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# 107328 9-Aug-2012 14:06
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Hi There!

My son just turned 3 and we are starting to give some thought to sports and activities for him going forward. 

I am not sure what age you can introduce kids to MA, but does anyone have any recommendations. 

It would be nice if we could do it together (He and I) ?

I personally don't mind (light) contact.

We are in Auckland.

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  # 670079 9-Aug-2012 14:17
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Do you live on the shore? I've had my son going to Mile High Karate through these guys for a while, although he's school age... it seems to be pretty good, helping with his self discipline and whatnot (slowly!).

I'm not sure how young they can start, I guess it depends on the maturity of the individual kid.  Anyway the Sensei is a good guy and I'm sure if you give them a call they'll be happy to talk to you about it.

If you're not in this locale maybe check out mile high karate online, they have places doing the program all over.

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  # 670104 9-Aug-2012 14:56
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Depends on the martial arts as well.

I did Judo from about 7 - 15. I think it's more disciplined that other forms on martial arts and reduces the expectation that you can run out and beat someone up - due to the fact there are no punches/kicks involved.

That doesn't mean that a decent club wont teach self defense as well as it';s quite good for that.

Then later on as an older child/teenager they may want to move across to something more offensive, I took up tae kwon do in the my 20 for just this reason. I feel this was a good mix.




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  # 670129 9-Aug-2012 15:22
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I train in Tae Kwon Do and would recommend it more for you than him. The flexibility training aspect alone will be hard but it makes you feel heaps better in the long run.

Pisses me off that kids can walk straight in and do the splits no sweat when its taken me like 5 years :(




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  # 670135 9-Aug-2012 15:25
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I have the worst flexibility in the world. I had a really experienced physio tell me I had the worst he had ever seen, so it would be nice to get an increase, but I'll never be able to touch my toes (they say it's not physically possible as my hamstrings are too short).

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  # 670155 9-Aug-2012 15:59
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I am not from Auckland so cannot comment on clubs specifically. Classes we run for kids start at about 5 years old, 4 if they are particularly coordinated and 'mature' for their age. Unless really talented I would say 3 is too young IMO. Classes are very short, normally 30 - 40 mins as kids that age don't have the attention span. Learning involves just as much coordination, strength and flexibility training as actually studying the style chosen.

Unless its fun most kids will lose interest very quickly.

I would suggest having a look at different styles, and consider what you hope to get out of it. Do you want to compete - then a karate, TKD or a mixed martial art could do the trick. If its more for general well-being, health, flexibility, then maybe consider something like Aikido.

Make a list, and arrange to visit the clubs and see what goes on. Find an instructor you like and an environment that feels right to you. Most clubs will allow 1 or 2 introductory sessions for free to try out.

Good luck.








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  # 670156 9-Aug-2012 16:03
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In the bad old days I went to Karate as a kid, and they basically used the newbies as punching bags. I am sure that is not the way now, but it was pretty off putting. I think Alex is too little yet, I'll give it a couple of years and see how I go.

Thanks for the information.

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  # 670669 10-Aug-2012 16:46
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See if there's any Kung Fu outfits around, the coordination required has got to be great for young kids and it's a lot of fun, but can be pretty intense.

The local Go Kan Ryu (Karate) branch has special child classes, from what I recall it was for quite young children, I don't recall seeing any as young as 3, but there were certainly 5-6 year olds there. They're a nationwide outfit (as is Seido) so good odds there's somewhere nearby.

I would've thought getting a 3yo to pay attention long enough would be tricky.




 
 
 
 


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  # 670687 10-Aug-2012 17:31
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Zeon: I train in Tae Kwon Do and would recommend it more for you than him. The flexibility training aspect alone will be hard but it makes you feel heaps better in the long run.

Pisses me off that kids can walk straight in and do the splits no sweat when its taken me like 5 years :(


International Taekwon-do (possibly a different style of TKD from that mentioned above!) have a specific programme for younger children:

http://www.itkd.co.nz/reference/documents/technical/mini-kids.php

It's advertised as being suitable for 4-8 year olds, so 3 may be a bit of a stretch.  And as an adult, you would have to join the regular classes which would likely run at a different time.  And not all clubs offer it so you'd have to look for the closest one here:

http://www.itkd.co.nz/locations/

So maybe not the best match for your requirements, but I thought I'd mention it :-)

Andy.

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  # 670690 10-Aug-2012 17:37
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As mentioned above work out what you want out of it.
A lot are sport based and next to useless as proper self defence. Too many rules!

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  # 671679 13-Aug-2012 09:06
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Hi there,

I have been actively involved with Zen Do Kai Freestyle Martial Arts (www.zdk.co.nz http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zen-Do-Kai-Auckland/259798916073) and have found this to be a great syllabus for kids and adults. 

The have nationwide clubs and a great bunch of guys in Auckland.

The age of 3 is a tad young and would be more beneficial for them to start around the 6-7 year old mark.

When choosing the style you do need to make sure that student and instructor get on well and are comfortable - the key to success.  Make sure the style does have a free trial period - mine does :-)

Regards Yoban

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  # 671704 13-Aug-2012 10:26
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I did Kyokushin Karate for a few years when I was very young. Started at about 8 years and finished due to an unrelated injury at 13. It was a great experience though and I still remember heaps of it.

I think the best idea is to meet with the instructors of the different disciplines and see how they come across. Some can be real pricks while others are really nice. You want someone who's in the middle - not a prick but commands respect of the students. You'll also want to find out how "physical" they are, or rather what level of contact they go for.....my brother was beaten senseless with a bamboo staff when he was 15 or 16, this was back in the 80's but still....you have to be aware of the "traditionalists" as they go for more full contact between students and instructors.

Check out Kyokushin though - it's a well recognised discipline worldwide. I reckon martial arts are great for young kids though - it's an extra level of discipline and respect for them to learn - outside of what they might get at home and school.

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  # 671745 13-Aug-2012 11:37
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w00t:
Zeon: I train in Tae Kwon Do and would recommend it more for you than him. The flexibility training aspect alone will be hard but it makes you feel heaps better in the long run.

Pisses me off that kids can walk straight in and do the splits no sweat when its taken me like 5 years :(


International Taekwon-do (possibly a different style of TKD from that mentioned above!) have a specific programme for younger children:

http://www.itkd.co.nz/reference/documents/technical/mini-kids.php

It's advertised as being suitable for 4-8 year olds, so 3 may be a bit of a stretch.  And as an adult, you would have to join the regular classes which would likely run at a different time.  And not all clubs offer it so you'd have to look for the closest one here:

http://www.itkd.co.nz/locations/

So maybe not the best match for your requirements, but I thought I'd mention it :-)

Andy.


++++ 1

Great set up, great people, great clubs, especially Tamaki Mt Wellington :)
They have a good kids program, lots of fun for the kids and the old folk like me :/
 http://www.tamaki-tkd.org.nz/

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