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  1.    #1  
    My son is interested in taking martial arts classes. Do you know the differences, benefits, disadvantages of the various martial arts when compared to each other...i.e. tae kwon do, vs kung fu, vs karate vs ect.....

    Any insight, experience, or resource is greatly appreciated.
  2. #2  
    Tae kwon do is Korean, Karate is Japanese, and Kung Fu is Chinese. I'm not very familiar with Kung Fu, but I understand it's an umbrella term for a variety of styles of fighting. The cool/funny poses from the movies are generally some form of Kung Fu.

    TKD and Karate are similar; they use a mix of punching and kicking techniques, but TKD has more emphasis on kicking and spinning than Karate. In TKD, there's no punching to the head. When I studied TKD as a kid, many TKD schools used the word Karate, since no one really knew what TKD was. TKD is an official Olympic sport; Karate is trying to get recognized at the Olympics.

    There's also judo, a Japanese sport, which is similar to wrestling. Judo is best known for its flips and joint locks.
    Last edited by samkim; 10/25/2006 at 05:59 PM.
  3. noodle's Avatar
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    #3  
    Some of my favs:

    ju jitsu, is japanese, focuses on pressure points and throwing(using opponents energy against them).

    Also jeet kun do is bruce lee's form...
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    noodlelest wet noodler
  4. #4  
    How old is your son, Hobbes? I have an 8 year old and I've kinda wondered whether this would be good for him.
  5. #5  
    There is also Aikido. I used to take instruction as a child growing up in Hawaii. I have always wanted to pursue it further as an adult, but am unable to locate a respectable aikido dojo here in Virginia Beach.
    CGordonn
    SPCS Treo 700p
    Virginia Beach, VA but home will
    always be Honolulu, HI
  6.    #6  
    Thanks for all of your input! My son is 6 yr old....which is a thought in itself. Here are some some Martial Arts & kids articles I found on the net after I posted the OP in this thread:

    http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/martial_arts/110289

    http://childrentoday.com/resources/a...artialarts.htm

    http://familyfun.go.com/parenting/le...tialarts2.html
  7. #7  
    I studied tae kwon do for a year and a half...I really enjoyed it. I liked it better than karate (I did that for about 2 years).

    I don't know if I would focus so much on the style as I would on the instructor and environment Hobbes. That's my .02.
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  8. #8  
    I did karate for many years and agree with what is written in the links of HobbesIsReal. I think karate is a good choice if your kid likes it, but the differences in instructors and schools will be bigger and more important than the differences in different martial arts, so find out whether you or your kid like the style of the schools and the instructors.

    Maybe karate and other martial arts lack playfulness a bit, it is quite serious and takes a lot of discipline. Maybe it is better later in development? But if the instuctor is good with kids and your son likes it, it can be a good thing for sure.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  9. #9  
    I have a 5 year old son and he has been doing tae kwon do for a little under a year and he has enjoyed it. I have noticed that he has changed also with the discipline, you can see it in all aspects of his life, school, home, playing.
    I ask him all the time if he wants to keep doing it and he does. One thing if you do tae kwon do make sure you are at a dojo where it is excepted world wide. The ranks they receive come right from Korea and you can go to any other place in the world and they will reconize your rank. Some do not do this. I believe it is the World tae kwon do Federation.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho View Post
    I studied tae kwon do for a year and a half...I really enjoyed it. I liked it better than karate (I did that for about 2 years).

    I don't know if I would focus so much on the style as I would on the instructor and environment Hobbes. That's my .02.
    I'll second this advice. My wife and two daughters studied tae kwon do for a couple of years but once our instructor left we didn't continue as the replacement instructor was not kid friendly and didn't operate safely as it related to stretching and listening to students.

    The instructor makes all the difference, more so then the martial arts discipline you chose, especially when you are starting out. Make sure you are allowed to observe sessions to ensure your son is in a safe environment. Good luck and success to your son.
  11. ktm97's Avatar
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    #11  
    I third the advice of a top notch kid friendly instructor, go to a few different class sessions & sit in, I am also a big believer in discipline, I studied TKD all thru high school, loved it my 3 sons tried it and got bored, but they love to wrestle, folkstyle, grecco & freestyle. Also check if your local club travels to tournaments, this is both exhausting & rewarding. Oh yea maybe you also can sign up for a father & son class.
  12.    #12  
    Thanks for all of your of advice and input. I was in much the same mindset of the instructor and environment being the biggest issue when I posted, but was just looking for some direction of which discipline to start looking in.

