Young Children Training in Taekwondo

I have been meaning to put together a program for children, but haven't found the time to do so. I'd like to highlight a few ideas for training children in the martial arts ... for my particular school:

1. No sparring at all for children under 12. Funakoshi Sensei had a big thing against jiyu kumite, and I totally agree, especially for children. They don't learn proper skills, and it might be harder to retrain them in the future when you want them to get serious at it.

2. No weapons for children under 12. If they are not mature enough to understand an ethical (or legal) position on weapons use or if I'm not happy to discuss aspects of gender-based crimes or home intrusion OR if I can't trust them not to be playing around with the equipment when I'm not there, then I don't want to teach them how to use a tool that is linked with such issues.

3. I'd like children's learning to be assisted by participation from their parents. I've got my children in a suzuki violin program and constant practice and parent involvement has had a profound influence on their progress -- so I'd like that to occur in my own taekwondo class.

4. I like my son being present at adult classes so he sees exactly what we do with the older students. This shows the intensity, the preciseness of technique and the dojo environment we train in. I would like mix classes like this to occur in a chaperoned way in order for younger students to see what they will graduate to, but not necessarily occuring every week. Maybe once a month.

Anyone got any ideas or other issues?

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Jeremy said…
As a fellow Taekwondo instructor, I thoroughly enjoy your site! I run my program through a local recreation center. I run 3 class - TKD Basics, Kids Traditional and Adult Traditional.

The TKD basics class is once a week 1/2-hr class for 4-10 year olds. No uniforms, no belts, no testings. It's simply a 16-class session to introduce basics of taekwondo. At the end of the session we put on a demonstration for the parents and guests.

Games are a big portion of the class with "Sensai Says" being the most popular (played like Simon Says).

The program is a great way to get kids interested in martial arts. It's also great for parents who are not ready to commit their child or their pocket book to a larger school where contracts may come into play.

From this class, I will select a few students for my traditional class. It's a great way to keep me feeling young while building up our traditional program.
Colin Wee said…
Thanks for the response, Jeremy!

Sounds like you've got a good program set up. I like how you're filtering your students upwards.

Did you take a look at my post about the Kung Fu Panda Birthday Party I did for my son? The kids absolutely loved the Balsa wood breaking session. The Sensei Says also was a real hit!

Children really thrive in an environment where there's a very good role model out in front of them. I've been told that I would make a real good early learning teacher -- but at this point in my life I don't know if I'd have the temperament to day-in-day-out face 20-30 young kids! I highly respect people like you who do!

Thanks for dropping by and saying hello.

Creative Mom said…
Hi Colin Wee,
I have been searching for a Suzuki violin teacher for my child in KL but in vain. You have mentioned that you've put your children in suzuki violin. Do u stay in Kuala Lumpur? Then, could you give me the details of the teacher/school and how do u think the teacher is and what are the rates like.

Thanks a ton in advance,
My email is

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