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Karate - Does it really help?

shopperc

Senior Member
My DS is 6. He's got some attention and respect issues both at home and at school. I keep reading about how well kids like this respond to Karate and how it can really help them learn these skills. Has anyone had any personal experience with this? Did Karate help build your child's character?
 
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Teddi9192

Senior Member
My son

did not thrive in a Karate class. We knew he was adhd at the time but later he was diagnosed with aspergers. He had a very small class and his instructor wasn't as tough as I wished.

My cousins had a completely opposite experience. Best thing they ever did. Totally turned their attitudes around.

We are debating on my younger son.
 

cvt

Senior Member
karate

If you find a good karate school, it absolutely helps.

I have recommended karate to many of my first grade students who had similar issues. One particular success story I like to tell is of a boy in my class who was a bully and also socially awkward (only child). His father was very reluctant to follow my advice to put him in karate, because he thought it would increase his violent temperament. After I printed out a bunch of research on the merits of karate (respect, self-esteem, focus, socialization), he enrolled him in a karate class.
It took perhaps a year to see some change, but forward 10 years, and the boy is now a black belt and teaches part-time in the same karate school. He is caring and thoughtful, and appears to have great people skills! His parents send me a thank-you card every year :D.
 

chipmunky

Senior Member
How about gymnastics?

A good gym will emphasize focusing on the instructor, mental imaging, following sequence, and working long and hard for the desired results. Also, respect is key and disrespect is not tolerated. Good sportsmanship is part of ever class.
Even though karate is supposed to be self defense I have had some students take these classes and then try to Karate chop everyone on the playground-not good.
Just another option to consider.
But then again, for gymnastics you do have to have the right body type and have natural strength, not every kid can do this sport.
 

mhugs

Senior Member
not sold on it

I have taught first for over 20 years and I am not convinced that Karate does all that it says it does. Haven't seen the results in the classroom. Maybe it depends on the program and the particular instructor.

I do suggest to parents that the child walk with an adult every evening for about twenty minutes. Giving the child 1:1 focus time with a loving adult. Both benefit from the exercise and their are new studies out on ADD kids having time with nature. It also gives the child an opportunity to begin meaningful conversation.
 

janeypoo

Suspended
I think any sport or art with a strong mentor that the kid is into will help. Karate only helps those who really like it, respect the principals (karate chopping people on the playground is NOT okay and they have probably been taught that, but , like anything else, how much they are inspired and listen depends on what they take with them) and really want to be involved.

Gymnastics is good. It has not helped with my kid's behaviors as hers really comes out then, but it HAS helped me see where she needs discipline and has helped me catch it before it is too late. She is still with the "novice" coaches, too. The head coach would probably whip her into shape pretty fast. Boys get discouraged from participating sometimes from peers, though, which is sad.

My nephew was a lil squirrel and karate did no good because he thought it was boring. He had football with a really strong male role model who emphasized respect and that did the trick.

I think the teacher/ kid mix combined with enjoyability are what really helps to build character.
 
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teenytiny

Senior Member
I don't think it has to be karate, I think any sport that the child enjoys and thrives in will build character. Working together with others and working with a leader who demands respect and can serve as a role model is the key.

Karate is something that a lot of boys naturally have interest in (they like the idea of the "fighting" element, I think), so if they take an interest in it and continue with it (and have a strong teacher/leader), I do think it would be beneficial.
 

Evergreen

Senior Member
Every single person who does any form of martial arts that I have met (I've met a lot, not just based off of 1 or 2 people) have had a severe superiority complex. Gymnastics would be my choice, as it also requires discipline and focus, but allows a lot of energy to be expended in a positive way.
 

teabreak

Senior Member
in our dojo

Our dojo works well with children with respect and attention issues. In fact, we almost specialize in it.

My boys had some respect issues so all of us joined as a family. They now open doors, do random acts of kindness, say "Yes Ma'am" and the like as well as have learned their own body space and limitations.

