Archive for Children

Sifu Lee on Children & the Martial Arts

Posted in Day's Lesson, Martial Arts, Miscellaneous, Peace & Wellbeing, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Children Kids Class Education KindergartenI cannot force my children to practice Martial Arts.

That is against the Tao. 

If it comes natural, let it be, if it does not, let it be.  My children will have to exercise, practice good hygiene, eat healthy, and sleep well.  Those are necessities that they have no choice in fulfilling.  We live the healthy way, so my children have no other choice but to follow.  The fridge is only filled with healthy foods, there is nothing else to eat.  It is either eat healthy or starve.

They are forced to brush their teeth and take showers even when they don’t want to, it is a necessity of health and wellness.  The lights go out at a certain time so they have no other choice but to sleep when it is time.  They exercise because there simply is nothing else to do.  We have no cable TV to watch.  We have movies, but movies get old.  They play online games, but eventually they have to stop and move around.  They want to go to the park to play, when they go to the park, that is the beginning of their physical training.  Even at home they are very active running and playfully wrestling.

Activeness is extremely important.  The must be active.  But as far as formal exercise training, like in the beginning stages of Martial Art training, I do not force but I encourage.  They know they will make us happy when they participate, knowing this encourages them to get involved.  I also notice that when other children are around taking the training serious, they tend to get more involved.

Freddie Lee pinterestBrandon loves playing XBox 360.  We have an agreement that if he practices Kung Fu for 1 hour, he can play Xbox, and this agreement is working wonders.  It really motivates him to get involved with the training.  Angelina naturally loves to train and does not need video games as a motivation.  Brandon and Angelina enjoy spending time with me and that is what makes them want to participate.

The kwoon is also separated from our home.  Taking them to the kwoon creates a separate environment that also motivates them.  Staying at home all day makes a child want to get out and be somewhere new.  The kwoon becomes a quick getaway to do something exciting and different, this helps a great deal.  Keo does get involved as well, but he is not as motivated as Brandon and Angelina because he is still a bit young and does not have as much energy as Brandon and Angelina.  Jet is the only one that is unable to participate in anyway because of his extreme lack of focus and attention span.

I see that it is very important not to force the children to learn Martial Arts; they will learn when they are ready.  If they experience great struggle in life, it may encourage them to learn when they wonder why they are having such a difficult time overcoming these struggles.  Sometimes it will take a child getting bullied or beat up in school in order for him to realize that he needs to take action and get started in something like Martial Arts to defend himself when necessary.

It is of absolute necessity that children learn to be healthy and nonviolent.  If they are able to live a peaceful life, they may never find a need to learn Martial Arts at all.  But if they are surrounded by struggle and conflict, Martial Art training may very well end up becoming a necessity.  It depends on each child’s circumstances.  It is not right for a parent to force a child to practice an Art that he/she does not enjoy.

If he would rather play the drums or read, let him do so.  But no matter what he chooses, he must find time to exercise.  Exercise is something that I will always enforce, because him refusing to do so is no other reason than just pure laziness.  When a child is being lazy, you must teach him the way to combat this laziness and become active.  When a child is continuously active, Martial Art training will come on its own natural way that is unforced.

Sincerely,

Sifu Freddie Lee

Freddie’s Modern Kungfu. Chicago, IL.

Twitter Link CC bFB Facebook Link CC b

Bullying, Martial Arts and Finding a Solution

Posted in Bullying, Jiujitsu, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2013 by bradvaughn

Vaughn1Like most people who began taking martial arts when they were children I did so because I was being picked on almost daily and I wanted to learn to defend myself. I used to stay up late and watch old kung fu movies and imagining myself using the same moves on the bullies that were messing with me. After hearing me talk about it for a while my mom finally gave in and took me to watch a karate class at the local rec center.  Word of advice

never take a timid child to watch an advanced martial arts class.

The brown belts were having class that night and all it took was me seeing one of them getting thrown over the instructor’s shoulder to stifle any desire to sign up for martial arts. It would be almost a year before I would step foot in another martial arts class.

Lucky for me one of my mom’s co-workers (at the time) had a child enrolled at the local Tae Kwon Do school and gave my mom a pass for a free month. She almost didn’t let me go because she thought it would be a repeat of the rec center, but after promising that I wouldn’t back out again she took me to try out my first class. I was instantly hooked. I took to the classes like a fish to water and found that I actually had some natural talent for martial arts, which for a young boy who didn’t have a single athletic bone in his body was a nice surprise.

I trained at Lee Brother’s Tae Kwon Do in Burlington, NC under Master Sang Ho Lee for almost three years and loved every second of it. Knowing that I could defend myself as well as the realization that there was a physical activity that I was actually good at did wonders for my confidence and self-esteem. I still carry those positive influences and good memories of my first martial arts school and my first instructor with me to this day and use them, as well as what I have learned from my other martial instructors over the years, as a blue print for how I teach and motivate my students.

stop bullyingIt’s safe to say that my experience being bullied as a child plays a large part in why I teach martial arts.

