Teaching my daughter.

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Kframe, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Im trying to teach my 6 year old daughter basic boxing..

    Does anyone know a good way to teach them the stance? Im trying to teach her the basic mma boxing stance(not the pure bladed boxing stance) and it should be drop dead simple. Yet she ends up way to narrow and stiff legged or other times she looks like she is getting ready to drop into a horse stance...

    She has for the most part figured out the guard. Also i started her with the basic blocks and she is starting to get them. I call them by funny names, like hand on your ear block and touch your forhead block, or double arm block and so on and so forth. Then i put on the gloves and lightly tapped her with my hand to show her what she was covering.

    Now i can randonly through out the day throw a slow playful tap at her from various angles and she can do the proper cover about 50% of the time.

    However she just looks way horrid and off. I have no idea how some thing so simple as standing can be so hard to teach. I even had her stand next to me and mimic what i was doing and it still didnt work..

    I could really use some advice because i cant really get anywhere with her till i get her stance figured out.

    Thinking about putting tape on the floor and having her stand on it..
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Take her to a kids boxing club? The teacher might have ske ideas, or she may find it easier after watching other kids do it. :)
  3. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    If you get so obsessed about making her stances perfect, she'll pick up on your anxiety and associate boxing with stress and disharmony. Then she'll drop it like a hot potato as soon as she can.
  4. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    This and this. Take her to a boxing school, one where the instructors make a point to make it fun for kids.

    And please, if you do this, stand back and let the instructors teach and stand back quietly. Not saying you wouldn't but.............................

    I see an occasional parent at my school, who watches a class, then feels like they have to throw their two cents in and coach by saying something. They rarely know what they are talking about, distract the kid, and it is rude to the instructor and the rest of the class.

    So, introduce your kid to MA's by taking them to a class. Let the instructors do their thing, and just let them tell you about the experience, kid to parent afterwards.
  5. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    No offense, but the bolded bits don't paint a good attitude toward teaching, let alone teaching kids.

    She's 6, she's still learning how to use a constantly growing body, give her a break!

    Good teaching is about bringing things out of people, not drilling them in.

    So, my advice would be to consider two things to begin with:

    1. Learning style
    How does she best mimic movements? By description, by physically moving her into the right positions, by watching you, or by describing what it looks like from her perspective? A mixture of the above? Some different way?

    2. Motivation
    What's in it for her? If there's no benefit that is obvious to her (and that can be as simple as "it's fun to move around"), then she'll never get into it, and therefore will be very unlikely to be any good at it.

    But, most importantly: drop the exectations!
  6. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    What Moosey said.

    You've got to be extremely patient with children of that age, or you just put them right off. If something isn't fun then they just won't want to do it.

    I think you'll have to keep things very simple and like a bit of a game. Learning proper technique might have to come later. I know that is frustrating because I'm sure you want to give her a good grounding in the basics from day one, but she's very young to be learning and I think you will have to make huge allowances for that.

    But if you can instead give her the grounding in the idea that sports such as boxing are fun and something that she CAN do, then you will have done her a huge favour. Too many young people these days lead very inactve lives, and sadly a very high proportion of girls grow up seeing sport as something to be avoided.

    Edit: also a great suggestion from Chadderz. See if there any kids boxing clubs near you.
  7. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Yeah, attribute training via games.

    Balance, concentration, coordination, the basics of form (more basic than stances).
  8. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    Since I took my mini mes out of tkd I train two of my three in striking. The third thinks all he needs is jujitsu.... Anyway their stances are horrid but they have fun hitting me with all the gear on. We only spend a few minnutes on the technical stuff at any time.

    They observe what happens when we are all at the gym and when I work out at home. They mimmic what the adults are doing and are getting better without pushing it. The other day they were all doing pad work together just for the fun of it, and they looked good for little kids.
  9. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    She's six. - focus on FUNdamentals (google it).
    Try to make the experience all about fun.

    I've been trying to teach my young cousins (5years old) how to wrestling wand he main focus has been on fun and trying to get them to the point that they'll want to do it.
    Don't get caught up in the minor details, have fun - and try to teach in broad strokes.
  10. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law


    Don't be too hard on trying to get her to master things just yet. At 6 the motor cortex is still developing a lot. Just look at any kiddie TKD class. It's going to be sloppy for a while :D Keeping her engaged over the long term is more important.

    To be honest I view training kids a little more like training pets because they often don't entirely understand what's going on. Since you can already get her to engage in the behaviour freely do some research on shaping behaviours and then condition the moves as response to stimuli.
    If people can train guide dogs to do complex behaviours in response to their owners need (heck they got one to drive a car using commands) then you should be able to condition some basic responses using the same methodology.

    Most of all be be patient. And have fun; both of you! :D
  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I was reading an excellent book on football (soccer) coaching a while back (when I stupidly volunteered to assist with my son's team, despite knowing sweet sod all about the game beyond the obvious). The author had some excellent insights that I think carry over to martial arts.

    1) You have about 10 minutes at the beginning of practice to work on technical skills. After that, attention span wanes and new skills will fall largely on deaf ears.

