Regarding the topic of children in Filipino Martial Arts, can they train? ABSOLUTELY! Often I have seen statements on various FMA websites stating that they will not accept children under 13 or 14 or some arbitrary teenage age range. I’m not sure why some believe one cannot train in Filipino Martial Arts until a prospective student is a teenager. Let me tell you why children can train in Filipino Martial Arts.
The late Professor Remy A. Presas started when he was five years old in Negros Occidental in the Philippines. So why not today’s 5 year olds? After teaching a technique, Professor would often say “Could you do that? I would like to see you do dat!”
From experience in the past few years, I can tell you that children from the age of 5 on up “can do dat!” Many of them learn the four basic sinawalis (single, heaven, double, and reverse) within a short period of time. 12 angles of attack are easily learned by the kids. The basic block, check, and counter drill is emphasized. I tell them that Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul and Yoda all started with Filipino Martial Arts. Hey, what’s wrong with stretching the truth? 🙂 That usually gets a laugh or two out of them.
In addition, I go over basic self defence, social skill strategies, stranger danger, and strange behaviours. I make sure that the classes are conducted in a safe and fun manner for the participants.