Best way to keep our young ones intrested?

For kids who are interested in the martial arts. Moderated by "Seisan Sister", who is 13 years old and a seasoned Uechi competitor and according to her father, a very serious martial artist.

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Best way to keep our young ones intrested?

Postby Tom Faigle » Sat Jun 22, 2002 4:04 am

I have a question for everyone. How do we keep our young ones intrested in practicing and continuing their martial arts studies? My son just passed his 9 Kyu test and the excitment is with him right now. But I know as things get harder there will be times when he'll struggle (we all do). In his last go round with the "I want to quit", I talked with him and explained that his Uechi will help his baseball (his main love). Explaining how the streching makes him a much better player worked. Anyone have ideas that they've used, thought about, or might use for when I go through this again in the future? Right now, I think a little encouragement, and these little pushes really help (I wish my folks would have given them to me when I was his age)

Thanks in advance

Tom Faigle
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Best way to keep our young ones intrested?

Postby dominiuno » Sun Jul 07, 2002 5:15 am

Well, the strategy with baseball is probably very effective. However, I would refrain from forcing your son. My father never forced me to do Karate...and I soon discovered the joys of it for myself, and that makes all the difference, I fell in love with it. My brother, who was forced to do it, wasn't so happy with it and eventually quit. He actually just restarted a few weeks ago, and now he likes it again. What you're doing sounds great.

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Best way to keep our young ones intrested?

Postby razcow54 » Sun Jul 07, 2002 5:26 am

As my dad always said and had seen many times before, you can prod them as you are doing which is a good thing, but forcing them will just lead to disinterest and boredom. The harder they're pushed or forced the more they'll want to quit.
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Best way to keep our young ones intrested?

Postby Tom Faigle » Sun Jul 07, 2002 2:08 pm

I agree forcing is the worse thing to do to a kid. A gentle nudge, and some wisdom used to help them make decisions seems to work very well for me. What I was asking was for the times, when the little ones loose intrest. Afterall, we all go through periods when we want to quit. Things get hard, or we get bored, or we just have a bad week or such. I think during these times its a parents job to see the difference between this and a true desire to actually quit. We don't have a crystal ball, so looking for signs and knowing the little ones are the only ways to tell it apart. In my case, I used the love of baseball to show how one sport/activity can help the other, and vice versa.

Thanks for the comments. I think that hearing what others think and do, really helps to build ones wisdom. (and I can use all the help I can get ;-) ) In my case as the sole parent, I feel that there is less room for error as I can't use things like "tag team" with the other parent. Nor get advise from someone who doesn't exist. (ex is out of the picture and no communication) But I also have the benefit of loving Uechi-Ryu and showing my son that love. (same for baseball and other things that we do together)

Anyway, thanks again.

Tom Faigle
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Best way to keep our young ones intrested?

Postby sunsu8 » Mon Jul 08, 2002 12:31 am

Tom, you obviously love your son a lot and that is most important here. I can understand that the lack of a parental 'side-kick' (no pun intended) can be stressful.

I am sure that since you both have the love for baseball you play catch with him a lot! Why not put on a pair of old jeans and after he seems to slack off on the passes in baseball, get on your knees and fight him. Let him have that Dad -n- son time and just the pure fun of it! Show him an easy move and let him practice it on you and he will want dearly to go back to 'karate class' and show it off.

I believe the tie-in you have made with Uechi and baseball is a good one! So very very WELL done there! Depending on his age, Uechi may not be his thing right now. I started when I was 8 and after I got my 8th jyu, I just was not interested anymore. After about 2 years of a "Break" I came back to it and have loved it since. At the time, my Dad, Mom, brother, and sister were taking it and one by one , we all lost interest and the PUSH from the others was not there. Also, my Dad could not have told me anything at the time that would have made me go back to class. I simply did not enjoy it anymore and was not going to have fun or do it anymore. Now, in the last years, I have helped teach the little kids and have gond to every class 5 days a week (helping and/or learning) except for about 12 classes that I have missed! That says a lot I think. Now I enjoy it and I think having that break and my OWN will to start back gave me an option. I know you are not forcing him to do it, but you simply realize after the two-weeks of wanting to quit, he will love it for 2 months. And getting over that hill is the hard part because you know he wants to continue once he gets over it. I think you are doing a good job and looking towards other karate-ka is a good place to find answers. I have tried and maybe soem of this will be useful. Good luck

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Postby W.J.C. » Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:51 pm

I once used a baseball analogy in helping to grasp my students attention again during baseball season.

I can't say I'm that much of a baseball fan but I end up watching a lot of games because my girlfriend loves baseball.

Tim Salmon of the Anaheim Angels caught my attention one night when he was at bat. He seems to stand in a "Horse" stance. It was interesting for me to see the relation between of his hip's swing and when the ball connects to the bat.

Tim Salmon is a great home run hitter and local (as well as national, I suppose) hero, and enforcing the concept of "where your hip goes you energy/power goes", many students worked harder on their karate stances as a way to improve their batting.
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