For some reason, the teaches Aikido for children is very challenging for many instructors. It is amazing that so few people get such fear in the hearts of many large black belt. Aikidoka even experienced an excellent instructor for adults can really clueless when it comes to education children.Today there are many books, videos and websites dedicated to teaching Aikido for children. Most of the information it contains offers with “Aiki game” designed to help children to learn Aikido movements and hold their attention. The game can be fun from time to time, but I think the best way to teach Aikido is just to teach them. Aikido is a fun thing to do, whether you’re eight years old or eighty. Aikido supposed to be for people of all ages so why try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to teaching children? Several years ago I had the opportunity to help Shibata Sensei when he was living in Japan and teaching a class of children at Hombu dojo.
Before the class began, I asked him what kind of game he did with the children. He looked a bit surprised and said he was not playing with them at all, he just taught Aikido. I remember the class performed about the same as a normal adult class and all the kids had a great time. I have structured my own children have also started teaching classes since.I graders when we first opened in 1980 Florida Aikikai. Over the years, both of my children in the class practiced child.
My teenage daughter Madison is still training, made me feel less anxious about his eventual dating guy … in 20 years or more. Over the years I have made some comments about teaching children, I wanted to share. While I know that a lot of this will become clear to you, I hope you get something in terms of the actual benefit.In instructions to find, I have found that children learn best with a minimum of verbal explanation. They seem to easily pick up the technique just by watching and doing. For example, in teaching the next roll, I try to get them to do cartwheels in the beginning. I avoid lengthy technical explanation what angle to roll or where they put their hands etc.
After a few classes and a few pointers, they do some sort of Aikido rolls just by looking at other kids.My goal with kids is for them to have fun while developing both basic Aikido skills. It is then an easy transition to adult classes (even though most of my kids enjoy with their friends and not in a hurry to join the adults). I’m happy to let their children as long as they have testing like.We and colored ribbons in children are similar to other martial arts. I think it is important for children to be rewarded for their progress, especially if their friends in other martial arts trophies and colored ribbons get. However, we try not to be fully pressurized and competitive. They can push enough at school, and in other sports and activities they are involved in. I do not want them to feel that they should be tested at a given time or in competition with one another. We emphasize that the test is favorable as a result of the preparation and hard work that has gone, not just because they get a new belt. We emphasize that Aikido is unique in that it is non-competitive and we try for all the events in the show classes attitude.Children dojo’s in Florida Aikikai, is done similar to the adult beginner class.
We usually start with a breathing meditation. I have a child in Seiza line with his arms folded and thumb touching. I tell them to focus on their breathing, count to ten and then repeat the process. When they realize their mind drift I tell them to count their breaths. Meditation basis as this will help to calm and focus the short kids.After general warming of stretching and wrist exercises we practice tai sabaki and paddle like ikkyo and exercise. The kids want to count Japan during this exercise, it is very hard I might add. We spend too much time on ukemi practice. They make two lines with the seniors go first so that new students can see what to do. Exercise is:
small forward and backward rolls
shikko forward with the roll forward
Reversing shikko to roll backwards
large stand forward and backward rolls
forward roll, backward turning Turning
advanced breakfall build (ie ukemi koshinage)
advanced breakfall and error (ie projection ukemi)
breakfalls jump forward over the back of each.
forward and backward shikko with curves.
We then lined up, the instructors demonstrate techniques and child pair off and start training, such as in the adult class. We usually associate the children with a level of experience. Sometimes the higher ranks will practice a more sophisticated variant of the technique and grassroots mobilization younger. Or the seniors while the juniors will do Nikkyo ikkyo such practices. We end every class and meditation kokyudosa to out.Along bending with ukemi, the most important thing for children to learn in the beginning, hanmi (ai and gyaku), tai sabaki (Irimi, Turning, Tenshin) and kokyu (like ikkyo) arm movement.
I use these terms repeatedly pointing techniques. It helps them both to attack and they also begin with the similarities in the different techniques that they practice.For example, when a child is confused kotegaeshi do, I just tell them when the Tenkan uke punches and Tenshin see if the technique to apply. It helps children discover the relationship between aikido exercises and techniques that they practice.One other thing I would mention is the huge impact that parental involvement in children’s classrooms. After the parents of the students became involved, the program will run more smoothly. Some parents train themselves and can help with instruction, which is a lot more individual attention to each child.
Others do not work, but it helps in a different way by bringing snacks, help with parties or even take the smallest to the toilet. Great fun for all the family affair.We when dojo is now almost fifty children in the dojo with classes three times a week. As the program grew, we began to offer other activities for children such as hosting birthday parties and pizza / night video. The kids liked the old O-Sensei videos to watch and it seems every video that I take ukemi and get smashed.Camps and seminars are also a great addition to children’s programming.
They are just as good for kids to adults. I always see children Aikido grew rapidly. This is a good place for a word to introduce a new weapon or explain more about the philosophy and principles Aikido.Incorporating arts and crafts in the curriculum of seminars and camps you can expose children to other aspects of Japanese culture. The young and old both enjoy making Noh masks, folding fans, wrote in Japanese calligraphy, haiku poetry or make a kite battles. It gives the kids a break from exercise and feed them at the same time.We end of each camp with a party, where we Japanese dishes such as sushi, and making rice balls and other dishes. We often combine with a ceremony in which we award certificates.
The events are fun and also a great way to generate additional revenue for the dojo to produce. I am very pleased with how they have been profitable for everyone and are helping to build lasting friendships in the dojo. It is good to see the interest generated in Aikido children. The focus and attention given to the youngest member of our Aikido community is very encouraging, because they are our future