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zette
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23 Dec 2012, 9:11 am

Every time I mention finding a martial arts class for DS7, my DH says he's too young and disruptive to handle such a class. He's basing it on his experience with such classes when he was a kid, and says the teacher will expect strict discipline and will not tolerate DS's typical antics. DS often resists following directions in PE type settings. For example, he was in a soccer skills class for 4-6 year olds, where every skill was taught as a cute game (ie the kids are dinosaurs and the balls are their eggs, and they have to get the eggs back to the nest), and DS would often insist on making up his own game and his own rules. Too much redirection often leads to meltdowns or tantrums.

So I would of course seek out a teacher who has experience with ASD and/or ADHD. What age or skills does DH need to have in order to be successful in a martial arts class?



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23 Dec 2012, 9:35 am

i also want to learn but afraid to be injured



MMJMOM
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23 Dec 2012, 11:05 am

you have to find a good school...my son has been in karate since 4 1/2 but I KNOW if it were any other school he would never have succeeded. He is now 7 and almost in the advanced class, next belt! They are WONDERFUL with kids on the spectrum, as well as ALL kids!! !

Call around and see what schools are good with kids on the spectrum and try him in there.

My son has really thrived in his karate school, and it has helped him in so many ways!

good luck!


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answeraspergers
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23 Dec 2012, 12:28 pm

Cute football sounds rater ridiculous

Martial arts teach a person a great deal about emotions and directing energy. So does tennis. So does boxing.

I love tennis personally because it has taught me how to handle my emotions. Look at Andy Murray (an Aspie) as he is learning from Lendel he is dealing with his frustrations in a less self-directed manner. The same lessons come in Martial Arts.



aann
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23 Dec 2012, 9:47 pm

Zette, maybe you could as if he could watch a couple of sessions. Maybe he'll get the picture that he has to obey the instructor.



Bombaloo
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23 Dec 2012, 10:16 pm

aann wrote:
Zette, maybe you could as if he could watch a couple of sessions. Maybe he'll get the picture that he has to obey the instructor.

You could even go yourself and watch some lessons. Talk to the head instructor and see what kind of vibe you get. I think in general 7 is not too young and you may be surprised. With the right instructor and the right environment he might do fine. We tried Taekwondo with DS at 5 and he couldn't do it though the instructor was super. Our older son has continued with it and it has been awesome for him. I continue to hope that youngest will be ready to try again one day. One counter argument for your DH is that it doesn't hurt to try. Most places will let you do introductory lessons for cheap. If he really can't do it after you try for a while, then you can stop and try again later.



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24 Dec 2012, 2:05 am

You might try to find a dojo specializing in non-traditional martial arts that offers a youth program; they tend to be easier going and less rigid in insisting upon absolute obedience. The place I train at is a mixed martial arts school focused mainly on the Filipino styles, and their philosophy towards instruction includes things like "have fun" and "no egos allowed", which is in stark contrast to the karate dojos I tried out as a kid. At any rate shop around, there's such a variety of martial arts out there and different schools teaching them that you're sure to find one that will work for you. IMHO, judo is a good one for younger kids to start with since it involves a lot of soft skills and tumbling, which is both fun and actually useful to know if you ever find yourself tripping and falling, not that I'd know anything about that... :lol:


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aann
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24 Dec 2012, 4:48 am

I agree, each martial arts place is a bit different. The one my son is involved in teaches many types of martial arts. Most of the kids there, it seems, are ADHD, so they are used to taking kids as they are. The instructors have a really nice balance of discipline vs. accepting the sillyness of the kids. They are silly as well. And the kids take the discipline as not a horrible thing, just matter of fact. So I think if you and your husband observe some classes and then take your son to observe, you can point that out.



spectrummom
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25 Dec 2012, 4:26 pm

7 is the perfect age for martial arts. I suggest speaking with the instructor to get a feel for the class; they should also offer a free class so you can both decide if you like it. My son took MA for a few years and never got to the point of sparring. They did a lot of air punching and kicking,mobs tackle courses, etc. a good instructor will only allow kids who are ready to spar. Keep looking if the first class doesn't work ou as some instructors are more flexible about behavior than others.

As far as starting as an adult, I started at 36 and fell in love with it. I'm not especially athletic or graceful and afraid of getting hurt, but desensitizing is part of the process. They teach you how to protect yourself, then throw really slow "punches" at you. It's very empowering no matter what your age.



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27 Dec 2012, 7:38 am

I started with karate, I started at 11 but it was very helpful!
I have my blackbelt in karate and am now going on with mauy Thai and tae Kwon do :)

It helped me with controlling my anger and gave me a time I knew was a structured activity each week



Shemesh
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28 Dec 2012, 3:25 pm

A lot depends on the coach/teacher. My son is 5 1/2 and has been doing krav maga for 4 months now. I was quite doubtful at the beginning that my son would stay focussed the whole time and cope with the discipline involved. When i spoke to the coach at the beginning, he said that over the years he has had a number of kids on the spectrum in his class, as well as kids with ADHD and the only way to know if it will work is to try. He also mentioned that the level of discipline and set rules, routine, etc of martial arts classes are often great for such kids.

I can honestly admit that I didn't think that my son would be able to stick to the group and i would end up finding him either disrupting things or just doing his own thing....but I have been so pleasantly surprised that not only does he fully participate in the class, he has also been given several "merit stripes" (they are awarded stripes on their belt for good behaviour and focussed participation).

I would just try it and see how it goes. And at the end of the day - if one place doesn't work out, perhaps another will depending on the group and the teacher.



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28 Dec 2012, 6:35 pm

My son started at 7 1/2. He is 9 1/2 now. It is a traditional karate class. I really like what it has taught him. My son is very passive and throwing a punch at someone is extremely difficult for him (the punches are supposed to be slow at his level and are not supposed to make any contact - but is just so hard for him). He can block very well, but can't take the offense. He took a belt exam last night, and if he doesn't get it, it is because of this issue. He does they katas (the dance/routine like moves) really well now. I have seen a ton of improvement. At his level he should be going 3 times a week, but it is too hard to get him out of the house that many times with his other commitments, so he only goes twice. He enjoys it when he is there, but with many things the transition of getting him there is an issue.


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