Child Aikidoka learn many valuable things in class, in addition to useful techniques of self-defense. Classes focus on teaching children to develop the most effective and efficient ways to use their bodies. This type of instruction will improve their performance in any other sports endeavor. They learn to fall safely, and it becomes second nature to them to handle falls and other types of impacts without injury. This ability to avoid injury will be helpful their entire life. Aikido builds core strength, flexibility, and coordination and hones their motor skills. It’s a healthy physical activity that gives kids a workout. Kids also learn how to remain calm, engage with others, stay balanced, improve their focus, learn how to handle changing situations, be respectful and considerate to others; all while gaining improved body flexibility and motor skills. All of this in turn gives them self-confidence, self-respect, and also leads to self-discovery.
Our kids Aikido classes are fun, energetic, and high spirited, and are conducted in a group setting. Kids practice through drill, games, and other fun and interesting activities. We do this with enthusiasm and energy, while maintaining a relaxed and non-violent environment. Positive reinforcement and children’s success are the primary motivators. More advanced students help more junior students learn, which teaches teamwork and work cooperatively with others. Our children’s classes are conducted with the developmental stages of our students foremost in our minds.
A primary emphasis, especially at the beginning of training, is in teaching kids how to remain safe. This includes falling safely and receiving attacks and techniques safely and without injury. We have a structured class with rules about how students need to treat each other. Also, while you’ll see more advanced students taking spectacular looking rolls and falls, we work them up to this slowly, and each student works at his or her own ability level.
Quite the opposite actually. The founder of Aikido developed it as a martial art of peace. Its techniques, while very effective, can be done to neutralize and stop an attack without having to injure the opponent. Kids learn to handle aggression without using aggression. Kids and adults alike who practice Aikido for a while become calmer, less perturbed by outside aggression, and more peaceful people in general.
There are various kinds of martial arts, and many are significantly different than Aikido. Aikido is not designed or practiced for winning trophies in competition, and there are no championships or matches. There are levels and tests, but these reflect progress that students make in the martial art as their skills improve and they attain a higher level of understanding. While Aikido has strikes, it does not focus on punching and kicking, so you won’t see the regular punching and kicking drills that as a primary part of teaching some martial arts. Aikido is primarily an art of self-defense, and its techniques mainly involve throws and pins that can be done safely for both participants instead of focusing on hitting the opponent.
We prefer that the child be in first grade in order to start training. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Yes! Parents are welcome to study Aikido and practice with their children in the kids/family class. It’s a great way to spend quality time with your child as you learn a martial art together.
Our dojo is a family of martial artists who care deeply about the art. Members quickly become lasting friends, both in our adult and kids classes, and students look forward to coming to the dojo. We conduct a serious practice in a jovial, fun environment. After all, we’re curators of a very special martial-art with ancient roots, we have a very direct lineage to Aikido’s founder, and we’re here because we love the art and the practice.
While this is highly recommended, it’s not required. Our adult and teen students each practice at their own pace and attend different numbers of classes per week. While we recommend attending as many classes as possible (especially since membership entitles you to unlimited classes during the month), we do have a few student parents who are only able to take class with their kids.
No. Our students are here because they want to be here, are learning something valuable, and enjoy the practice. Each one progresses at his or her own pace.
Teenagers will practice with the adults, unless there are specific reasons for the early teenager to spend some time in the child classes first.