Need Kid Sports Advice - Karate — The Bump
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Need Kid Sports Advice - Karate

My son, who is 9, has been taking karate for about 2 years.  He's good at it and he really likes it.  In November, he moved from green up to purple belt, which means there are only two belts between him and the black belt.  The green and purple belts generally work as a group during practice.   At each session, they work on some combination of basic motion skills, one-step fighting and take-downs, or katas/forms.  My son has known all the forms and all the basic motions he needs to pass the next belt test for a long time.  However, he needs to know 5 one-step techniques, and he has only ever been taught 3 of them.  

Several weeks ago, he complained to me that he needs to learn 2 more one-step techniques before the next belt test, and that he's really frustrated.  I told him he needs to ask the teachers during class.  He says he has asked them a few times, but they either don't work on one-step at all that week, or they work on the same 3 he already knows.  It is entirely possible that my son is not being very assertive or clear about what he's asking for with the teachers.  However his class can be a little disorganized; different teachers rotate around between the belt groups, and he may not have the same teacher this week as he had last week.  It's possible the teachers are just not really on top of things, especially if there are a lot of new green belts in his group.

He has a big tournament on 4/26.  The next belt test will be in May.  He doesn't have much time to learn these skills before the tourney and the test, and he's getting even more frustrated.  We generally just drop him and his buddy off, and his buddy's mom brings them home.  It's the norm for parents not to stay, since the class is older elementary and middle school kids.

What would you do in this situation?  Would you say something to the teachers?  Push your kid to be more assertive?

High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade

Re: Need Kid Sports Advice - Karate

  • If it were me, I would talk to the teachers since May is coming up so he has time to master the needed skills. Maybe they have a hard time keeping all the previously taught steps straight between all the instructors/students?
    Wendy Twins 1/27/06. DS and DD
  • Auntie -- it is true that his karate school is set up so the early belts are easy to attain, as this is a positive reinforcement to beginners.  Once they hit green, the pace slows down quite a bit, and the focus becomes more about practice and perfection, rather than attaining a rank.  Lots of kids drop out once they get to this point, because it becomes much more difficult.

    I'm less concerned with him moving up a belt just for the belt's sake, and more concerned with the fact that he's falling through the cracks because of disorganization among the teachers.  However, it's possible they're not teaching him the other one-step fighting moves because he's not ready.  If that's the case, they should tell him what he's doing wrong.  He

    I guess the real nature of my question is that he's a quiet kid who needs to practice asserting himself, and I suspect that's part of the problem here.  Is it better for me to keep out of it and make him struggle with it, or is it time for me to help him out?
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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  • QTeeQTee
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Comments Photogenic
    Perhaps if you decide to talk to the instructors you could have him go with you, and he could actually voice his concern. You could just be there for moral support as needed. That way you helping him and not just taking care of things for him.
  • I would have him handle it but perhaps work on some specific language he could use.
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  • Princess_LilyPrincess_Lily
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited April 2014
    Maybe video tape the class that teaches him the remaining two steps. This way he can practice at home the lesson for the green belt.

    IMO teaching a child independence is a balancing act. You throw them in to "learn on their own" and they may fall, others will swim.

    If your child is a little less secure around authority, practice what you want to say to the teacher at home...teach & guide him, maybe go with him to a meeting and be there for support too.
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