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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,555,947


In Teaching Self-defence for kids! Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #11 New 07-16-2010 05:48 AM
Self-defence for kids! I have only taught aikido to children very very occasionally. But this week I was asked to teach a community self-defence class. I wasn't sure how it was going to go...

I have always thought that judo and karate were more suitable than aikido for young children. Some children like the grappling part of judo and some like the throwing part; some children like the kata part of karate and some like the kumite (sparring) part. And maybe the concept of no winners and no losers in aikido is a little difficult to catch. Anyway this class was self-defence so philosophy wasn't a problem!

So I checked out aikiweb and I found some useful information. The teachers on aikiweb who are experienced in teaching children have a lot of knowledge. You can search the forums for "teaching children."



And Robert Kent at the Aikido Kids Google group kindly pointed me towards some more links:

(if you apply to join the group - the reply is very fast - you'll be able to read the discussions and join in if you want).



This was the approach I tried to follow:


And here is the basic lesson plan for a one-off self-defence course. It's in English and Japanese in case anyone is interested in the vocabulary. The Japanese is in kanji - the Japanese characters from Chinese - together with the pronunciation in the phonetic hiragana alphabet and in romaji - English letters.


1 Hello! こんにちは! konnichiwa!
2 Warm-up 準備体操 じゅんびたいそう jumbi taisou
3 Body's weapons 体の武器! からだのぶき! karada no buki
3.1 Voice! Shout LOUDLY! 声!大声で叫ぶ!こえ!おおごえでさけぶ! koe! oogoe de sakebu!
3.2 Legs! Run away! 足!走って逃げる!あし!はしってにげる! ashi! hashitte nigeru!
3.3 Strikes 当て身 あてみ atemi
3.3.1 Feet 足 あし ashi
3.3.2 Knees ひざ hiza
3.3.3 Elbows ひじ hiji
3.3.4 Hands/palms 手/手のひら て/てのひら te/te no hira
4 Breakfalls 受け身 うけみ ukemi
5 Escapes 逃げ方 にげかた nigekata
6 Techniques 技 わざ waza
7 Warm-down and stretch 整理体操 と 柔軟体操 せいりたいそう と じゅうなんたいそう seiri taisou to juunan taisou
8 About bullying いじめについて ijime ni tsuite
9 See you! さようなら! sayounara!

So then it was time for the lesson. There were exciting moments and things that maybe didn't work so well. Children are a wild mixture of wonder and trust and energy and they have a short attention span but they love moving their bodies and they like succeeding at something they try. They all did great.

Then as I was walking through the car park after the lesson a mother came up to me and said thank you. Her daughter had told her she'd had fun.

You are welcome! Me too.

photo used by kind permission of radioflyer007 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/radioflyer007/3985654123/) under creative commons licence

niall matthews 2010
Views: 6573 | Comments: 13

RSS Feed 13 Responses to "Self-defence for kids!"
#13 08-14-2011 10:27 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Something like reverse psychology, here a funny example
#12 08-14-2011 09:34 AM
niall Says:
I liked Graham Christian's suggestion. He kept telling his son he wasn't ready for aikido yet. So when he finally started he really wanted to!
#11 11-28-2010 02:51 AM
guest1234567 Says:
I personally don't know him either, just heard about him, anyway here you have a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO5np9oTi9Q
#10 11-27-2010 09:05 PM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. The nephew of your teacher is an example maybe - perhaps he won't return to aikido. I don't know Leonardo Sakanashi.
#9 11-25-2010 12:44 PM
guest1234567 Says:
I agree with you, judo,karate, even taekwondo are more interesting for children. I just was telling about teaching akido to children. Niall don't you know any child who is still doing aikido: 2nd and 3rd Doshu, Waka Sensei and Leonardo Sakanashi 24 old in 2007 getting his 4th Dan, son of Sakanashi Masafumi Sensei, sent to Argentina .. Ok that was a joke, now: the nephew of my teacher began with his uncle at 9, became his black belt at 17 and left because of girl friends, music,and so on
#8 11-25-2010 08:26 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Carina. Following on from the second paragraph I actually think judo is probably best for children for self-defence, then karate and then aikido. Of course any of them have to be fun! There is a deeper problem for me. I know of really good judoka and karateka who started as children and kept training as adults. But I can't think of any good aikidoka who started as children.
#7 11-24-2010 03:15 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Nice Niall, I think for you it was a great moment when the mother said thank to you, the feeling it has been worthwhile I talked with the police self defence teacher who teaches also aikido to children, he told me what he does to interest them, he gives half colour belts(like in karate) and also prices for doing a technique good but every time taking care that all of them wins one time this price. I think aikido for children must be aikido playing.
#6 07-17-2010 09:03 AM
niall Says:
Hi Billy and Susan - glad it was helpful.
#5 07-17-2010 08:56 AM
niall Says:
Thank you so much, Daisy Luu! It took a couple of times (and some advice from Jun!) to get it working OK. I'd be glad to give you advice any time.
#4 07-17-2010 05:28 AM
Makochan Says:
Dear Niall; Both Susan and I will benefit from this entry. In particular Susan as she wants to teach a childrens class in due course. Best, Billy
#3 07-16-2010 07:18 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
I love the inclusion of graphics with all your entries. It's nice to have a visual, and aikiweb doesn't make this very intuitive.
#2 07-16-2010 06:45 PM
niall Says:
Thanks, Chris.
#1 07-16-2010 10:14 AM
chris wright Says:
Nice one Niall,

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