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Karate Kids: Zen or Violent?

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Mom•Logic's Julie says: I have mixed emotions about my son's martial arts class.


My 7-year-old son started karate class this week. Friends of mine who are pro-karate say it makes kids more focused and disciplined. But as I sat in the lobby of the Fred Villari institute, I found myself a bit disturbed by all the hitting, kicking, and yelling. Yes, my son looked super cute in his Gi, but he didn't look so cute carrying the plastic gun the karate instructor encouraged all the boys sitting in a circle to lunge for. Whoever got the gun got to pretend they were shooting up the rest of the class. Am I too sensitive, or is this just wrong?

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 15, 2008, 9:56 AM

Guns? You’re totally not too sensitive. That would tick me off too and I’d talk to the teacher.

Anonymous March 15, 2008, 10:15 AM

I agree with you! I think we already have WAY too much violence in this world! Gun playing would not fly with me!!!

wendi March 15, 2008, 3:47 PM

I put my kids in Tae kwon do at 6 and 7 years old. They both really enjoyed it. You have to make sure that you check out the school and the instructors and how they interact with the kids.

My childeren years later are now 11 and 12. The 12 year old being a girl and now has her first degree black belt. She worked very hard to get to that level. My 11 year old boy, is now a second degree black belt. He also worked very hard. They learn disicipline and respect for others and themselves. They learned that they can do anything if they try hard enough. Both of them became assistant junior instructors for the lower ranking classes. This also helped teach them to work well with others.

As far and the guns go, well if they are pretending to shoot each other in class, then you need to go to another school. That is something that was never allowed, nor should it be. One of the big things that they are to learn in martial arts is self control. Meaning no playing around like that at all.

I am so proud of my kids and how much they learned and how much they have achieved since starting Taekwondo. They have always been really good kids and this just seemed to boost their confidence.

Now as a side note, I talk to the instructors alot. It seems that lots of parents think that they can just enroll their kids into this type of class and magically they will behave better. This is not the case, there still needs to be parenting at home. The kids will learn a lot at class, but it is not a fix for an unruly child. It is not ment to be a subsitute for parenting either. I spent every hour at class with them, watching and paying attenting to them and what is going on. I made sure my kids studied and practiced and set a good example.

I highly recommend martial arts. It has been great for my kids. Just make sure that you are comfortable with the school and instructors and if you aren’t, well there are lots of other schools to try out. Most will let you have a free class before starting. So check them out. It can’t hurt and just think you will have the peace of mind that your children will be able to protect themselves. That includes from kidnappers. It is nice to know that.

SugarPlumFairy March 15, 2008, 7:33 PM

Pretending to shoot guns in class is completely unacceptable.

JoLynn March 17, 2008, 10:31 AM

I think karate is good for kids but the gun part is weird.

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