I have just had a telephone call from a mother of a 3 year old that is doing some form of Martial Art, which involves kicking and punching. She has complained that the instructor expects to much of the kids and she feels it is unsafe. She asked if her son could come to the Swale Martial Arts Club, I told her that we would not take children until they are 5 years of age and would encourage them to do Judo first.
She asked why 5 as this other clubs takes them at 2 years of age. Yet again I had to explain that children under 5 to not have the mental or emotional facilities’ to perform any Martial Art, never mind what the Instructors says. The idea that anyone should teach kids under 5 to punch and kick another human being is morally wrong and can endanger the physical and mental growth of a child.
A lot of people will say teaching child this young will instil discipline, control their aggression and can be used a self defence? Who are they defending themselves against other 2 year old and is the answer to that to teach them to kick them NO will they be able to defend against an adult NO as for discipline there are many other ways of instilling that in a child and most of that should come from the parent but if you want some form of physical activity for your child why not Street Dance, Gymnastics, Tumble tots these are far better for under 5’s then a violent Martial Art which involves Kicking and Punching either another person or equipment.
In later life Martial Arts can be of great benefit it will teach self-discipline and group discipline but first you will need to understand what discipline is, it will also be way of forging friendships and bonding with same thinking people. It will help you how to eat properly, keep your body in good condition and most importantly it will teach you to respect other people but first you need some idea of what life is a pre school child does not understand this.
I have always recommended Judo or Amateur Wrestling as the first port of call when moving into a Combat Discipline not because I dislike other Martial Arts but purely because it is safer and don’t involve striking and the philosophy of hurting someone. Most grappling Sports do not allow dangerous techniques such as submission techniques for the under 14 and as such it about trying to pin your opponent or throw them in a safe form in fact to intentionally to try and hurt your opponent could lead to a ban. Many top Martial Arts players and Cage Fighter started their career in grappling.
My advice to parents discourage them from behaving like Power Rangers and when they are 5 bring to us our Club has been in Sittingbourne since 1957 and has a proven track record