View Full Version : senior project idea... Aikido Demonstration?

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Ryan Sanford
07-23-2007, 03:06 PM
At my High School, we are required to do some type of senior project as part of our graduation requirement. I'll officially start planning what I'm going to do in Sept., but lately I've been kicking around the idea of arranging an Aikido demonstration at the nearby middle school (I live in Clackamas, Oregon, by the way). In the past, other students have done assemblies at the same school for their senior project, and I'd love to do something like that. I'm wondering if anyone knows what it's like to plan something like that, what kind of funds are needed, preparations, etc. Also, I'd be interested in hearing from Oregon Aikido students about possible participation (nothing official, I'm just kicking the idea around). Thanks in advance!

07-23-2007, 03:26 PM

My dojo participated in a senior project event last year. The senior that put it together invited several schools to participate in the demo and as part of his overal project, did a history for each of the martial arts presented. Everything he did, from the invites, to communciation, advertising, etc, was documented. We had aikido, whushu, karate, kali/escrima and some other home grown system perform. Afterwards, there was a pizza party for all participants. It was held at the High School gym. Not sure what kind of costs were involved.

Good luck ...

07-23-2007, 04:09 PM
Compliments. Great project.
Contact the local Aikido schools (plural).
Contact the facility.
Contact the press.
Get it covered to promote nonviolent conflict resolution and both personal and social responsibility.
I always have ideas, feel free to contact me.
Rei, Domo.

07-24-2007, 02:36 AM
Hi Ryan,

My daughter did a similar project in her final school year in the UK which seemed to work well.
She organised 5 (I think) taster activities witht he help of local sports clubs and,of course, our dojo.

Her experience was that all of the clubs were really positive and the day was enjoyed by all.

Good luck!

Peter Seth
07-24-2007, 05:50 AM
Hi ryan.:)
Great idea, but you also could present the event for a nominated charity. Ive been organising an event for the past 7 years to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. 12 to 14 different arts take part - had participants from all over the world come along to support the cause but mostly from the north of england. Gets different arts together, increases public awareness in the arts and also the charity. (Raised thousands of pounds over the years - arts becoming less insular and more multi art courses held - also a local martial arts family/fellowship has been created). Still trying to get the idea spread around the uk to get all martial arts clubs/orgs to do similar during the same week (Usually in May) could raise many millions for charity and also martial arts profile nationally. A win - win situation everyway.

Contact all local martial arts/ venue - set date/time etc for event (may be able to get venue etc free if you explain the charity angle)? - agree on a charity - get the charity involved, Liaise with them - publicise the event (dont be coy - get tv, press etc involved - even nationally - never know idea may take off across the country). Very important to ensure insurances are all in order - participants, venue etc. Public and personal liability.

Also so it remains your idea/project you may want your parents/teacher/sensei or someone you trust to help organise so you dont get the project 'hijacked' by others for their own interests. It can happen.
Go for it! and good luck.


Ryan Sanford
07-26-2007, 12:22 AM
Oh, thanks everyone, for the advice! I never even considered contacting the media, but that would be a great idea!
I'm sure the school would love it if it were charity event, too.
I'll make sure to add "non-violent conflict resolution" too, they'd appreciate that, I'm sure.
Any other advice is much appreciated!

Erik Calderon
07-26-2007, 09:19 PM
I've done many demonstrations in many schools, not as a project because I own my own dojo.

It's a lot of fun, and the schools are very supportive. They have all the equipment, especially if you plan it during a school festival, like here in Houston every school has an international festival.

The school will supply the equipment and Audience.


Here is a link of some photos of a demo I did at an elementry school.

If you have any questions about planning or if you would like some ideas, send me a message and I can send you outlines and notes to what I've done in the past.

I've also got many other groups to participate. In the photos you will see a karate group as well as a ninjutsu group, the theme was martial arts to Japan.

Erik Calderon
Aikido ShinKiKan.

07-28-2007, 02:46 PM
We've done demos for schools and also the police and the military. There are people there who would like to challenge you and heckle you but its normal.
Practice your choreography and techniques. Its always nice to see some fast techniques and some hardfalls. The hecklers usually become quiet when they see people getting thrown. Or maybe not, but the reaction would be like "OMG!, holy$h!#, how'd he do that?!"

I posted this video a while back, maybe this'll help.


Ryan Sanford
10-10-2007, 08:11 PM
Alright! So I'm bumping this thread because things are official now... for my senior project, I'll be advertising the dojo I attend in a few ways, including a demonstration, putting up fliers and etc. around my school, and other things.

The big part here is the demonstration though. I received some excellent and very helpful advice already which I appreciate. Also, any other comments or suggestions are appreciated. Of course, I'm also going to talk with my Sensei too.

*EDIT: I hope you guys don't mind if I print out and save this thread to use as "research" for my project portfolio? Thanks! :)

Ron Tisdale
10-11-2007, 07:51 AM
Hi Ryan,

Good luck with your project. One suggestion for the demo...make most of it an introduction to a normal class at your dojo...show the warm ups, explain what the goals of them are, show the ukemi practice, again explain, show basic movements and explain, then relate that to the actual waza.

I've participated in a few demos that followed that sort of format...experienced MAists and newbies alike felt that that made for a better introduction to the art than the slam bam thank you maam demos.

Just a suggestion,

10-11-2007, 01:33 PM

IMHO, all age group could appreciate, enjoy, and benefit from seeing Aikido. You would need to custom make the presentation to the age group and setting. Children need to see the fun (while the parents see the physical and social benefits). Adolescents (middle and high school) may be more impressed by the fighting and self defense. College into adulthood more the personal development. Get a developmental psychology chart and see the issues appropriate to the age.

I would tend to start with some flash, perhaps randori to get their attention. Show all techniques in training and in self defense application. The older crowd may enjoy the weapons work. End with the flash again, randori. In the midst, give some background and explanation (nonviolent and non competitive philosophically and in actual application). Tell them what they are going to see, show them, and then tell them what they saw. If you can pull someone from the crowd to show a demonstration, it may help to bridge the gap with the audience (just don't hurt them).

Typically, IMHO, demonstrations are just too long. If at a school, you may be a part of something else with limited time 15-30 minutes. Remember people have short attention spans, we live in a time of sound and vision bytes, and busy schedules. Keep it short, get their attention, leave them wanting more. Tell them how to get it.

Feel free to use my ideas in anyway you see fit. Hope it goes well by you. Film it, post it on YouTube, and lets us see for ourselves.

10-13-2007, 01:33 PM
If you can pull someone from the crowd to show a demonstration, it may help to bridge the gap with the audience (just don't hurt them).

We usually try to do this in our demos.... selecting someone to perform a simple throw or pin on one of our students. This will show the audience that anyone can do Aikido with some training. Having the spectator perform the move, rather than recieve the move also tends to spark their interest, rather than just give them a sore wrist.