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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never been involved in any kind of martial arts and know really nothing about any of the different styles. I've heard that they can help build discipline and confidence but are really not useful for self defense.

My boy will be 6 soon and I've been thinking about enrolling him. I think the only choice we have here is Tae Kwon Do.

Since we're homeschooling, I'm trying to find good extracurricular activities for him. Thoughts on Tae Kwon Do? Martial arts in general? Is he too young?

Any other suggestions from a prepper standpoint that might be helpful to him/my others now and growing up in an uncertain world?
 

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Tae Kwon Do is a good style to learn, and it would be a good thing for him to get into.

I had the honor of studying under Grandmaster Kwon himself for a time when he taught in Pennsylvania. At the time, his classes were split between Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, and weapons. As I understand it, he has left Pa, and has formulated a unique combination style called Hwar Do.

At any rate, martial arts training is about more than learning how to fight. It builds fitness, strength, composure, confidence, reflexes, and balance. It will show him that fighting is a last resort, but give him the tools he needs to survive when fighting is the only option. Saying that the training is useless in self-defense is incorrect. He will learn techniques that will maximize his power and allow him to end a fight fast.

I think it's a great idea. If the school teaches Hapkido alongside the Tae Kwon Do, so much the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you. So would you say six is an okay age to start? That's their minimum.
 

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OK, now I'm waxing nostalgic and want to share a little story with you. This was told to me by one of Grandmaster Kwon's black belts who used to run some of the classes because Kwon didn't speak much English.

When he was a young boy of 7 or 8, growing up in Korea, he used to have to walk a mile or 2 each day to go to school. There was a shortcut, but it took him across a fenced in field that was home to an enormous bull. Every day, Grandmaster Kwon would cross that field and run from the bull, but one day he got tired of running and decided to stand his ground. The bull wasn't impressed and headbutted him, sending Kwon flying.

Every day after that, he would stand up to the bull, learning how to move, dodge, and, eventually, would get in a kick or punch as the bull raced past him. Some days Kwon would win, some days the bull. In time, the bull decided Kwon wasn't going to be intimidated and would probably kick him if he charged, so he stopped charging. From that day on, the bull would just snort and let him pass.

This from a kid of 7 or 8 years of age! Gotta love it. :)
 

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Just my opinion but wouldn't it be great if you could learn with him. Show him girls can be tough and nice at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We're learning archery together! I wouldn't mind going too but there's no one to watch the littlers. Probably too many people there too.
 

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The great thing about starting that young is that his brain will wire in extra neural pathways for coordination, reflexes, and balance, and these will stay with him throughout his life.

Both of my kids could stand balanced on the arms of a rocking chair by the age of 3, even when I would bump it with my foot. I have never seen them fall, even when walking on ice. Yeah, they slip sometimes, but always recover and remain on their feet.
 
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Learning is always easier when you have fun doing something and it will help them learn easier as they get older by being able to focus better.
Learning respect and honor is always a good thing. There is also that eliminate of self confidence they will gain.
 

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I have an old friend who is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do with multiple Grand National Championships. And I can assure you that his training in it served him for far more than self discipline and confidence. His ability to defend himself was unreal and always ended in a very bad day for those on the receiving end. Mostly the result of underestimating him. And I've never personally seen him kick someone more than once as once was enough.

Myself and everyone that worked with him assured him of two things; There was no one else we wanted for backup more than him and, if any of us ever had to fight him, there would be no fight, one of us would simply shoot him before he had a chance to react.

Just make sure that your little one is mature enough to handle the responsibility and that whoever the instructor is, they're not some sort of kill 'em all, show no mercy kind of instructor.
 
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I think my son was about 6 or 7 when he started, I would definitely recommend it. Hopefully my son never needs it since we live in a bit nicer area than I grew up in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the insights. I want to find something that he enjoys but will have practical application in life. Sounds like we're on the right track. He's very physical (he's a boy, of course he is!) so I'm hoping this gives him the outlet he needs. Plus, we definitely notice the absence of a male presence and I don't want to be the only influence in his life. Boys need men.
 

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Just one word of caution; Find out if the instructor teaches for contact competition or self defense. My first Karate teacher was into full contact competition and he taught his kids to kill - literally! I changed Do Jo's and found a different instructor who taught for self defense. On the first day he said that there were two things that Karate was useless against, Anyone twice your size and anyone with a gun. I was old enough to buy a gun - so I did.
 
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Thanks for all the insights. I want to find something that he enjoys but will have practical application in life. Sounds like we're on the right track. He's very physical (he's a boy, of course he is!) so I'm hoping this gives him the outlet he needs. Plus, we definitely notice the absence of a male presence and I don't want to be the only influence in his life. Boys need men.
The very fact that you know an accept this is a major plus for you and them and speaks well for your effort to provide what you yourself can and find the rest of it through proper channels. You seem like a very good parent making the best of the situation.::clapping::
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just one word of caution; Find out if the instructor teaches for contact competition or self defense. My first Karate teacher was into full contact competition and he taught his kids to kill - literally! I changed Do Jo's and found a different instructor who taught for self defense. On the first day he said that there were two things that Karate was useless against, Anyone twice your size and anyone with a gun. I was old enough to buy a gun - so I did.
Will do. There are two places for Tae Kwon Do nearby, one 5 mins and one 30 mins on bad winter roads. I'll take him to the latter if I need to, but hopefully the local-er one has the right style.

The very fact that you know an accept this is a major plus for you and them and speaks well for your effort to provide what you yourself can and find the rest of it through proper channels. You seem like a very good parent making the best of the situation.::clapping::
Thanks, Mike. I really do think it takes a village and I hope to introduce them to as many good role models as I can. Lord knows I'm not all that and I hope they learn enough to decide for themselves. I figure it's part of my job in providing their education.
 

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My kid id 4 and is enrolled in Tae Kwon Do, he goes 4 days per week. He does the uniform, small traning weapons (plastic), gloves and shoes, he likes it. Once in a while he (or his friends) blows it on listening to their instructor, but otherwise seems to like it.
 

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As stated before this will be a great stepping stone for your son. The balance the coordination the reflexes and nimbleness all contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

It is proven that children that learn martial arts from a young age tend to develop stronger than others both physically and mentally. Some believe there is a spiritual nature to learning a martial art especially in the higher levels. I am a god fearing man so if it is anything spiritual it would be from there but at the same time I have seen things that I could not believe possible.

Discipline is huge in any GOOD martial arts instructor. Something as simple as a bow before entering the dojo/training room whatever it happens to be, to calling the trainer by there proper alias. I like what the most recent karate kid movie did. This boy would throw is coat at the coat hanger and if it dropped it dropped. The old man saw this and for a good long while after agreeing to teach the boy, he made him take his coat and hang it properly then take it off the hanger throw it on the ground pick it up and do this all over again..

In the end the boy naturally hung his coat when he got home.. Muscle memory... It was neat if you are able to see the deeper meaning of that training method... The same with your boy. He may learn something in the class but ultimately it may teach him something far more if he is willing and able to see the deeper message in it....

Just my two cents...
Take care
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm excited to get him enrolled. Need to call down there today and see what the deal is.
 
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