Issues Bringing Children Into Martial Arts

I've found out recently that having a child rewires your brain. If it doesn't, then you're either a piece of garbage or are already a far greater person than I. The entire way I think has changed. All my thoughts now turn first toward my son.

One thing I promised myself, FAR before his birth when he was still hypothetical, was that I would involve my son heavily in martial arts. The reasons for this are two fold.

First, I am a wrestling coach. This is selfish, but my greatest hope is to one day be able to coach my son on the high school level. Anyone who is a coach bears this hope. There would be no greater feeling.

Second, I never want to my son to ever be the subject of bullying. Avoiding bullying is not simply a matter of being able to whip anyone's ass, it is a matter of having security in one's self and always keeping your head up. These are hard properties to inculcate into a youngster, as a teacher I know this, but if any activity can do it, it is martial arts.

Here are the issues I see with bringing a young person into martial arts to which I would like some response.

1. Age to enter a kid into organized martial arts: How young is too young?

2. What sort of martial activities are appropriate for a youngster and when? When do you show a boy how to kick and punch? When do you show him how to choke? When do you allow him to be comfortable in a choke?

3. How much do I a push the boy? I never want a kid to enter into an activity to please anyone but himself, nor do I want to breed resentment by forcing a child into a sport longer than he wants to participate. On the other hand, there is something to be said for the parents who never let their kids quit and who force them to stick with what they commit to. It seems there is a knife's edge here that needs to be walked.

4 How to be sure that my child's coaches and instructors are worthwhile and not trash? Youth wrestling programs very often are populated with valueless trash, not sure about other martial arts. I want my son to get the best coaching and instruction possible, but I will be damned by God before I allow my son to be influenced by a bunch of sorry people just because they produce good competitive results. Do other martial arts have this problem?

5. What other youth martial arts should I consider other then wrestling? I was in TKD as a youth and found that it was a bit of a waste.

I would appreciate the intelligent feedback on these matters from anyone in the BE community.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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