Teaching Subs to Kids

The other thread on kids games is really great.  Im hoping to get some equally good feedback on how you guys who teach kids approach teaching subs.  Do you wait for a certain age?  Do you allow them during sparring or only during drilling?  Do you stay away from certain subs?  Thanks!

We teach kids submissions, but only the basics. Most of the kids are pretty new so we stay well clear of any tournament illegal techniques. One of the issues is that with access to the internet and the prominence of the UFC, kids try to pick up things. Plus I have kids from other schools who had no illegal techniques.

I think without submissions it's really hard to keep the kids interested. I try to focus on the importance of position and control, but they don't always get it.

^ Agreed. We teach submissions from the start; making a constant big deal about gong slow and tapping early. We watch them closely during rolling (particularly newer and younger kids) and will "tap" for then if they are in a bad spot or submission that they are not defending correctly. Phone Post 3.0

Also, since they know submissions exists, teaching them the correct ones will limit "experimentation". The more real submissions they learn the less cranking and random twisting there seems to be. Plus we'll play games around specific techniques (1 points for armbar, 3 points for triangle, etc.)

I taught no submissions to white and yellow belts.  With the time requirements that meant I'd have them for a couple years before the topic even emerged.

First sub was RNC and most of the kids curriculum was focused on taking the back as a major skill, so this was intentional.  It's also safer than a lot of things.

Next safety valve: submissions may not be done outside of class.  Not on parents, not on siblings, kids at school, pets, etc. Not even when they ask you to practice with them. In class only, no exceptions.

And finally - only subs on instructors, as directed, until told otherwise. I don't want you choking other kids who don't know what's happening.


excellent points thanks ^ 

We do submissions at all ages. While I was originally very hesitant about this, I think the factor that made utilizing submissions was counter intuitive - we started showing the submissions to the younger students first. In addition to not having much strength to make many submissions particularly injurious - our little guys and gals only do free rolling in a very controlled environment, usually about one match per instructor on the mat. So if any kids were trying to tough it out, we would tap for them. It is absolutely imperative to keep a close eye on these students IMO. By introducing the importance of tapping, respecting the submission, and repeating to them ad nauseam how they are not allowed to do these outside of class, as these young students aged they carried a respect for their training partners with them when they became the older students in the next class (7-12). Those students then serve as role models to newcomers to the class, and you have a built in culture that respects submissions and tapping.

The biggest problem I have personally had with teaching 4-6 year old kids submissions caught me by surprise. The kids know to tap to chokes and armbars, so if anything, they tap very very early. No big deal. However, its almost like they don't realize that a submission can actually hurt! As they have been soooo used to respecting the techniques and tapping before it becomes bad, when they get into a strange position that is actually causing pain (their toe is caught in a gi, or their head is twisting in a strange way), they panic and cry instead of tapping. Again, this is why we always watch like hawks when the kids are rolling with submissions.

As with any lesson, don't forget to differentiate your instruction for your different levels of student - the brand new kid can be paired with an experienced student, and the experienced student will not be allowed to submit them. The experienced student can then show the newer student the respect they have for submissions and tapping. Similarly, if I have two kids who are chomping at the bit to roll, I usually limit them to a single submission (or no submissions) to force them to work technique rather than trying to squeeze the other kids face off. The entire goal of every modification in my eyes is to foster a culture of respect for your training partners and training - if that means they go a couple of weeks without submitting each other, that's fine.

almost everything in the kids advanced class,most kids are 10 yrs old and up, none for the 4&5 yr olds . arm bars ,
kimura,triangles for the intermediate kids