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Need advice
07-11-2006, 09:36 AM
Recently 2 children aged 5 and 7 have started training with our evening aikido class.

I find it very difficult to train with them, they are less than a third of my size. my frustration lies on 3 levels:

- They are too small to offer any attack above waist height
- They sometimes lack the attention span to focus on the mat for the duration of the class
- Because of their size I do not feel comfortable throwing them or applying techniques to them.

I would really like some other perspectives on this, am I being selfish? Should I suck it up and train with whoever the Sensei allows onto the mat?

Is it reasonable to not want to practice with a five year old?

What should I do?

James Davis
07-11-2006, 09:42 AM
Get down on your knees and get into "kid mode". Play. :)

DonMagee
07-11-2006, 09:44 AM
I had this problem when I first started judo. There were not enough adults so we were merged with the children's class until we could get enough adults. Try working hip throws on a 10 year old half your height.

I decided that it was counter productive to have children in the class. Mostly because of the reasons you mentioned. The simple solution was that I spoke to the teacher and we worked out a way to keep the adults and children practicing separate but at the same class. We were usually odd numbered, so one adult would take turns teaching the children under the watchful eye of the teacher, and we would rotate throughout class. I found this very educational as I got to better understand the throws though teaching them to children.

happysod
07-11-2006, 09:55 AM
With Don all the way on this one and I have to say I'm impressed at the compromise he mentions. While I'm sure many people will wax lyrical about teaching and training with children, I'm not a fan of the mixed age groups.

As for being selfish - so what. It may be aikido, but its also your precious free time and so a little selfishness is in order.

Ron Tisdale
07-11-2006, 09:56 AM
I personally would have major problems with students that young training with adults in the same class. Teenagers can often be included safely with the adult class. But pre-teens are a worry...the normal kind of oops throw that lands an adult on another adult can be disasterous enough. An adult thrown into a child is really not something I would ever want to see.

I don't know the situation, so I assume the instructor has safeguards in place...

Best,
Ron

Mark Freeman
07-11-2006, 10:04 AM
I personally would have major problems with students that young training with adults in the same class. Teenagers can often be included safely with the adult class. But pre-teens are a worry...the normal kind of oops throw that lands an adult on another adult can be disasterous enough. An adult thrown into a child is really not something I would ever want to see.

I don't know the situation, so I assume the instructor has safeguards in place...

Best,
Ron

Good points Ron,

Safety has to be the main concern when kids are involved. For this reason we don't let under 12's on the adult mat. Hovever I do believe there is a place for parent / child classes in aikido as the practice then is in a slightly different context and would be beneficial to both.

regards,

Mark

Ron Tisdale
07-11-2006, 10:19 AM
Hi Mark, I agree with that. I have seen cases where parents training with their kids and even siblings training together had remarkable results in the family dynamic.

Best,
Ron

Michael Hackett
07-11-2006, 11:39 AM
We don't mix the two classes, but we do ask the adults who are testing in the adult class to attend the kids' class and take ukemi for their testing. Our Mini Mes start at ten years of age and by fifteen or so, migrate to the adult classes generally. This testing scenario works well for us and brings a look of surprise to both groups sometimes. The adults are sometimes quite surprised at how "martial" the kids can perfrom and the kids are jazzed when they throw or pin someone twice their size. Mixing training classes though would be too difficult I think and too dangerous in terms of an accident on the mat. Both groups get enough bumps and bruises in their own environment without adding the dynamic of bigger and heavier bodies into the mix.

Mark Gibbons
07-11-2006, 12:17 PM
I'm not sure the size issue is real. Small adult women - 5 ft 100 lbs. 3 10-11 year olds in our kids class (5ft - 5'1'' 76 - 110 lbs). Not that big of a difference. The kids have near perfect rolls. They don't enjoy the adult classes as much as kids and teen classes but size isn't a good reason to keep them out.

Mark

Hucqie
07-11-2006, 05:12 PM
The original thread refers to children of between 5 & 7, personally I think it is insane to have them in an adult class. I weigh roughly 90kg (+-200lbs) and I would hate to think what would happen if I was accidentally thrown onto / fell onto an Uke weighing 25kg (+-55lbs).

Some of the other threads on this website make reference to how devestating aikido techniques can be, does this not therefore raise the issue of whether a child's body can handle the throws and trechniques performed within a normal adult class?

aikigirl10
07-11-2006, 06:10 PM
Recently 2 children aged 5 and 7 have started training with our evening aikido class.

