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?
HIkaru DOjo Hosts its First and Last Martial Arts Birthday Party
Christmas Gift Ideas for Children
Mokuren Dojo's 10 Reasons to Teach Children Martial Arts
Mokuren Dojo: How many kids should you start with?
It's Okay to Hit Bullies