    Before I do sign up, I will take my son to see the dojo and the instructor. I will sit in at least 2 full classes to see his interaction with the students. I will also use Net Detective, the BBB, and check with the local police on the instructor before signing up. It is so sad that I would even have to think of taking these steps, but now a days I will not take chances with the safety of my son.

    I will let you all know in a few weeks what we come up with and any experiences during the investigation process.
  13. #13  
    I've taken Aikido, Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Tai, and Karate (a long long time ago).

    I enjoyed Hapkido the most. Hapkido is translated (the way of coordinated power). It's a mixture of Aikido and TKD. It uses punches, kicks, grappling, and pressure points. I liked it a lot BUT, we didn't have any sparring b/c in Hapkido, all moves were "finishing moves". So I never felt fully confident in it b/c I couldn't practice it at full speed.

    Aikido was the grappling/throwing portion of Hapkido. I liked it, but the major drawback was that Aikido uses your opponents momentum to hurt him (i.e. you wait for the attacker to attack before you respond). I didn't like this b/c I felt that if I was confronted and I knew a fight was about to occur, I didn't feel like waiting for the first punch. VERY effective with years of training, but I only trained in this for about 18 months.

    TKD is very good for kids, it has sparring and uses MOSTLY kicks. The drawbacks of this is...1) if you're in tight spots, you can't kick and 2) most fights in the real world end up on the ground....which TKD is lacking.

    Karate is very generic, MANY different styles and I took this when I was very little, so I can't really say much...except it doesn't focus all on kicks like TKD.

    Judo and Ju-Jitsu....Judo is the clean/olympic version of Ju-Jitsu. Ju-Jitsu is the street fighting style of Judo (to sum it up). These are the "wrestling" version of martial arts and have a lot ground tactics, throws, etc...This is feel is one of the most practical styles.

    My advice for a kid would be either Tae Kwon Do or Judo. Both are olympic sports which increases the level of support and schools around. Personally, I would think Judo would be better because you learn pressure points, holds and wrestling from day 1. Ideally, I think it'd be great if you found a school that taught both TKD and Judo. Judo however will make your boy sore for the first few weeks until he learns how to fall properly. So this may turn him off completely, but then again, it may not. TKD is very kid oriented.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by RicoM
    I've taken Aikido, Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Tai, and Karate (a long long time ago).

    I enjoyed Hapkido the most. Hapkido is translated (the way of coordinated power). It's a mixture of Aikido and TKD. It uses punches, kicks, grappling, and pressure points. I liked it a lot BUT, we didn't have any sparring b/c in Hapkido, all moves were "finishing moves". So I never felt fully confident in it b/c I couldn't practice it at full speed.
    I think this is a fair critique of a lot of martial arts...one of the reasons that I think the experience of boxing (or 'controlled' speed with full pads in martial arts). In typical martial arts studies, students never feel what its like to get your **** kicked and it gives a false sense of security when you really need the training.

    Quote Originally Posted by RicoM
    TKD is very good for kids, it has sparring and uses MOSTLY kicks. The drawbacks of this is...1) if you're in tight spots, you can't kick and 2) most fights in the real world end up on the ground....which TKD is lacking.
    I felt this too but I wrestled for 6 years through JR and HS...you have to be somewhat comfortable fighting from your back (and ideally not getting put on the ground )

    Quote Originally Posted by RicoM
    My advice for a kid would be either Tae Kwon Do or Judo. Both are olympic sports which increases the level of support and schools around. Personally, I would think Judo would be better because you learn pressure points, holds and wrestling from day 1. Ideally, I think it'd be great if you found a school that taught both TKD and Judo. Judo however will make your boy sore for the first few weeks until he learns how to fall properly. So this may turn him off completely, but then again, it may not. TKD is very kid oriented.
    Hobbes: Rico makes a good point. A lot of places where I live seem to be sharing the dojo (different instructors teaching different styles on different days of the week). An experience in a couple different arts might be useful as well?

    IF you want your child to have this type of training for self-defense purposes (in addition to discipline and other factors) then look for a place that encourages the kids to attend tournaments too for that 'physical' experience. Its good for kids to learn how to win and how to lose.
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