I find it very difficult to train with them, they are less than a third of my size. my frustration lies on 3 levels:

- They are too small to offer any attack above waist height
- They sometimes lack the attention span to focus on the mat for the duration of the class
- Because of their size I do not feel comfortable throwing them or applying techniques to them.

I would really like some other perspectives on this, am I being selfish? Should I suck it up and train with whoever the Sensei allows onto the mat?

Is it reasonable to not want to practice with a five year old?

What should I do?

Would you feel the same way practicing with a dwarf? (minus the attention span thing) The point is... sometimes you have to adjust your way of training to suit the needs of others.. even if it means suiting the needs of children.

I started training when i was 8, and i'm sure the adults got tired of practicing with me, but they had to do it in order for *me* to learn, they need training partners just as much as you do. And not only this, but you can learn alot by helping *them* understand.

I've had experience both as the child, and as the one trying to cope with the child, and both can be frustrating. When i was young, it was definitely difficult for me to throw a grown man, no doubt, so don't you think they are feeling just as frustrated as you are? I can totally understand where your frustration is coming from, and i'm not saying u are being selfish, but you need to look at things from *all* points of view and not just your own.

*Paige* :)

philipsmith
07-12-2006, 01:55 AM
Ideally you shouldn't mix age groups in this way.

Childrens skeletal systems are still developing especially their joints and so they simply cannot receive "adult" techniques. Also their may be legal issues with adults and children changing together and what is termed as "inappropriate contact" between children and adults.

Current UK advice is no children under 12 on adult classes, and even then 12-16 year olds should train together where possible.

DmG
07-12-2006, 05:14 AM
Children are hard question. I get contacted quite a lot by parents (used to the Karate Kid system) that want their 5 year old or 8 year old to train aikido.....even though our information clearly states that we only take "youths" 11 and above. I even had one mother lie to me about the age of her child....told me he was 'almost 11' (so I gave in)...and then 3 months later, I found out he celebrated his 9th birthday (??? go figure).

For me, it is unfair to the paying adults to ask them to train regularly with children. Yes, I beleive there is some benefit (which is why I do encourage the adults to come to the kids class as a warm up before the adult class).....but over and above the safety factor, the attention span of children do not allow them to learn in the same way as an adult. If I came to class to learn aikido, and then spent an hour corralling kids and playing shiko soccor....I'd be a little annoyed (if that were my only training time).

I think martial arts are great for kids. I think there are a lot of dojos/dojangs in our town that cater especially to kids and kids programs (however, the reason I get approached so much is that those places require contracts, minimum training days and required participation in a paid ranking system where they pay to get tested every two weeks). I do not feel guilty about turning away children that I deem too young....even though at times, it has cost me a whole family....(I had one guy who told me that if the whole family couldn't train with us, then none of them could.....????....not sure of that logic...he could have taken his youngest ones - the youngest was only 4 - around the corner to the karate school and he, his wife and his oldest child could have trained with us. He told me he and his wife always wanted to learn aikido...guess not enough to figure it out!)

Mark Uttech
07-14-2006, 08:24 AM
Children need their own class, as in regular education. It is useful for adults and children to train together on a 'time to time' basis, but not on a regular basis, for each needs some time for their own space. Aikido dojo do well to start and run their own children's classes, and many dojo have been pretty successful in that regard. Aikido standards for adults and children are not the same because their differences are respected.

gdandscompserv
08-23-2006, 10:09 PM
Shikko :cool:

Brad Pruitt
08-23-2006, 11:20 PM
Children need their own class, as in regular education. It is useful for adults and children to train together on a 'time to time' basis, but not on a regular basis, for each needs some time for their own space. Aikido dojo do well to start and run their own children's classes, and many dojo have been pretty successful in that regard. Aikido standards for adults and children are not the same because their differences are respected.
I agree with Mark here. I lead our kids program and it wouldn't be fair to have very small children in the adult class. I do encourage all the adults to come and assist in the kids class. You sure can learn a lot especially in the way in which you have to use control and physical restraint. They are so small and we need to take care of them. You adjust your approach as with anyone with whom you train. ultimately you deal with what you are given and to me that is Aikido.

