Children Training Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
"How do we get children to train karate and continue to train as adults?" As we all know, karate is a lifetime marathon. But as a parent and passionate karate practitioner, this question looms larger and larger as our children grow. Even if a
child is still too young to train in a formal class (one and three years old), by the age of five they've probably been exposed to numerous classes, not to mention dramatic performances of kata performed at home.
The questions that invariably arise are at what point do our children start formal classes and do they have a choice? If you speak to other parent Sensei and Sempai in our system you'll find they have differing and varying points of view.
The stance promoted by Hanshi is that you are part of a karate family (meaning your immediate family) and this is the norm in your household. Your pint-size packages of kiai won’t have a choice. There will be times when they won’t want to go to karate class, but hopefully they will embrace training and the study of karate. If we engage our children in all aspects of karate-do our task will be easier. "Karate is 90% mental," to quote Hanshi, especially in the imaginative mind of a child.
Master Ueshiro was not given a choice when he was a child; he was told this is what you must do. His circumstances dictated that he would train karate. There were several factors that made this inevitable. His family was from the Samurai
Class. He was a Bushi Warrior. He also was a survivor of the Battle of Okinawa and went to live with his extended family at the Nagamine Dojo. The injuries he sustained during WWII could have easily given him excuses not to train. But from what we have read and learned about Master Ueshiro he thrived on overcoming adversity. Not only did Master Ueshiro excel in empty handed training he became world-renowned as master of the Bo.
If it was good enough for Master Ueshiro to train as a child surely Shorin-Ryu USA is good enough for our children. One can only hope that they will continue their training as adults. As in all aspects of parenting, we can only introduce our children to the essential skills they will need later in life. Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA is most definitely one of those life skills. It will be up to them as to what they do with those skills later in life and whether they want to continue their physical
training as adults. Regardless of their path, by starting young we can rest assured that the highest values of USRKUSA will be ingrained into our children's daily lives.