a few months down the road it's hard to tell the difference between a prior-cub and just a regular new-student. Still...the cubs seem to enjoy their time rolling around on the mats and hopping around on one leg!
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1729

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite TKD's notoriously bad reputation for being nothing more than daycare in an exotic Asian background, it can be possible for children to train. However, if serious training is the goal, the starting age should be based on the average child's mental and physical development stages.

Following this, 3 or 4 years old is too early for a regular training session. To adapt training it may be a good idea to test the child's ability to concentrate to see how long it will be possible to focus on one thing. Once this is clear, it can be used to slowly introduce training before allowing the child to join training session.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14450
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The attention span of a 3 year old is suppose to match the age; 3 minutes in this case, but at times, it's more like 3 seconds. Any MA in my opinion for those 3-5 is like playing, and any instructor has to keep constantly all of the time everyday....whew...challenge them or lose them to sheer and utter boredom!!

I, too, am not saying that a 3 year old can't do the MA, but I believe that the parent(s) better find an instructor who CAN teach students 3-5 years old. It's a different class than it will be for a 6 year old!!

Parents, instructors, imho, shouldn't expect much as far as long term because they might decide to quit before it begins, and that leads us back to the attention span.



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muttley
Blue Belt
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Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Posts: 264
Location: United Kingdom
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The club I am looking at does have a dedicated "kids" session which is supposed to introduce them to the ideas of TKD and make it fun until they reach an age that is more suitable.
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ninjanurse
KF VIP

Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6154
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4-7 year olds are capable but the curriculum needs to be simple and based on their cognitive development-hence a lot of gross motor skill activities, teamwork activities, competition based drills, and rule following excercises...in a fast paced, frequently changing environment to match their attention spans.
Technique will develop slowly over time so parents must be patient and look for the small victories.

If done right, a solid foundation will be laid and skills will accelerate once the student matures.

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