Jenn
08-26-2006, 05:05 PM
Frankly, I'm shocked the parents are OK with that. As a mother myself, I would not want my children training with the random people at my dojo at that early of an age, for many of the reasons mentioned. The techniques in Aikido are potentially dangerous, especially on a child's structure, and a child does not have the assertiveness to either productively practice with an adult, nor to assert themselves to an adult regarding their needs (go slower, lighter, tapping out etc.) I would trust my senseis or some of the senior students to train/'play' with my children in Aikido because of their keen awareness of respecting peoples limits, but I can't imagine dropping my child into a regular open class. No. Way.

At our dojo we have Very Young Person's class, which is parent participation and it is mostly focused on tumbling, games, stretches, and Aikido-related exercises. And a young person's class, where the kids work with each other.. then there is a teen class, but teens can join open classes as well. To me that is pretty much the only safe/sane way to do it, or if in an open class out of necessity due to small enrollment the child is strictly partnered with select people who agree to work with the child, the parent, sensei, or some senior students who the child can get to know and feel "safe" with.

aikidoc
08-27-2006, 08:00 AM
We only allow adults to practice in the kids class with their parents. One youth who is old enough and talented is allowed in the adult class periodically.

Mark Uttech
08-27-2006, 03:35 PM
An aikido dojo is a miniature society. Abuse and the instance of pedophiles is something to be aware of. Anyone running a children's class should be very vigilant (watchful), I do not feel that this can be overstressed.

In gassho
Mark

wmreed
08-28-2006, 01:07 PM
In my opinion, the children will learn best in a children's class, and the dojo should start one if it's able.

However, I think that adults feeling frustrated by working with children is a poor excuse to wish they wouldn't come to class. I agree with Paige's comments, and she has a unique perspective that she can share, having been one of those children.

In addition, I would suggest that it's important to learn to throw them comfortably and apply technique to them in a manner that is controlling and yet not injurious (is that a word?). One way to think about it may be to say to yourself: "What if my child/nephew/niece/neighbor's kid loses their temper with me for some unexpected reason and tries to attack me? Shouldn't I be able to apply aikido technique and movement to control this situation safely for both of us? And shouldn't I be able to also throw the 300 lb. guy that I'll practice the next technique with?"

I am prejudiced.

I am an elementary school teacher, a children's aikido teacher, and a parent. And I can honestly say that my aikido improved DRAMATICALLY through my training with children. If you can do shihonage on someone who barely comes to your hip, you can execute it on almost anyone.

I reiterate, I believe children should have their own class. It's better for them. But I don't think it is detrimental to an adult's practice to have to train with a child, any more than it would be to have to practice with someone who uses crutches on the mat, or is deaf, or is a woman, etc, etc. I don't think that my lack of understanding on how to adapt my technique to a different attacker is sufficient reason to want them to not be in my class.

I know this is getting long-winded, but another example would be to say that someone who is much bigger than I, and therefore hard for me to practice with, should have their own class.

I'll stop now.


Bill

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 01:55 PM
One instance where children mixing in an adult class interfered in a major way in a dojo where I once trained:

We had an instructor from the main school of the organization who came to teach one night a week. It was common knowledge that Thursday nights under this instructor were difficult for the adults in the class. One of these nights, two brothers from the children's class came to train. These were teenagers who were significantly smaller than the majority of the adults. So the instructor paired them together to train (something that would not be a problem for adults).

Unfortunately, during the class, one brother hurt the other, and the injured brother began crying. End result...there was some heated discussion about how much watering down of hard training should be done, vs whether these children should have been permitted in that class to begin with (this discussion did not take place at the time, but later, without the children involved). This argument had a long lasting impact on the school, and some of those ramifications still exist in some interesting ways today.

My own personal belief is that those children should not have been allowed to train in that particular class, *especially* since they were not only immature, but were brothers as well, and the competitive nature of the relationship quickly got out of hand. While you could say that the instructor is always responsible, and that he should have stepped in and stopped the situation before it got out of hand, having seen mixed classes myself as an assistant instructor leading a class, I know that is easier said than done. In a class where such a mixed environment is a specific purpose, it is easy to moderate the teaching to accommodate that. It's not so easy in what was to that point, one of the most advanced classes in the dojo.

Aikido is still a martial art...people will get injured occasionally. Taking a child in our society (very different from the society where aikido developed) and putting them into that situation doesn't seem correct to me. There are children's classes in most places...let them train in that environment until they are truly ready to move on. Both emotionally and physically.