Whenever a parent brings their child to my school and tells me that their son or daughter is getting bullied at school I take it personally.

Children shouldn’t have to fear going to school. They shouldn’t have to walk down the hallway with their head down hoping and praying that the bully won’t notice them. School should be a fun, safe place for them to go and learn and be with friends, not a place that literally feels them with dread. As someone who has been where they have been and gone through what they have through I feel like I have an obligation to help these students just like my instructors helped me.

Having said that, I think there is one crucial area that most martial arts schools are missing when preparing their students to defend themselves against bullies.

While we do a great job at teaching our students how to handle physical attacks by bullies, most instructors don’t address how to deal with the verbal abuse that bullies give.

I ran into the same dilemma after I started taking martial arts. The other students and I were told by our instructor to only use our training if we were being physically attacked. We were also told that if he found out that we had gotten into a fight at school we would not only be in trouble with the school but with him as well. For me that meant that I was often stuck still having to endure the bullies’ verbal abuse because they weren’t actually attacking me physically. As annoying as they are bullies are also smart, they know how to work the system. They will relentlessly bully a child verbally knowing that if their victim does anything to them physically it will be the victim and not they who will get in trouble.

Gracie Workshop 2It wasn’t until after attending a seminar on Verbal Martial Arts by Master Chan Lee as well as studying the Gracie Bullyproof curriculum developed by the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy that I realized just how badly we were failing our students by not giving them the tools to protect themselves against verbal attacks that bullies often use. I immediately updated the anti-bullying talks that I do both in my dojo and in the public schools that I visit to include not only how to handle physical bullying but verbal bullying as well. I now teach that bully prevention starts as soon as you meet someone; in your eye contact, the tone of your voice and in the firmness of your handshake. These are just some of the ways that a potential bully decides whether or not you are going to be a future friend or a future victim.

While these verbal martial arts skills are important they are only half the solution. Studies have shown that students will only use these verbal martial arts to stand up to bullies if they know that they can, if necessary, back them up with physical self-defense without getting in trouble with their parents or their martial arts instructors. We must give our students some clear “rules of engagement” that they can follow when being bullied. Rules that will tell them how to assertively, but politely ask the bully to stop any verbal abuse, tell them what to do when the bully doesn’t stop, allow them to protect themselves using “school safe” techniques when the verbal abuse turns to physical abuse and if need be, how to justify their actions to their teachers and/or principals if physical self defense is required. Most importantly we must let our children/students know that as long as they follow these rules they will have our full support if they ever do have to defend themselves against the bully. Only then will they truly have the confidence to stand up for themselves.

MASTER BRANDON VAUGHN

KARATE INT. JONESVILLE / GRACIE CERTIFIED TRAINING CENTER

Twitter Link CC bFB Facebook Link CC b

Teaching Children About Guns

Posted in Discussion Question, Safety, Teaching Topic, Videos, Weapons with tags , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by Combative Corner

Keith Owen, of our latest 10-Question Interview, is keen on removing the mystique of guns to children and teaching them valuable safety rules (an example that many schools around the country should follow).

Or should they?

As one mother said

“They need to know that guns do scary things- and there is no respawning in real life!”

Please let us know what you think by commenting below.

 RELATED ARTICLES

Guns: A Tool For The Weak? – M. Joyce

Gunmen & Eye Contact – Roundtable Discussion 009

School Board Shooting – M. Joyce

 

 

 

Roundtable Discussion 013 : Cage-Fighting Kids

Posted in Discussion Question, MMA, Roundtable Discussion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2011 by Combative Corner

“What are your thoughts on the ‘Cage-Fighting Kids’ controversy?”

…Should kids be allowed to continue to “Cage Fight”?

We at the Combative Corner look forward to reading your comments! Please post them at the bottom of the article.

disagree: I don’t know if it’s my old age or what, but most of what I see is what is going on underneath; parents refusing to grow up.  When I was speaking to my friend about this the other day, we shared the exact thought:”Grown ups” these days are nowhere near the grown-ups of yester-years.  Everything that an adult may do in their free time doesn’t have to be shared by the child.  An adult for example my choose to drink, smoke, seek a sexual partner, or any number of things in dance clubs, bars and entertainment venues.  The location of these cage-fighting events are in such a place.  As for the activities that go in such places, you would not wish (at least I hope you wouldn’t) to expose a child to this environment and/or the goings-on that occur in said environment.

Nothing against mixed martial arts and/or cage fighting competitions, but leave it to those mature enough to understand for themselves what they are getting into.  Children will always want to emulate athletes or figures in popularized sports (such as MMA) but let’s make sure we are able to keep them safe (proper equipment, responsible refereeing), and expose them to an atmosphere that fosters (friendly) competition; not one that resembles a gladiator’s arena, or worse, prison.  If families want to cheer their children on, they can do so in various judo or jiu-jitsu dojos the world over, or in their own backyard under the watchful eye of their parent(s).

disagree: “Cage Fighting Kids” This is not a surprise to me, I knew it was going to head towards this. The kids follow adults. Kids will do what adults do. Just as it looks shameful for kids to fight in a cage, so too does it look shameful for adults to fight in a cage. It is a disgrace to Martial Arts, it’s a disgrace to the intelligence of human beings. Animals may fight in a cage, but human beings are supposed to be beyond the intelligence of animals.

