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I am new to Aikido, just starting my second month into learning. My Sensei just opened his dojo about 3 - 4 months ago. The classes are still small right now and they are mixed classes of ages and abilities.
I don't mind the mix of ages and abilities. Being an older female (the only adult female training), but being new to the art, I find myself working with the kids alot. This is fine with me, I like the idea of "age teaching youth". But there are times when I really need to work out with someone at my abilities and ...height.. and will understand the technique a little bit better to work as an Uke.
Another issue I am having is the the younger 11yo boys are being REALLY aggressive when practicing their moves. More then once I have to tell them that I am their partner not their enemy, and to remember blending and harmony...I had one incident where a young guy really did a hard blow to my elbow while having me in a nikkyo lock and almost blew out my arm. The childs father works out with us, but sometimes I am afraid to talk to him about his son's aggression (and language on the mat) because I know his father is very strict physically with him, really focusing on obediance and consequences.
Anyways, I enjoy the kids but I need to work more with the adults since I am testing for my belt ranking in December and need to find an uke to help me. I practice twice a week and need to see if I can split one practice working with the kids and one with an adult. I think I will talk to Sensei about that on Monday.