Best,
Ron

Zach Sarver
08-28-2006, 05:17 PM
When children first started training with us, I was a bit annoyed by it. They were too small to really practice fully with, but as time went on and a few more started training I started having fun with the little kids. It was a chance to just play around and have fun and hopefully teach these yougins a little Aikido. This may be that I like little kids more then some. I don't think that you are being selfish. You can't really train hard with little kids.

~Zach

jonreading
09-06-2006, 12:05 PM
I preface my response with the observation that children (less than 18 years of age) can train in an adult class without interferring with the atmosphere of the dojo. I believe it is a rare occassion when I child younger than 18 can successfully integrate into an adult class, and I believe that it is virtually impossible for a child younger than 13 to successfully integrate into an adult class. The disparity in size and strength, mental comprehension, and nature of physical contact between adults and children all point to an inappropriate relationship during training, let alone the legal implications of allowing children to train with adults.

Children should not be included in adult training. Chirldren are not adults, the dictionary even has two separate words to identify each. Children don't grow like adults, they don't learn like adults, they don't think like adults, and they don't act like adults. So why would we treat children as adults?

If I taught karate and said to a parent, "your 12 year old son is going to sparr a 32 year old black belt." that parent would be appalled. But I teach aikido, so instead I say, "your 12 year old son is going to train with a 32 year old black belt." Somehow the semantics of the aikido sentence make everything OK. Forget the fact that I am letting an skilled adult martial artist train with a child. Training has danger, that's why we sign a waiver.

A dojo that wishes to entertain teaching children aikido is obligated to extend the same courtesys as they would to an adult. Don't put adults in children classes, and don't put children in adult classes. Devote the same time and effort to tailored class instruction, individual attention, and etiquette.

Mark Gibbons
09-06-2006, 12:44 PM
..... The disparity in size and strength, mental comprehension, and nature of physical contact between adults and children all point to an inappropriate relationship during training, let alone the legal implications of allowing children to train with adults.
.

What legal implications?


Children should not be included in adult training. Chirldren are not adults, the dictionary even has two separate words to identify each. Children don't grow like adults, they don't learn like adults, they don't think like adults, and they don't act like adults. So why would we treat children as adults?


Some have used roughly the same arguments to exclude women. Can everyone in the class be treated as aikido students? Seems possible to me. Different skill levels. Different learning styles. That seems like a normal all adult class to me. Kids that can't train in an adult class without disruption wouldn't fit in the adult classes where I train. But many are mature enough and with a couple years experience well trained enough to fit into an adult class.


If I taught karate and said to a parent, "your 12 year old son is going to sparr a 32 year old black belt." that parent would be appalled. But I teach aikido, so instead I say, "your 12 year old son is going to train with a 32 year old black belt." Somehow the semantics of the aikido sentence make everything OK. Forget the fact that I am letting an skilled adult martial artist train with a child. Training has danger, that's why we sign a waiver.

A dojo that wishes to entertain teaching children aikido is obligated to extend the same courtesys as they would to an adult. Don't put adults in children classes, and don't put children in adult classes. Devote the same time and effort to tailored class instruction, individual attention, and etiquette.

I'd much rather my 11 year old daughter trained with a black belt than with a non black belt. The black belts are the safest folks to train with. The comparison to sparring in karate seems far fetched..

I don't really see the reasons behind the rest of your objections. Is it just that it's a waste of time to train with someone that is too unskilled? I have known a fair number of 14-17 year olds that could have the same opinion about beginning->mid kyu adults. Is it the danger due to size differences? Many of the adult women where I train are the same size as the kids over 11 yo.

Mark

Trish Greene
09-06-2006, 01:11 PM
We have adult classes and mix-aged classes at our dojo. I typically go to the mixed age class because my 12yo son works out with me and its easier on the gas mileage to train with him them to make the trip down the road 5 times a week to make sure he trains with his "age appropriates" and I train with my "Age appropriates".

When I am training, being the only adult female, I usually work with the younger kids ( Ages 8yo through 15 in our dojo) until they have the movement down. Then I send them over to work out with an adult. My reasoning behind having them try the moves on adults is that the kids are more likely going to need to use their skills to get out of a potentially dangerous situation where their attacker is larger then them. The adult - ukes know that this is what I am doing and they blend with their nage appropriately.

