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Asking about this topic very early ( my son isn't a year old  yet ) but I was wondering if anyone could share there experiences teaching there sons or daughters

I would love to share my love of the martial arts with my child but don't want to force him into anything , like so many sports parents I've seen

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You will find that a father teaching their children martial arts is going to be an up hill battle.. When I tried to teach my boys the eskrima that I was taught in the Philippines, it was hard as I was harder on them to get the applications right than I was on my non related students.. It was because I wanted my boys to learn their mom's culture and make it part of their lives.. But my oldest son went on to study hapkido for a short and then went into the grappling arts but left it after getting a little older and having a couple of injuries that hampered his training ie blown out shoulder and ankle problems

I also agree with Bill.. I am a harder on my son than I am with the other kids. He is at the age where he is having fun and I tend to be disappointed sometimes. Oh well..I'm sure I was the same way!

I always felt that the FMA were really intended to be taught father to son anyhow. Teaching weapons to people not of your tribe/barangay/family would at one time have been rather counterproductive to survival.

One of my sons is now ten. In that time, I've been prepping methods for introducing him to training. One of my biggest concerns (as is yours) was not jamming it down his throat and turning him off. Therefore, the method was to normalize it all...he would see his dad teaching others on the lawn...he might join me at the school and play his portable Nintendo while I teach...he would see me use pocket knives for various tasks around the house...I'd tell him bedtime stories of valor, bravery humity mixed with swords and spears...he'd see photo albums of his Filipino relatives and hear their stories...and things of that sort. He even took a Tae Kwon Do class based on some interest (with my goal of him learning "how" to learn martial arts). I was hoping that down the road he would ask if I would teach him.

And it happened this year.

And it started with triangles painted on our patio and us playing "tag", with our feet having to travel along the lines of each triangle. And then he was happy to pick up his stick and learn forehand and backhand strikes. And that's what we practice to perfect, keeping it fun. There's no need to add advanced stuff...if he remains interested, we will get there. But he will have solid basics. And it will be all based on his interest and will. I just never want to be the parent that makes his kid into himself. I want things to be his choice...and if he chooses to walk this path that he has a genuine love for it like his father does.


Jack A. Latorre
Mataas Na Guro
Pekiti-Tirsia International

Thanks JL

some excellent ideas

thanks the replies and please keep them coming

 In the eighties I first started teaching my 1st son kickboxing & karate he took to it very the nineties my daughter and 2nd son the same as well as escrima they did very well especially my daughter. My newest son started training a couple years ago with Bahala na multi-style in the regular wed night class with his nephew they were 5 & 7 at the time. Since than other parents of close friends have asked me to teach there children. I find that my son gets more involved & concentrates more with other kids training at the same time. We pay a lot of attention to hitting bag with power, launching, footwork and multiple striking patterns. for defense a lot of roof block drills and vertical blocking against multiple strikes.

For cadena de mano lots of bag work and mitt drills more concentration on balance, footwork and reflex.

They are having fun and they look forward to the class and being with their cousins & friends.

my newest daughter is 18 months and she see's her brother swinging the stick so she does the same!

I love teaching the next generation...watching them grow and blossom and seeing their confidence & passion grow!



There are some great tips in here.  Follow your heart.  You cannot go wrong.

It was different in my family.  My dad was Caucasian with no connection to Filipino martial arts but he got me in to Judo at around 8.  By the age of 10, I had my appendix out and that was the end of Judo for quite some time.

But we took up ice hockey and until the age of 16, he was my coach.  It was very hard because he demanded that I do off ice activities that other kids did not do such as shoot in to a rug that we had in the garage and lift weights.  I agree that doing the training with other kids will make it much more enjoyable.  In any case, by the time I hit 16, I had decided I had enough of it.  I was totally burned out.  I played on two teams year round for 6 years and I had had enough.  I did not know how good I was and I was very good playing on some very good teams, coaching and even refereeing.  My brother played too, so it was a family event.  I quit.  It was the wrong thing to do but, hindsight is always 20-20.

We had one heck of a falling out, and from that day forward, it was rough.

But, years later when my father passed, you will never guess who's voice he responded to last before he died, and who was at the head of the bed.  You would be wrong if you said my mother or brother.

Go easy sometimes.  Go hard on others.  Invite friends over and make a day of it.  Make it fun.  Visit training facilities where Escrima is performed and try to get him/her in to the arts.

Your bond, is the time that you put in and every word that you utter.




I have three step children and none of them show any interest at all.  Their Mom, my wife is Pinay and she keeps encouraging them to take the class.  But my relationship with them is as a step-father, not a teacher.  Establishing my role as a father took precedence over teaching them the art.  Someday, maybe.  But, they are all grown up in their 20's and 30's so I don't hold out much hope.  Nonetheless, treading the fine line between teacher and father can be tough.  I like the idea Guro Lattore puts out; make it fun and play at first.  Teach your kids because they want to learn, not because you want them to learn.


Good luck and keep us posted.



Guro Lawrence Motta,

I completely agree with you.  I just added in what the downside was of pushing too hard can be because it does happen.  I'd love to have a child and I would nurture them in every way possible.  Given what I've been through, I would definitely take a softer approach and work as a team on more events and parent when you should.

What I meant by stating that I quit when I should not have was that as a child, my parents were preparing me to obtain a college scholarship in ice hockey, but to a 16 year old, that was not apparent to me.  Years later, when I saw how much college cost, I realized that I had made a huge mistake because the sport came easy to me given the effort put in as a family.  I did not go to college until I was in my late 20's and when I saw the college ice hockey team of my university, I said to myself, "This is a joke right... I could make this team now!"  Decisions are made, and then we have to live with those decisions.  Life goes on. 

How you approach a youth is as important as the event itself.  Parenting is tough and I hold everyone parenting their children in the correct way in high esteem.




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