Teaching Taekwondo to Children

Everyone does the same thing in our Perth Dojang - even children. Lose control and people get
hurt - so you have to have the wherewithal to concentrate and always be present.
This is the  development of martial arts discipleship - and the potential to hone your
child's inner strength.
I have fielded many calls from parents asking about martial arts training for their children. The first (and typically only) question they start off with? "What's the closest [fill in the blanks] school I can bring my child to?"

Hey, this year is my 37th year studying the martial arts. Shouldn't you be asking *who* is the best teacher you'd recommend for my kid? Or how I should decide what would suit my child or family the best? I do have some expertise, if not a decent opinion who in Perth absolutely rocks it as amazing mentors in the martial arts. And I'm not only talking about Taekwondo schools.

It's a bit misleading when you see a class of young students fall in line and bow to each other at a dojang. The instructor calls out some command, and the class moves to obey. Parents like that. They might think my child is grown up enough to finally follow orders. My child has some discipline!

I've had some children start training with us recently. In the last month, I've:
  1. Exercised them as hard as the other adults in the class. 
  2. Smashed my forearm into theirs, inflicting pain onto targeted areas, and have allowed them to return the same to me.
  3. Gotten into their personal zone by shoving them up against the wall so that they know how to escape from this position and perform counters that would debilitate me. 
  4. Grabbed them while they're on the ground, and while they're performing their escape, applied some level of discomfort as a stress test before they retaliate. 
  5. Increased their spatial awareness and improving high level coverage by using two strike mitts and swinging them to the side of their heads, while they protect themselves by raising their elbows (see the above Establishing Cover video).
Before you start yelling child abuse, these young practitioners were early teens, and certainly old enough to engage in this practice.

They had to apply emotional and physical self control in order to perform many of the moves I've described. They need to concentrate and have the presence of mind so that they don't get hurt; the class is unforgiving - lose focus, and you will instantly get feedback. These are areas of practice which develop the inner sense if discipleship - the true meaning of discipline.

And their personal growth while with us was very impressive.

I can't stress how important it us to let children explore traditional martial art training. This training is beyond all others they can undergo in school or out. We focus on the mind-body-spirit development, and while our methods seem harsh, we focus on lifelong development. This is a type of nurturing that can positively affect them as individuals throughout their life.


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Jeremy said…
Thank you, Colin!

I've been away from the site for awhile and just saw this post. I love your approach to the art and the insights you bring.

It's definitely rewarding working with children and does wonders for one's patience!
Colin Wee said…
It is rewarding when you see them grow with the arts. :-) Cheers. Colin

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