I do have to agree that 5yo -10yo should not be training with adults. The maturity level to sit down, be quiet, concentrate and learn the move is just not there.

dps
09-06-2006, 03:51 PM
The maturity level to sit down, be quiet, concentrate and learn the move is just not there. Hey, I resemble that remark.

Are you sure you are talking about children?

Mark Uttech
09-06-2006, 04:45 PM
What legal implications?





I'd much rather my 11 year old daughter trained with a black belt than with a non black belt. The black belts are the safest folks to train with.


Mark

If the black belt in question was a certain john lamont, you and your daughter may have the worst problem a minor child can encounter in aikido.

In gassho, tamonmark

Mark Uttech
09-06-2006, 04:49 PM
I forgot to add, please see my post #19 on this thread.

In gassho
Mark

gdandscompserv
09-06-2006, 04:52 PM
While employed by the US Army Youth Services program I learned a valuable "rule" that should never be broken when working with minors: Never be alone with them! Always have at least one other adult present. This will protect the adult as well as the child.

Trish Greene
09-06-2006, 05:11 PM
While employed by the US Army Youth Services program I learned a valuable "rule" that should never be broken when working with minors: Never be alone with them! Always have at least one other adult present. This will protect the adult as well as the child.

In ANY situation where you work with kids you need to have at least two adults. I am also a scout leader and that is the strict rule, no one adult alone with the kids, you must have two deep leadership..very wise rule!!!

Brad Pruitt
09-06-2006, 10:57 PM
Where have we gone wrong as human beings that we have to worry so much about this kind of thing ? I know it's out there but it is just not something that I personally think about very often. I rely
on instinct and gut feeling to tell when something is not right rather than expecting that something just might happen.

happysod
09-07-2006, 02:51 AM
I rely on instinct and gut feeling to tell when something is not right rather than expecting that something just might happen I prefer to use the first rule of self-defense, avoid any potentially bad situation before it occurs - much less stressful. As for the implication that its a modern problem, you might want to remember that the age of consent is relatively recent and was brought in as way of preventing child prostitution which was very common at the time.

gdandscompserv
09-07-2006, 07:30 AM
Where have we gone wrong as human beings that we have to worry so much about this kind of thing ? I know it's out there but it is just not something that I personally think about very often. I rely
on instinct and gut feeling to tell when something is not right rather than expecting that something just might happen.
You may have the fortunate circumstances of not having to think about it, but let me assure you, we have gone wrong! If you spend much time getting to know the foster care system in American society, and those human beings in it, you will indeed ask; where have we gone wrong?
Gut instinct isn't reliable enough. It also does nothing to protect the adult in cases of false accusations. The 2 deep rule is a good one.

Ron Tisdale
09-07-2006, 07:42 AM
And unfortunately, in too many places, is still very common today.

Best,
Ron

Mark Gibbons
09-07-2006, 10:20 AM
If the black belt in question was a certain john lamont, you and your daughter may have the worst problem a minor child can encounter in aikido.

In gassho, tamonmark

Any legal issues specific to aikido?

The problem above might be part of an argument in favor of getting rid of kids classes and having them train with the adults.


Thanks,
Mark G

James Davis
09-07-2006, 10:25 AM
And unfortunately, in too many places, is still very common today.

Best,
Ron
Including here in the U.S. Human trafficking is prevalent all over the planet. There have been quite a few cases nationwide where a lot of traffic was coming and going at someone's house, and neighbors reported it, assuming that drug deals were going on. These complaints, coupled with other evidence, led to the lives of quite a few young people inside those places being saved!

Some of the people working the groves in my state work for pennies. Some have worked at gun point.

We need to keep our eyes open!

wayneth
09-07-2006, 11:07 AM
Recently the British Aikido Board implemented various legislation that banned children from training on the mat with seniors. The age of a junior was also raised from 16 to the age of 18, I do not now why this is.
The BAF also implemented a Child Protection Officer, so I guess this means that the BAF are now in the final or if not completed what the BAB have legislated.
Wayne

jonreading
09-07-2006, 11:58 AM
The biggest legal issue with children is the burden of responsibility the one assumes while watching the child - I usually call it an assumption of guardianship, but that is not the legal term. There are some aiki lawyers out there that may have the experience to be more exact of the scope of responsiblity (duty) and the specifics of the law.

