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bp_cowboy
09-14-2005, 21:06
I put both of my kids (Boy - 6 & Girl - 8) in Judo this summer. Daughter is doing great and loves going. She is pretty much giving all of the other girls fits, so the sensei now has her working out with the boys because she is so strong.

The problem is my son, I don't know if it just his age or what but when ever they are sparring he has that Deer in the Headlights look, and he just lets the other kids throw him around. Whenever the sparring starts he just dances around and looks over at the sensei or me. Then as soon as his opponent grabs him, he just seems to fall down with no effort to stay on his feet. It got so bad I now go outside when they start sparring and watch thru a small window so he can't see me. It has become too painful to watch.

It has become very frustrating, because we have worked together and he knows all of the basic throws and can switch around when the conditions warrants. He doesn't have a problem getting into a knock down dragout with his sister at home. and hit, kick, throw, etc..

Any thoughts from you guys that have worked with kids or seen this type of behavior? Will he eventually grow out of it and get tired of getting his *** handed to him etc.

Thanks

Roundeyesamurai
09-15-2005, 08:41
I hate to say it, because there is no polite way to do so, so I will be blunt: the one statement I don't see in the story is "He wants to be there". In fact, judging by the description of his reactions, it seems he doesn't want to be there at all (except, perhaps, that he is doing it because he doesn't want to disappoint you, or be left out of something that his sister or his friends are into).

When I was six, if I had been put into training, I probably would have reacted exactly the same way. I got into it when I was ten, though, and I enjoyed it enough that I've been into it ever since.

Not everyone is cut out for this, and not everyone who is cut out for it realizes that at the same point in life.

The other significant possibility that occurs to me, is the instructor. I would actually have to see the classes to know for sure, but it sounds like the instructor isn't really doing anything more than teaching rote and then pairing off the kids for randori. This is the mark of a poor instructor, and if it is the case, I can absolutely understand why your son isn't progressing.

I would recommend that you don't require his attendance, until (and unless) he actually wants to be there. Perhaps later on he will want it, perhaps he never will. Either way, it's obviously not doing him any good to be there now. Likewise, be sure that he understands that you will not be disappointed if he doesn't continue doing it, and that it is completely his choice as to whether or not to continue.

bp_cowboy
09-15-2005, 09:29
Its really difficult to tell because he says he wants to go, and when he actually does throw somebody he jumps up and down and gives me the thumbs up. The class is 2 hours, and is usually broken down into 1hr exercise and drill, then the 2nd hour is sparring and some team games. During the summer they went 3 times a week, but since school started I only ask them to go once a week so they have time to do their school work.

I have talked to several parents and they told me their kids at that age started out the same way, and they had to force them to keep going until the light came on. I am trying to keep him involved in something instead of being home after school and playing "Star Wars, X-Box, etc."

Again, thanks for your response

Roundeyesamurai
09-15-2005, 09:38
If he's having an occasional success and is obviously elated when it happens, then I would say the cause of the problem is the instructor. Unfortunately, there are too many instructors out there who think that the sole duty they have to perform is to teach the techniques and then let the students "go at it". In reality, there is a great deal more, in order to bring people up to their potential.

Here's what I would recommend: Speak to the instructor privately, and tell him (or her) exactly the same thing you said in your last post- that your son seems to have an occasional success, and is elated when it happens, but mostly is just being thrown around like a rag doll. Then ask him what could be done to help your son improve.

If he comes up with ideas (without you mentioning ideas), individual coaching for example, good.

If his response is to the effect of "What do you want me to do about it?", then it is time for a new instructor.

G33
09-15-2005, 21:41
What Round One said.
However, having coached and been coached, I would have already been on this issue. Therefore, I question the ability/competence of this particular instructor. Note: I think there is a difference between instructor and coach. IMHO

Roundeyesamurai
09-16-2005, 07:23
Originally posted by G33
What Round One said.
However, having coached and been coached, I would have already been on this issue. Therefore, I question the ability/competence of this particular instructor. Note: I think there is a difference between instructor and coach. IMHO

TY, G of 3.

Note also, that there is a reason I use "instructor" and "coach" seperately from "sensei". It's all institutional.