Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teaching Your Own Child Karate

My daughter turns 14 years old next week.  In a few weeks, she will graduate 8th grade.  In a few months, she will start high school.  In a few short years, she will head off to college. 

 Time flies like an arrow…

A few weeks ago, she mentioned in passing about learning karate.  (We have been down this road before).  She wants me to teach her and she wants to learn via private lessons.  I did not give this much thought at the time because I was in the process of driving her from one play practice to another.   The truth is…she simply did not have the time. (Historical society play, School play, Living Stations, Mathletes, Declamation Contest, Softball, homework).

Yesterday, Erin expressed interest in learning the tunfa.  I handed her my favorite set of Shureido tunfa and we went outside dressed in sweatpants and t-shirts.  There were no gi, no belts, no mirrors and we were barefoot on the grass.

It was a good training session. 

Questions:

Do you teach your own child karate?

Private lessons or class environment?

What are your biggest challenges?  

At what age did your child start learning?

I am inclined to have her learn privately and in a class setting.  My main concern is she is so busy with other activities that she will not have the time to study karate. 


PS. Hello Readers!  It has been a few months since I posted.  I hope everyone is doing well.    

15 comments:

Felicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Felicia said...

Gheesh - I really wish Google would let you EDIT your comments so you don't have to delete them! Anyway...

Hey there, Michele :-) Great to "see" you again. My son started at age 9 - a year before I did. We tested for our black belts together and soon after he got busy with school and plays and dance performances and the like - and his training dropped off considerably as a result. When he did pop his head into the dojo from that point on (he's now a sophomore in college), it was/is usually me who was teaching him - and it was hard as heck. He's obstinate, stubborn and likes doing things HIS way (and yes, he is very much like his momma, which is probably why it was so tough). Things worked much better when our sensei taught him or my training partner, Ed, did. Now, Ed has similar issues with his 10-yr-old purple belt son so I step in for him.

Private lessons really weren't an option for us (class was an hour away so traveling there two times a week was all I could handle), so that might be a good option. But for your own sanity - because you will undoubtedly get frustrated with her and her with you for some reason or other - I suggest you not be the one that provides her primary instruction.

Just one woman's humble opinion...

Noah said...

Traditionally, many Okinawan martial artists sent their children to other instructors to learn from, rather than teach them directly. From knowing how children react to their parents telling them how to do things, I definitely don't think it would work well to teach them in the "standard karate format". If you can have someone else teach them privately, that would probably be better if you want them to learn formally. If you just want them to learn functional karate in an informal environment, it could work out just fine.

Sue Wharton said...

My whole family have trained together in the same class for 6 years now. My youngest son dropped out after 6 months when he was 11 but rejoined about 2 years ago (he's now 17) and has just got his purple belt. My eldest son has stuck with it all along and is 1st dan like his Dad and me. There have been moments of truculence when we have partnered our children as they won't take advice from us very well!

If I were the class instructor I wouldn't want to teach them. Your daughter may be better in a class situation with a different instructor to her parents...

Michele said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment!

Felicia: Obstinate and stubborn...sounds familiar...we could be related! :)

Noah: Interesting info! I am fortunate to have a group of karate friends/instructors who are willing to teach my daughter instead of me. I like the informal setting for supplemental training but I want her to be in a traditional program for her main course of study.

Sue: I agree...I don't want to be Erin's primary instructor. If she intends to pursue training, I want it to be her path not an extension of her parents. I will support her if she wants to pursue this just like I support her interest in theater, sports, etc. I have a feeling her schedule is going to be prohibitive to the amount of time she can practice.

Thanks again for commenting! It was nice hearing from all of you. :)

Marie said...

It's a little of both for us. My daughter attends the children's class where I instruct and I also teach her privately at home (usually it tends to be kata and forms practice). She enjoy it and its something we can do together.

My son on the other hand doesn't like to by taught by me in class. I think he thinks he spends enough time having to do as I tell him! LOL.

MattKlein said...

Hi Michele,
Your post brings up an interesting quandary. Are parents able to teach their own kids as well as an outside instructor? I get so many parents that have tried to do this, and tell me I (or one of my instructors) am the only one the child will listen to. It seems most of them just do not respond to their parents' commands, for whatever reason.

On the other hand there are stories about families like the Gracies in BJJ just "grew up around it." I think that could work if there are big brothers or sisters to reinforce the teachings of the parents. Good luck with this and keep us posted.

The Strongest Karate said...

I dont have children but my nieces are growing like weeds and I hope to be able to teach them personally when they're old enough to stand still.

CKA Karate said...

Very important post about teaching your own child karate classes. It is very thoughtful that rather you like to give training to your own child or not. Anyhow, you shared very nice post. Thanks

Christopher said...

I teach my children. Here is a thought. One of the must important lessons in life is that of "submission of will" whether to a martial arts instructor, sports coach, drill instructor, teacher, boss, parent, or higher power. If a child won't submit to a parents instruction then there is a problem. Usually the problem is with weak parents that won't hold their child responsible and end up taking it easy on their child and doing a grave disservice. If you can teach your child to be a mature grown up why can't you teach them a martial art? In fact, if you think you know anything at all of value why would you withhold that knowledge from your child? Because you don't want to be to hard on them? Love is not making their life easy and pain free. If that was the case they would never grow and you'd have 40 year old children living at home

Oz said...

Hello Michele, I'm here again, seeing updates. Excellent post, congratulations.
Greetings from:
http://artesmarcialesdelmundo-oz.blogspot.com/

BBat50 said...

Michelle, "Time flies like an arrow" too true! Karate has been a tremendous bonding experience for me with my kids. But I didn't teach, we were students together. I've never really been happier in my life than taking classes when my kids were in them with me. We all made it to black at different times. My daughter, now at college, has taken up Japanese jujitsu. Want to see one of my all time favorite photos? http://www.bbat50.com/2012/08/still-training-but-with-restricted.html

Alexis Moore said...

To train kids with karate is a wonderful bonding experience!
Giving quality time form a child is really a worthwhile investment for him/her to learn discipline, confidence, and trust.

Karate Club in QLD

Alexis Moore said...

To train kids with karate is a wonderful bonding experience!
Giving quality time form a child is really a worthwhile investment for him/her to learn discipline, confidence, and trust.

Karate Club in QLD

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