An underaged child requires consent from a parent or guardian to participate in an activity, such as aikido. After consent is granted by the guardian, the burden of care then shifts to the activity organizer for the duration of the activity. For example, every child training should have parental consent. But if while training, the child is injured, molested, traumatized, or "harmed," the dojo would be liable for that harm. The same relationship exists between children and schools, day care, sports, and other activities. The organization I work for produces a large congress each year, we refuse to offer child care services because the insurance and liability it too expensive.

If you want to appreciate the legal implications of watching children, talk to your local daycare or school and ask them why they employ nurses, or what their inusrance liability premiums cost, or why they have rules against allowing children to be alone with any one adult.

There are so many activities in which we segregate children into similar age and ability groups, I just don't understand why we stop with aikido. If I told a parent her 5 year old was going to school at the 5th grade level, that would be a problem. If I told a parent her 10 year old was going to play football with the high school team, that would be a problem. If I told a parent that someone who did not undergoe a background security check was going to watch her child for a couple of hours, that would be a problem. In any other instance, parents would (or should) take issue with the risks associated with potential emotional, physcial and criminal circumstances that exist within a dojo environment.

Why is a child treated as an adult when they train aikido? Because we pat ourselves on the back and say, "Come train aikido, we are more civilized then society." I don't agree. Children can't vote or drive, they get discounts at the movie theater, and naps after meals. When was the last time you baby-talked to your boss? How often do you sit in a stroller because you are too tired to walk? We treat children different on every other social and physical level of interaction.

We treat children as adults because it is easier for adults.

Mark Gibbons
09-07-2006, 12:52 PM
......

Why is a child treated as an adult when they train aikido? Because we pat ourselves on the back and say, "Come train aikido, we are more civilized then society." I don't agree. Children can't vote or drive, they get discounts at the movie theater, and naps after meals. When was the last time you baby-talked to your boss? How often do you sit in a stroller because you are too tired to walk? We treat children different on every other social and physical level of interaction.

We treat children as adults because it is easier for adults.

Jon, thanks for the information on legal aspects.

I don't think most kids are treated as adults when they train with adults. We expect a lot from them in terms of proper behavior but we don't lose sight that we are training with kids, even if they are very skilled. Kids get benefits out of training with adults. 10 year olds learn a lot faster dealing with somewhat competent adults rather than with beginning 6 year olds. Some adults and some classes can be ok for younger kids (9-11 in my experience). It depends on a lot on which kid and takes effort and thought to make it work. I can see where it wouldn't take much to ruin this type of interaction. So far we've been lucky I guess.

A 3rd kyu 14 year old that has been training for 8 years may quite possibly give any adult anything they could want in terms of training. Some of my under 17 sempai are very good, very scary and very fun to train with. Just another perspective.

Mark

George S. Ledyard
09-07-2006, 08:59 PM
Recently 2 children aged 5 and 7 have started training with our evening aikido class.

I find it very difficult to train with them, they are less than a third of my size. my frustration lies on 3 levels:

- They are too small to offer any attack above waist height
- They sometimes lack the attention span to focus on the mat for the duration of the class
- Because of their size I do not feel comfortable throwing them or applying techniques to them.

I would really like some other perspectives on this, am I being selfish? Should I suck it up and train with whoever the Sensei allows onto the mat?

Is it reasonable to not want to practice with a five year old?

What should I do?

In my opinion it is not responsible to allow children to train with the adults. The consequences of a huge adult falling on someone that small would be devastating, even more than it would be with an adult.

Also, the basic locking technqiues of Aikido are not good to do on children until their joints start to get solid in their later teens.

If the training is being done in a manner that is safe for the children, then the adults aren't really training.

What constitutes a "child" from the sfaety standpoint has to do with size rather than age. I've had 12 and 13 year olds start training with our adults but they weighed around 135 lbs which put them heavier than many of the deamle adults and equal to many of the males.

Attention span is another issue. I've had kids of ten doing the same exact class in the advanced kid's class that I later did with the beginner adults that same evening. These kids had been training for five or so years at that point though.

I've had several teens who at first kyu had been training for almost ten years. Initially the adults would treat them like kids until they found out that the kids could do the techniques better than they could. Then I found the adults asking them for help and treating them as full adult members of the class.

So kids under aroung 110 lbs or so belong in a kids class. After that it has more to do with maturity although the joint locking issue really is age related.

gdandscompserv
09-07-2006, 09:02 PM
If the children aren't allowed to train with an adult, who will teach them aikido?

