18th August 2000, 12:59
Hello, All!

Perhaps this thread has been milked dry but I wasn't here and I don't know. So...
Teaching children,seems to me a thing of this century, beginning with Kano Jigoro. Normally, I believe children weren't taught and students sometimes had previous experience in other arts. Teaching children began, I think, in competitive sports. Can anyone give me some light on that?
Another point is about how to teach children. Some teachers propose a "semi-anarchic" system, since "children are not responsive to discipline" . Others propose a system of "charming the children", taking the role of leaders and inducing them to discipline, hierarchy and relaxation. What do you think about that?
And finally what are the best books and internet sites on teaching MA to children?
Your feedback is very important to me.

Joseph Svinth
18th August 2000, 15:32
I'd guess that teaching children as children rather than as short adults is a late 18th or early 19th century concept, and in its current form doubtless owes something to the German Kindergarten and Turnvereine movements. However, the notion that children should have fun is definitely a more recent concept, early/mid-20th century, maybe?

Personally I think Dr. Seuss offers some good advice here -- to teach kids, use simple words, funny stories, lots of pictures, and deadly serious themes. In my experience little people spot frauds and phonies a lot faster than their parents, and no matter how well you sell the parents, once you've lost the kids you will have a devil of a time getting them back.

Thomas Wahl
18th August 2000, 19:59
Hi folks!

I teach children now for about 5 Years in my own dojo. The number of children in a class varies betwenn 10 and 25 (oofff!).
My first tip for you guys: Show them, that YOU are the boss and that YOU know, what you are doing! Otherwise they chew you up! (Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Kindergarden-Cop", as he was about meeting the kid's first time.....?)
Every training is different. Once I do with them normal warm-up (like I would do with adults) Once I do all different games with them. When You do normal warm-up, try to keep them amazed by asking them to show you how far they can do splits for example....
I'm teaching Ninjutsu. But I don't teach them everything. Mainly I teach them simple locks, groundfighting, throws, rolling. From time to time also Kicks and punches. At the end we sit in a circle and they have to show what they remember from that lesson. Or we do wrestling. That's alot of fun!
Often I let them have the initiative! I ask them, if one of them has a idea to solve this or that situation, or if someone has a idea to do a certain technique.

This works quite well.

Any more questions? Just ask!!