I'm trying to form a more informed view about what should or should not be included in a training program for kids. In particular at this stage, I'm trying in vain to find anything beyond marketing boilerplate statements about what's right or wrong for kids.
I get that first and foremost it has to be fun. Kids won't train if it's not fun, nor should they.
I also get that attitude is more than technique. Kids should be taught that it is not OK for someone to manipulate them or hurt them. Lots of clubs teach all the fancy dance moves and never even consider the attitude aspect.
But what about the physical side of training?
I'm going to assume that cardio is fine, given that kids do cardio naturally if left to their own devices in an open space.
I believe that joint locks are out. In aikido circles for example joint locks are discouraged for kids, and if they are practiced, there are guidelines limiting which ones and how much pressure etc, all because some people far more clever than I have realised that young joints are still forming.
But what about kicking pads? If I hold a kick shield against my leg, my 10 year old son can round house kick it with enough force to make my teeth rattle. He seems to have realised too that his shin is more powerful than his foot, and he drives through. Incidentally that's not the version he was taught. He's taken his karate one and modified it his own way. It's formidable.
If a kid, still physically growing, kicks pads regularly, or does strength training, or endurance, is there any known science for our against any of that?
If we leave aside the old 'my instructor made me do it so I'm making you do it' approach, and apply some modern science, it's there anything we should drop from the training plan? Or indeed anything we should add more of?
EDIT: I almost forgot to add my key point. Most older martial artists I know have something about them that is now permanently broken as a consequence of either too many impacts, or wear and tear. I don't believe this has to be inevitable. I believe it is only because they didn't and couldn't know better at the time. This extends to my own chronic niggles. In hindsight I could have done things differently, and of course I've learned from that, but that's just my experience. I might be able to help others avoid the mistakes I made, but if there's things I've got away with but others haven't, I may not spot those mistakes so easily.