Brad Pruitt
09-08-2006, 12:26 AM
You may have the fortunate circumstances of not having to think about it, but let me assure you, we have gone wrong! If you spend much time getting to know the foster care system in American society, and those human beings in it, you will indeed ask; where have we gone wrong?
Gut instinct isn't reliable enough. It also does nothing to protect the adult in cases of false accusations. The 2 deep rule is a good one.
I do understand all this but I don't understand what it has to do with aikido and kids training.Seems to me like two seperate issues maybe three. I mean foster children are one thing, child prostitution is another and akido practice is yet another. And Human trafficking ?? Sure these things are out there but within the relation to aikido class ???? I am very familiar with the foster program but I am still a bit confused with the correlation to aikido in this context. I do believe you can go overboard with just about everthing. I'm not trying to be difficult I'm just trying to make sense of the relation this all has with eachother especially aikido training with children.To me it feels lost on some tangent.

wayneth
09-08-2006, 03:16 AM
I personally think alot of countries are now steeping up their protection on children; which will ultimately mean on the protection of children when they do sports. Like I added in an earlier post, Britain are now in a final stage to completing this. This is possibly because of the murderer Ian Huntley, who was a school caretaker.
In Britain now where a Federation is a member of the British Aikido Board, no child is meant to be on the mat where adults train. This may seem a little bit silly, since myself am in their eyes a junior and train in an all adult class.
I guess this is my opinion, and I might be far from the point.
Wayne

Ron Tisdale
09-08-2006, 08:24 AM
The connection is people(?) like John Lamont and Bruce Klickstein. Look 'em up if you have to.

Best,
Ron

gdandscompserv
09-08-2006, 09:38 AM
I do understand all this but I don't understand what it has to do with aikido and kids training.Seems to me like two seperate issues maybe three. I mean foster children are one thing, child prostitution is another and akido practice is yet another. And Human trafficking ?? Sure these things are out there but within the relation to aikido class ???? I am very familiar with the foster program but I am still a bit confused with the correlation to aikido in this context. I do believe you can go overboard with just about everthing. I'm not trying to be difficult I'm just trying to make sense of the relation this all has with eachother especially aikido training with children.To me it feels lost on some tangent.
Brad,
I run an aikido club for foster children.

James Davis
09-08-2006, 03:49 PM
I do understand all this but I don't understand what it has to do with aikido and kids training.Seems to me like two seperate issues maybe three. I mean foster children are one thing, child prostitution is another and akido practice is yet another. And Human trafficking ?? Sure these things are out there but within the relation to aikido class ???? I am very familiar with the foster program but I am still a bit confused with the correlation to aikido in this context. I do believe you can go overboard with just about everthing. I'm not trying to be difficult I'm just trying to make sense of the relation this all has with eachother especially aikido training with children.To me it feels lost on some tangent.
Occasionally, horrible things can happen when children are alone with the wrong adults. Children are also quite often the victims in situations involving human traficking. The connection with these situations is that, in most cases, justice was not done until someone noticed. Use your training to notice things that others would ignore. Look around. If someone is brave enough to ask for help, be ready to give it.

George S. Ledyard
09-09-2006, 06:47 PM
If the children aren't allowed to train with an adult, who will teach them aikido?

Obviously, kids need to train under the supervision of an adult teacher. Most folks seem to be focusing on the adult teacher potential for abuse or perception of abuse... I was talking about having younger kids in class with adults or even older youths. In the case of the typical kid's class, it's just great if you have a couple of instructors available to team teach the kids but many dojos have a tough enough time finding one person who is free in the late afternoon to do a kid's class or classes. If you don't have multiple adults to teach class, encourage the p[arents to stay and watch class. Many perents use Aikido as a form of baby sitting. They just want to drop their kid and go do errands. But if there are a few adult who stay around, then you never have to worry about any perception that there might be something going on that is not above board.

Carol Shifflett
09-09-2006, 09:49 PM
Recently 2 children aged 5 and 7 have started training with our evening aikido class . . . .<snip> Is it reasonable to not want to practice with a five year old?5- and 7-yr-olds do not do not do NOT belong on the mat with adults for the very immediate issue of physical safety (as in "physics," as in "F=ma") and for the very same reason that tricycles are not permitted on super highways. Even the more developed physical bodies known as "bicycles" are restricted to their own class environments. Children are not just small adults any more than a bicycle is merely a small Mack truck. Even dwarves and short women, regardless of size and configuration, have adult bones, joints, and brains. Young children do not.