    2) Try to structure drills in ways so that they simply won't work if the student isn't doing them properly. His example was passing drills on a wall. If you pass incorrectly, then the ball won't bounce off the wall properly and won't come back to you. It's a feedback loop. Do it properly and the ball comes back. Figure out ways to translate this to boxing.

    3) Move from more structured to less structured throughout the practice. And more drill-like to more game-like. That will mirror a kid's attention span better and keep them engaged longer. The most structured drills at the beginning. The games of tag with boxing gloves on at the end.

    and my personal contribution:

    4) Dude, she's 6. She won't feel a NEED to know boxing. Either it's fun or it's ice skating up hill. As a parent, obviously you're going to impose your priorities on her. But be very careful, lest "Daddy" become synonymous with "miserable activities I have no interest in."
  12. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    To put it another way - force her to do boxing now and as soon as she's a teenager, she'll be the biggest "ban contact sports" advocate you'll ever meet.
  13. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Hmm well the only kids mma/boxing program im aware of is at a time when she would be unable to attend due to other obligations. Namely daddy doesnt get off work soon enough to take her.

    Their is plenty of TMA around but i have no desire to saddle her with stuff that takes years before it is useful. However there is a good kids judo club im very tempted to put her in. She loves throwing and being thrown. She is a gymnast so falling and tumbling is a riot for her. She loves it when i throw her around. Which is not what your thinking it is lol. She will come up and grab me in a clinch and say throw me. So ill get hooks and explain what im doing and do a hip throw or Osotogari. Now i have full controll and am basically lowering her to the ground but it looks like the actual throw. She also gets to feel what having her balance taken feels like. Disclaimer at no point is she airborn or in any danger or do i not have 2 points of contact. Its the feeling of being thrown with out the throw.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  14. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    She has told me as much. She likes it, but does not like when i start getting focused on the stance so much. My problem is i keep seeing videos of 5 and 6 year olds that just look freaking amazing on the pads and i desperately want her to get it.. I dont want her to fear any bully.
  15. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    To be honest i have never taught anyone anything so this is a huge learning curve for me. As for whats in it for her, she enjoys hitting the pads or me(lol). She understands on a basic level the need to defend her self. Not due to a bully situation but due to our autistic son.

    You see last year he was having some BAD issues revolving around withdraw from risperidone and on top of that he had un-diagnosed anxiety. We didnt figure out the anxiety part till a few months ago.

    So for a while it was rough and he was nearly uncontrollable and we have to separate them frequently because he was hitting her. She loves her special brother and considers her self his friend and makes it a point to play with him.

    It would happen so fast like a switch and we could not get accross the room fast enough to stop it.

    Thankfully things are much much better this year, and his new meds for anxiety are helping tremendously.

    However it made it a nobrainer for her to want to learn boxing. If only for the covers which she does with success.

    Its funny she uses two kinds of guards. One of which looks like the guard i see some Sporty karate guys using.

    So i need to focus on fun, stop expecting perfection(i cant get those videos out of my head) and try to bring out what she already has?
  16. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    Dude! She said to tone it down. Listen to her. We have a kid at my school who you see in Those vids. what you don't see is the fact that he hates his dad, and to be blunt the little guy is a masked ptofainty!
  17. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    You mean those kids whose videos are on the internet and you've seen them purely because they are exceptional? In the literal meaning of the word? In the nicest possible way, chances are very high you will have to set your sights lower for your daughter
  18. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    And this is an at best situation. More than likely she will hate you for it
  19. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Hi Kframe,

    I'm glad to hear that your son's new meds have improved things. I've known a few families in similar situations, and I find it amazing how kids can be understanding enough to not let their sibling's violent outbursts get in the way of their love and loyalty to them. They can sometimes put the adults to shame with their compassion and empathy.


    Yes, focus on fun. Yes, don't expect perfection, forget about child boxing prodigies, their not yours! :p Whatever you're doing only has to be good enough for her at that time. Don't forget to go big on the praise when she does good, but don't let her feel like she's letting daddy down if she doesn't get something (I'm not saying you'd ever want her to feel like that, but get your own head into the idea that anything she does is cool, no matter how klutzy, because she's there giving it a go, which is the most important part).

    As for bringing things out, on one level that's finding out what her natural reactions are, and trying to build from them rather than fight against them. On another level, that's finding games that reward what you want to see - like apOweyn said about the ball games where it only works if they practice the skill correctly. I don't mean that in every person is a technically flawless killing machine waiting to come out, but learning skills in a context where you make it necessary to perform the skill engages people to figure it out by themselves, through experimentation and with gentle but regular feedback and guidance. It is through this that people really "internalize" and own a skill set for themselves. For it to be effective, it must be part of her. The tough part is making that fun and getting the progression level right.

    One final note: it's impossible for us to accurately remember and conceive of what it's like to be six years old. There's still so much development going on, to every system in the body. Random car analogy: like driving a car that keeps spontaneously increasing engine capacity and changing gear ratios... or something... The point being, your daughter is not a miniature adult, and you shouldn't expect her to learn in the same way, or at the same pace.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  20. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Trying to figure out how to thank that post twice.

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