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Have been teaching hybrid martial arts with a self defence focus for quite a few years. My kids syllabus is different to my teens & adults in that I don't teach the juniors locks or submissions due to safety. I'm currently reviewing my syllabus and need clarity on whether or not it is advisable to be be teaching kids these techniques. I would welcome the input of someone skilled in the field of Aikido, JiuJitsu, BJJ, Judo etc.

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The main federation in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has these rules for completion. There are no rules about when you can teach or not your kids. These are competition rules only and I use it as a guide to my classes.

Also about competitions, for kids from 4-12yo the referee shouldn't expect the kid to tap. When one of the kids gets in the right position for a submission it is ok to stop the fight. (What make some parents call the referee names because their kids are warriors and know how to scape from every single movement :) )

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For judo, I know what, but not really why.

  • chokes for age 13+
  • arm locks for ages ~16+
  • wrist and leg locks in kata only, studied by no kids
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  • Interesting. In German tournament rules, the ages for chokes and arm locks are switched. With arm locks counting as soon as the arm is straight, not when tapping out. Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 10:39
  • It is fascinating that they learn first that a chock it is potentially more dangerous than a lock.
    – AFetter
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 1:25
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Shorinji Kempo we teach wrist locks from 16+.

We do these mainly as takedowns rather than as submissions, although they can be either.

As I understand it this is to protect the joints of children who's bone structure is still forming.

Chokes and strangles are fairly rare in shorinji kempo anyway so we don't tend to teach these to children. On the other hand I have seen them taught (to children as young as 10) very well in judo classes. You have to take precautions for this though. No free sparing applications at this age.

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I personally think that you have to be careful teaching proper joint locks to children for the simple reason that children often have poor impulse control and coordination compared to adults, and may apply technique with too much force or fail to monitor the situation while applying the hold, potentially resulting in permanent damage.

TL;DR, if you could imagine the kid saying "Hey, look at this cool thing I learned," and then applying the technique at full force to someone unawares, it's probably not the right time to teach the kid the technique.

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    I have to empirically disagree. Children 10y+ are perfectly able to keep themselves in check. I trained hundreds of children to execute straight arm lock techniques. You just have to instruct them to stop (tori) and tap (uke) as soon as the arm is straight already and teach with proper technique and control. But even rolled techniques can be taught and trained perfectly safe. I would be more careful with bent-arm techniques due to possible shoulder-stress and smaller movement windows even if the same arguments and experiences hold, though. Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 9:11
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Neck or head, I don't recommend. That recent NYC incident where Ex marine choke holded a deranged man to death. Do not teach children any techniques involving head or throat.

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    Are you warning that children are likely to try to become vigilantes on the playground? Or that they, like the ex-Marine, might underestimate the potential lethality of techniques? Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 15:12
  • Both. Children are impressionable. Remember power rangers in 90s kids were kicking shit out one another.
    – LazyReader
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:25
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    {nods} Right now, your answer doesn't mention that, and instead mentions a separate incident involving an adult. Elaborating on what you mean may help. Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 16:33

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