On the surface, how nice to send a child to Aikido rather than "violent" karate. Well, hmmmmm . . .Karate classes might actually be safer. There are no wrist or joint locks (or shouldn't be). They do not teach falling and rolling, hence students are not surrounded by other students who are falling and rolling. If they were, damage would be minimal due to small size and weight.

Sending these same small bodies out to play with the Big Rigs presents enormous risk. So maybe this is just an Opportunity to practice Awareness and Control? Okay -- but imagine the potentially disastrous results of an Awareness Lapse during which a 200-pound Big Person falls on a 40-pound Person so short that no one noticed him/her walking behind uke. It would be roughly equivalent to the 200-pounder serving as a crash pad for Andre the Giant and his brother. Major damage.

Meanwhile, WHERE are the parents?
As George remarks, many people use these classes as karate kiddie care. If there is some compelling reason to start Aikido at ages 5 & 7, then I would want to see the parents there on the mat working with the kids, not just dropping them off and zooming away. And students (it's usually the short females) should not be dragooned into providing child care while the others practice.

Check with the insurance providers for your dojo. They are the experts in the equations of risk and injury -- and I would bet dollars to donuts that they would take a mighty dim view of this. Perhaps the parents are there, but you didn't mention them. If they are not, it doesn't sound as tho it is merely annoying for the other adult students, it sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Inappropriate touching, child abuse and John Lamont are NOT the first issues that leap to my mind in this scenario. It's the potential for "pancaking" -- in the worst possible sense of the word -- and the inability of a 5-yr-old to give an adult student the practice and workout that he's paying for. As you describe it, it seems unwise in so many ways. WHY is your sensei permitting this?

Since Lamont has come up, I will mention that I actually took my first classes from him. I was not a young girl, therefore, in theory, safe from the behavior that has given him such an unsavory reputation. But there were other behaviors in that class that struck me as extremely odd so I left. I didn't learn of his reputation until years later. However, I have retained a General Life Lesson from that experience: If you see one instance of bizarre behavior and poor judgment, chances are there are others that you don't see -- yet.

Carol Shifflett

Ron Tisdale
09-11-2006, 08:53 AM
Very nice post Carol. Thanks,

Best,
Ron

Mark Uttech
09-11-2006, 07:40 PM
Good post Carol. For those not in the know, John Lamont is a convicted sex offender now on parole and has resumed teaching aikido in the Greensboro, NC area. His parole stipulates that he be barred from teaching anyone under 18, but how safe is a stipulation? Those who want to check into the story, simply google the name john lamont.

In gassho,
Mark

George S. Ledyard
09-17-2006, 09:39 PM
Since Lamont has come up, I will mention that I actually took my first classes from him. I was not a young girl, therefore, in theory, safe from the behavior that has given him such an unsavory reputation.
Wow, I never knew anyone who had trained with him... I do have a friend of mine up here in Seattle that actually had a date with Ted Bundy when she was in high school. You can imagine how she felt when the news broks about him!

jonreading
09-18-2006, 10:45 AM
That's the problem with people, it's often difficult to distinguish the bad ones from the good ones...

As a point of clarification, I see several posts that define children through different ages. I classify children as 12 or younger, 13-19 as teens. Legally, most states classify children as "minors" or individuals of 17 years of age or younger. I certainly see the dangers of children training aikido diminish as they grow older, especially in the teens. Teens are a different story. Teens are bigger, stronger, more intelligent and capable of making informed decisions than children. I feel more comfortable working teens into adult classes on a case by case basis.

Ron Tisdale
09-18-2006, 12:53 PM
Complete agreement there. Teens can often be a vital part of an adult class, and can benefit greatly. IF they have the correct mindset. One of my all time favorite training partners was a teen who took aikido keiko EXTREMELY seriously. He was a Russian imigrant, and his aikido was excellent. Unfortunately, I think finances and family things forced him to stop training, and I've lost touch with him. Hopefully some day he will come back to the mat.

Best,
Ron

hapkidoike
09-19-2006, 09:03 PM
All I know is that there are no kids (and no women) that train at my aikido dojo and I am greatful. There are kids at the hapkido dojo that I attended for the past year, and they sure could make things difficult for everybody involved.