I suggest you visit different dojos to find what fits for you.
 

cvt

Senior Member
martial arts

Evergreen said:
Every single person who does any form of martial arts that I have met (I've met a lot, not just based off of 1 or 2 people) have had a severe superiority complex.

Hmmm, I do a form of martial arts called Tai Chi, and I really don't think I have a "severe superiority complex." Neither does my DH who also does Tai Chi, nor do the 200+ other people in my Tai Chi school. On the contrary, they are some of the gentlest, kindest, and most compassionate people I know. We do all forms of Tai Chi, including sparring with weapons like swords, spears and canes, so it is not just the soft and slow movements you often see depicted in movies. Simply doing martial arts does not make a person feel more superior.

I also know lots of people who do other martial arts disciplines (karate, judo, jujitsu, capoeira, aikido, taekwondo, etc), and there are only a couple that I would say have a superiority complex. But they would have had that even without doing martial arts.

Perhaps what you observed is true in your neck of the woods, but from where I look at it, your statement does not hold.
 

teabreak

Senior Member
Evergreen

I am so sorry you have not seen the other side of those in martial arts. If those people have a superiority complex then I fear they would have had it no matter what the sport they are in.

I have been in martial arts for just over 4 years and have only come across a couple of people like this. They mostly show up at tournaments but we have had a couple in our dojo. Not bad for a dojo with over 200 students. I hope you have a different experience in the near future :)
 

janeypoo

Suspended
I know tons of martial artists and three out of the fifty or sixty that I know well enough to truly know their personality have this complex. I think the people with the complex already get drawn into martial arts to feel more superior, but not the other way around. They are also mostly "little" guys so I always thought it was a Napoleon thing.
 

Evergreen

Senior Member
If you noticed, I said that everyone I HAVE MET-I didn't say you, and I didn't say everyone ever in the history of the world. The guys I knew were all big guys and total a$$holes. Sorry to say, but they completely gave me a negative image of everyone involved.
 

cvt

Senior Member
Evergreen

Sorry if I misinterpreted your comment. I'm sure it is just a matter of semantics, but when I read
(I've met a lot, not just based off of 1 or 2 people)
I automatically assumed you made a generalization.
Perhaps some day you will take a martial arts class and be pleasantly surprised by the people you meet. :)
 
J

J Hughes

Guest
Too Young

I own a martial arts school and will not take students until they are 8 but may move that back to 10 years old. If he starts at 6, he will drop out before he is 7. If you find one of the thousands of schools that tell you that 6 is a good age, they just want your money. Look around at their instructors and ask how many 6 year old teachers they have. It will be zero.
If you find a school that promotes kids based on tests like running through traffic cones, it is not martial arts, it is simply a daycare. If they give the kids snacks and help them with homework, it is a daycare.
Also, when parents ask me if I teach discipline, I tell them no. I tell them I only reinforce the discipline that is taught at home. I am not the parent, they are. I am there to be a good role model and give the kids a workout but not raise them.
Now, I am going to ask you: do you want your six year old learning how to punch, kicks, and break bones. Martial arts schools that teach real martial arts teach joint locks and breaks. You are teaching them to punch people and kick people. That does not really relate to learning self worth.
Still, I highly recommend it when he is about ten years old and old enough to understand that martial arts are for self-defense and should be technically advanced.

Now, if you insist on enrolling him, find a school with no contracts that is under $50 per month. Check your ymca's, rec centers, and churches for this. Avoid any school that has the $19 for a uniform and a free week. They are doing the bait and switch. Avoid most schools in the phone book. Never sign a contract. Also, if they claim it is "only" $100 per month, check the add on fees. Those are usually over $50 per month at commercial schools.
Avoid schools with "baby black belts." Fifteen years old is the youngest most legitimate schools will promote a person to black belt. If you see an 8 year old black belt in the room, leave. Also, what kind of black belt test could an 8 year old pass? The answer is not a hard one.
 
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