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  1. #1

    Default Karate/Tae Kwon Do

    I notice that some of you have your kid(s) in karate or tae kwon do programs. Both of ours also do this (the older one in a mainstream class where he's a blue belt, the younger in a "Little Dragons" class). I'm curious to know why other people chose this as an extracurricular activity. In our case, we recognized some gross motor problems early on with older DS and thought TKD might help him, which it has. Younger DS got involved because, well, he wants to do everything his brother does. Anyone else have the same reason? What was your motivation for trying karate?

    I've also noticed at the dojo we attend, there are a fair number of homeschoolers. At least two of the younger black belts are/were homeschooled. Anyone else see this as a trend at their karate schools?

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    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    I actually started when my special needs teen was 7 and got suspended from the aftercare he was in. This place offerred after care with martail arts classes and picked up from our school. My daughter liked it too and i was incredibly impressed with the school, esp how they handled my son, who was not yet diagnosed but a real handful. we stopped after a while because it didnt fit our life at the time. My older son tried baseball and my younger tried soccer, but neither did well in the team environment - even tho my older was in a specail needs league and the younger was through the Y (not competitive).

    I contacted this school again when I started home schooling, and they were considering starting a home school program - one of the other locations had one. finally it got started this year and we are loving it - its for the whole family - right now we have 3 moms and about a dozen kids, and it meets 12-1 M-W, plus extra training session on saturday.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  4. #3

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    That's cool that you were able to find a place for him as a special needs child. I see a lot of special needs kids in the Little Dragons classes -- mostly somewhere on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum and even one with mild cerebral palsy, so it's good to have a place for them to succeed. Like your DS, my older DS isn't much for team sports but thrives on individual accomplishment, which martial arts gives him. We have hopes for him to become a black belt in a few years, but we know it won't be easy since they're understandably strict about meeting the testing standards. I'm fine with that, though. Gives him a goal to work toward that's not just a breeze for him to achieve.

  5. #4

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    My oldest was in TDK when he was in Kinder; we tried it in an attempt to help him with self-discipline an focus - rather, more for fun at that age with an eye towards helping him find his own path to more self-discipline and focus should he continue with lessons. Ultimately, he went through a full year, got his orange belt and decided not to continue, which we supported.

    It was a good experience for him and he may decide to go back in later on, but it will be his choice.
    ~h
    Heather
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    We wanted our kids to take up a martial art from the time they were little. Our son had a few complications at birth that left some of his upper body musculature a bit underdeveloped, and his doctors felt that a martial art would be a good choice of exercise to develop that. In addition, I have always felt that the martial arts are good for self-discipline and self confidence and that my kids should be able to defend themselves in a fight, if necessary (as a judoka I trained with, who was also a black belt in tae kwon do, said "Become a track star first to avoid the fight, but if you can't get away, strike fast and hard with tae kwon do, but if they still get past your strikes, then you'd better know judo to choke and grapple them on the ground").

    We started the kids in judo when they were little, partly because it was far cheaper than the other martial arts, but in the past few years, we switched to tae kwon do, as the distance we had to travel for class was less and the scheduling worked out better. There are a few other homeschoolers in the TKD school, but not very many. Our kids seem to like TKD better than judo, as does my wife, but I prefer the judo personally.
    Just call me Shoe...
    Previously homeschooled our son and daughter (both now in university)

  7. #6

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    Shoe, they touch on judo a bit in the self-defense classes at my sons' dojo, although TKD is the main focus. I do see the usefulness of knowing judo techniques in case of a confrontation. The problem for Hurricane is getting the coordination down to actually do it! For kids his age, a lot of the self-defense is based around not being abducted by strangers. They even teach them to yell "Fire!" instead of "Help!" because sometimes people who hear a kid yelling "Help!" think they're just playing around with friends.
    Dad (39) to 2 DSs Hurricane (aka Nathan, 11) and Tornado (aka Trevor, 7)
    He likes to think he knows what he's doing. Please don't burst his bubble by telling him otherwise...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkInMD View Post
    For kids his age, a lot of the self-defense is based around not being abducted by strangers. They even teach them to yell "Fire!" instead of "Help!" because sometimes people who hear a kid yelling "Help!" think they're just playing around with friends.
    Back when I was a volunteer paramedic, we did some community safety classes in schools alongside the local police. We were told that the reason to yell "Fire" is that everyone wants to see a fire, but that yelling for "help" (or "rape") is something in which nobody wants to get involved, based on the Kitty Genovese rape and murder case. It doesn't say much about human nature, does it?
    Just call me Shoe...
    Previously homeschooled our son and daughter (both now in university)

  9. #8

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    Very true. And yes, it is a sad commentary on society.
    Dad (39) to 2 DSs Hurricane (aka Nathan, 11) and Tornado (aka Trevor, 7)
    He likes to think he knows what he's doing. Please don't burst his bubble by telling him otherwise...

  10. #9

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    Ahhh, Black Belt instructor here (3rd degree in International style TKD, 1st degree in World Style; 2nd degree in dituryu jujitsu, 1st degree in iaijutsu, instructor Yang Style Taichi), many, many reasons to learn and participate in the martial arts. Notice that "learn" and "participate" are separate in the previous sentence, many participate, few actually learn.

    The most heard reasons I get from parents who enroll their children in MA classes is for the physical activity and the social activity of being around other kids in a different environment than school or home. Another is that the parent feels that their child needs discipline. This I hear mostly from parents who both work and don't spend time with their kids and whose kids are in public school. These kids often (as the parent states) "act out" and the parent feels helpless in knowing what to do to prevent these episodes (I can't help but think the acting out is a relationship issue). In some ways these parents are right, their children do need disciple but I feel they are approaching it all wrong. Something else I see is that these same kids need a positive role model. So these parents bring their kids to us for this. Of course we get the "I want my child to learn to defend themselves," and we teach this. What they really should want their children to learn is how to recognize potential trouble and how to avoid becoming a victim (this we teach as well).

    Both of us instructors for the classes homeschool our kids (how we became acquainted with each other). About 20% of the classes here are homeschoolers. They are the real learners in the classes. They are the ones who always are ready to begin class, who answer up, and who ask questions of correct technique and practical applications (what nerve is affected and the physiology that occurs in the body to produce the wanted physical response). The public school kids (most not all) just want to play or learn to "beat people up." The homeschoolers progress faster. Not really sure why but maybe it is because they pay attention more, volunteer more in class, and take it more seriously then their public school peers. The homeschoolers are now the class leaders, out ranking everyone else in class. It is easy to spot the homeschoolers in the classes.
    Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies!

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    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    I hate these generalizations, tho. I'm homeschooling my boys BECAUSE they have significant socail and self dicipline problems. They will never be the overachieving homeschoolers. Although my 14 yo is doing really, really welll this time, and my 7 yo is not doing as badly as his older brother was at age 7.

    in other news, we tested for our yellow belts yesterday. I am in agony every time I move, but the boys seem to not have noticed anything. This is driving me nuts - the first 6 weeks, after each 1-hour class I could barely move for 2 days. This 3.5 hour testing session . . . . i seriously layed down on my bed and cried after my shower i felt so awful. and they wanted us to come to a potluck and dance party that night?! I'm OLD!!
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

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