- Is Aikido useful for my children?
- How do you teach Aikido to kids?
- Is Aikido dangerous?
- Does Aikido promote violence?
- How is an Aikido class different from classes in other martial arts?
- How old should my child be to take class?
- Can I practice with my child?
- What’s your dojo like?
- If I participate in the family class, do I also need to participate in adult class?
- Do you require student contracts?
Is Aikido useful for my children?
Child Aikidoka learn many valuable things in class, in addition to useful techniques of self-defense. 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.
How do you teach Aikido to kids?
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.
Is Aikido dangerous?
We teach kids and have them practice how to remain. They quickly learn to fall and receive attacks and techniques safely and without injury, and they work at their own ability level while gradually working up to the more complex falls and techniques. Our structured class has rules that the kids follow concerning how students need to treat each other.
Does Aikido promote violence?
It promotes peaceful resolution of problems without being a victim. The founder of Aikido transformed a traditional Samurai art into a martial art of peace. Its techniques are practiced to neutralize and stop an attack without having to injure the opponent.
Kids learn to handle aggression without using aggression. They become calmer, less perturbed by outside aggression, and more peaceful people in general. In practice, as the attacker and the person applying the techniques change roles continuously, the kids learn to take care of each other, as well as empathy for what it feels like to be on the other side of the practice.
How is an Aikido class different from classes in other martial arts?
There are various kinds of martial arts, and many are significantly different than Aikido. Aikido is designed for effective application and learning to handle opponents by manipulating the attackers’ strength and balance, not for winning trophies in competition. Therefore, we don’t hold championships or matches. The tests and kids ranks provide progress goals for kids and reflect progress that students make in the martial art as their skills improve and they attain a higher level of understanding. Also, instead of punching and kicking drills, we practice movement and interactive balance, throwing, and pinning drills.
How old should my child be to take class?
We typically start kids as young as 8. At 12 or 13, they also start participating in the adult classes.
Can I practice with my child?
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.
What’s your dojo like?
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.
If I participate in the family class, do I also need to participate in adult class?
The kids class is conducted alongside the adult class. Parents and kids who wish to practice together are paired up. We do not require that parents take adults-only classes as well. Doing so, however, is highly beneficial. Aside from advancing the parent’s abilities, our parent-students who take additional classes end up helping their kids to learn the art. We’ve found family practice to be a great source of bonding between moms, dads, and kids, and most families end up talking about Aikido and practicing it at home between classes.
Do you require student contracts?
No. Our students are here because they want to be here, are learning something valuable, and enjoy the practice. We also don’t contract for testing and rank promotions. Each student progresses at his or her own pace. When kids do take a test and are promoted in rank, they feel fulfilment and recognition that they’ve achieved by their work and focus.