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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 784,226

In General While the Sensei's away... Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #180 New 06-05-2005 03:02 PM
...the kids will play. Or something like that.

Sensei's gone on a two week sabbatical of sorts and in an unprecedented move, we had three nine-year-old boys start training while he's been gone. So it's been "all hands on deck" so far --- though teaching responsibility was to be split between three Sempai, only two have shown up in the past week, and I ended up being called upon to help pick up the slack.

Needless to say, we've all had to do a fair amount of adapting, breaking basic techniques down into "easier to swallow portions", inventing Aiki-ish games, etc. --- so far over the past few days we've shown them/done:
- the old warm-up and stretches
- simple atemi and ukemi drills
- shikko
- tenkan drills
- katatedori shihonage, katatedori iriminage, ushiroryokata kokyunage (hanmi handachi waza)
- a modified randori where the object is for everyone else to be uke and try to grab the tails of nage's obi
- Jo striking drills

Though I was initially feeling a little apprehensive when asked by Sensei to help lead class while he was away (more insecure about my lack of qualifications, really --- since at the time it seemed that my Sempai would not be available), I certainly don't feel that way about teaching kids. Not only do I feel so much more at ease (having worked with kids so very much in a voluntary capacity for many years) but ever since they've started, my mind has been positively racing with tons of ideas for ways to teach them Aikido.

From speaking to the guys I do know, however, that if we are to continue teaching kids on a long-term basis, some accommodation will have to be made --- perhaps in the form of a kids' class --- so that our own training does not suffer greatly. As wonderful and refreshing as it is having kids on the mats (for myself, they have a rather energizing effect) we do have to slow things down considerably --- even moreso than with adult beginners. Perhaps a weekend kids' class once a week, and one class where we might integrate them with the senior students? We'll see what Sensei thinks.

I think everyone's wanting to instill more confidence in Sensei that we're able to handle the added pressures inherent with his absence, and most seem to be doing quite well at it so far in taking the responsibility seriously. We'll see how well we rise to the occasion in the coming week or so before Sensei gets back...
Views: 1026 | Comments: 1

RSS Feed 1 Responses to "While the Sensei's away..."
#1 07-04-2005 08:29 PM
Kelly Allen Says:
If you do begin a kids class and it happens to land on a Sat or Sun morning, I would definitly come with my son.

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