The cooperative training style of aikido is unique in the world of martial arts training. In aikido classes kids are working together to learn both how to fall and how to throw one another safely and effectively. They learn that success in aikido is achieved through blending and relaxation rather than confrontation and tension. The exercises practiced in the dojo improve balance and coordination, concentration, spatial awareness, and self-confidence. We aim to teach lifelong skills for peaceful conflict resolution through the principles and practice of aikido. In consideration of the very flexible yet still developing physiology of kids’ bodies, the techniques that we practice in these classes are ones that end in throws and falls rather than joint locks, while in adult classes a combination of both are practiced.
Kids 4-7: In this class we emphasize basic body movement and ukemi (rolling and falling drills) while tying their aikido training into other developmentally appropriate concepts like shapes and counting, as well as respect and patience towards oneself and others. We have a loose flow to the class where interactive games challenge the kids to display what they’ve learned and laughter is encouraged.
Kids 8-12: For this age group we increase the focus on specific footwork, dojo etiquette, Japanese vocabulary, and learning to work with other students in a cooperative manner. These classes are more structured, focusing on a wider variety of aikido techniques and rolling/falling drills, and incorporating more complicated games. And as in the younger kids classes, laughter is encouraged.
Teens 13-17: The practice of aikido offers the opportunity for teens in particular to foster connections with others in a nonjudgmental atmosphere. The challenges involved in the dynamic physical practice of aikido also help to develop self-esteem, stick-to-itiveness and a healthy lifestyle. Teens are eligible to participate in adult classes at Sensei’s discretion, but still pay kids’ dues.
For schedule of classes click here.