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Sita Nanthavong
05-01-2008, 01:36 PM
Please forgive me for asking this as I'm sure it's been asked tons of times before... but I'm at the library right now and they time how much time you are allowed on the 'net. :(

At what age do you think it's appropriate to introduce young children to Aikido? For instance, I have a son... and while he's not anywhere near an age where he's able to train (ie, he's only 5 weeks old), I would eventually like him to train in Aikido.

Thanks in advance!!

05-01-2008, 01:50 PM
It's going to depend on a lot on the child and the programs available.

Some kids are ready as early as four. Most (IME), not until they are at least six. Many not until they are nine or ten.

Also, kids younger than eight should be in a program geared toward younger kids. More a "prep school" for later Aikido training than training per se. Such a program exists at the New School Aikido dojo in Stockton and it does make a difference when the kids spend a year or two in it before moving on to the main kids program.

But, really, there's no specific age at which All Kids Are Ready.

Erik Calderon
05-01-2008, 04:30 PM
The youngest child starting at my school was 4 years old. He is know 9, and continues to come to class.

Janet Rosen
05-01-2008, 06:40 PM
I think when they are old enough to follow simple instructions, work with partners, have some gross motor control and play group games they are good for a children's only class - I've seen 5 and 6 yr olds do very well but some are not mature enough until 7 or 8.

Mark Uttech
05-06-2008, 09:26 PM
I have been teaching children for 19 years, and my experiences have taught me that a good age for boys to start is 8, girls at 7. A children's class should be a true refuge for children to learn self protection. It should not be a day care center.

In gassho,


Aiki Teacher
05-06-2008, 10:37 PM
My Dojo Cho sets the age at 5, but honestly being an educator, I would set the age at 6-7 instead of 5. They just don't seem to be able to follow directions and stay focused at the younger age.