As a society we are going backwards, not forwards in our progression in intelligence. Children are following in our footsteps and we are clearly setting a bad example. Don’t blame the children, blame the adults, blame the society, blame the people, & blame the government for not stepping in to do something about it. It is political, the government will be paid off to allow this type of organized violence, like alcohol & cigarettes, the government is banking off of cage fighting, & it does not look like it will stop.

Adults have become more violent & therefore children will become more violent. This is not a beautiful expression of Martial Art, it is a violent ugly expression. Children should be wrestling while smiling & giggling, they should be play fighting like what they do in WWE, all for fun, not out of real anger or violence. Anytime your aim is to hurt somebody, to put somebody else in pain out of anger, that is not Art, that is hate, it can be seen in all sorts of competitive fighting, not just in the cage.

disagree: What is my personal stance on these “Cage Fighting Kids”? People will do anything for money. I do not watch or care for cage matches as that is a sport. I understand that adults choose to fight in there and that is fine. But to out your Child in DANGER is more then a cause for this to be looked into deeply by Law enforcement. I do not call any of this Martial Arts. I call this a shame.

Δ

agree: If it were a fight, then I would be upset that there was no protective equipment. However, it was not a fight. It was a grappling match. I really don’t understand the uproar or how it is dangerous or a bad idea.

I think our young boys and girls, especially in North America, have been “pussified” and are in need of this kind of physical activity. To compete, as grapplers, can be very beneficial to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Grappling is fun and it can teach you a lot about yourself. It also requires a lot of discipline to get good at it.

There is no shame in what these kids did, and no shame in their parents allowing it. I personally think that it takes a certain amount of bravery to subject yourself to this kind of public scrutiny. And the kids…hell, there is no questioning their bravery.

There is also, on a spiritual note, a state of consciousness that is experienced in the ring that is ineffable. And unless a person has been in that position, he or she cannot understand it. Not to sound flaky, but if you’ve ever competed in a ring or a cage you know what I’m talking about. And this ineffable thing I am talking about was a critical experience in the evolution of my own consciousness.

With much deep respect to my colleagues here at the Combative Corner, I can see that I stray from the commonly shared value system in this regard. Although what I teach is not meant for sport, but for incapacitation or elimination of a threat, I would be honoured if any of my students decided to fight in a ring or a cage. I would support them 100% and I would be their #1 fan. And if I had a child, and he or she decided to train and compete like these kids did…I would be there every day to motivate, encourage, and build my child to be the best person he or she could be, and the best grappler he or she could be. And I would be the loudest cheerleader you’be ever heard.

somewhat disagree: I have objections to the “cage fighting” kids event, but not because the event was a serious danger to the kids. It was largely a grappling match, and even if there was striking, kids at that age are not really strong enough to seriously injure each other. The one potential safety issue is that the kids were not wearing head guards. A sprung ring floor (or possibly the support posts of the cage) can still cause a jarring impact to a child’s head. Kids may be resilient, but rattling the brain around can have serious developmental implications.

What is disturbing about the match was that it seemed staged for the spectacle. The event was not a kid-centric affair; it was ticket-holder only, and featured primarily real cage fighting with adults. The commentary from the announcers made it clear that the kids event was more about entertaining the audience than building character in the kids. Even though it was technically a grappling match, the kids event was in every other aspect like an actual cage fight. It makes you wonder if the event was a misguided glorification of combat sports or if the parents were vicariously living out their fantasies of fighting in the cage. The kids cage fight looks like a show for the amusement of the audience and for the profit of the sponsoring club.

somewhat disagree: While I agree that this was more of a grappling match than an actual MMA fight I still have issues with the way the two boys seem to be put on display for the people there to see the main event. It’s one thing to let a kid compete in a grappling tournament and to be cheered on by their parents, classmates and peers but it is another thing entirely to put them on display as part of an opening act to a main event.

The parents of the two boys competing in the “Cage Fight” are just like any other sports mom or dad that sees some talent in their child and instead of nurturing and encouraging it in a “normal” way go
overboard.  I personally don’t have a problem with the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and think that there are some very talented athletes that compete in the sport as well as some that give it a bad name which can be true of any sport.  I know the popularity of MMA is growing fast and with it the inevitability that children will become interested in it but I think that there are some things that should be just for adults.

Δ

This article was written by the above authors/professional martial art instructors after viewing the following video

http://youtu.be/e4rTB0zhsNs

FOLLOW COMBATIVECORNER ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK

%d bloggers like this: