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View Full Version : half hour 'seminar' for a small class of 6-10 year olds- etiquette and ideas


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RevAaron
05-29-2008, 10:08 PM
Hello fellow aikidokas!

This last semester, I taught a weekly after school science class for K-2 kids at the local elementary school. I've been asked to do a short demo at a day camp the school has each summer. Three small groups of 7-10 year old kids, 30 minutes for each group. The idea would be to show each group a few neat looking but simple techniques, talk about some history, and then have the kids try out some lock escapes, or some other basic and cool things.

My questions are these:

1. I've been studying Aikido for about 9 months, with regular attendence at two days a week. I've not had a test yet, the situation seems a bit uncoordinated, though I was told a couple months ago that I was ready for my 5th Kyu test. I've led warm-up a few times, taught rolling and some Aiki Taisos to folks new to our class a handful of times.

Is it generally allowed for someone with 9 months of training but with no rank to teach a simple demo like this? I posed the question to the sensei over email, and as we have different instructors on different days I plan on talking about it in person with the chief instructor.

2. Assuming no issues with question #1, does anyone have any good ideas for what to demo and what to try to teach? Something that is easy to teach for younger kids, and if you don't have experience with that, something that total martial arts newbies could figure out.

Thanks in advance!

Aaron

Stefan Stenudd
05-30-2008, 03:32 AM
It would not hurt to ask your chief instructor :)

What to teach?
Well, ukemi is great fun for kids. I don't think they need fancy stuff, because to them what's fun is fancy. Isn't that Satori?

Anyway, wrist twists should be avoided, whereas throws like iriminage, tenchinage, and kokyuho probably work fine. And I think that kids enjoy suwarikokyuho, because kids are easy to amuse.
Oh - and basic taisabaki training is good. Easy to do, and also with its own sophisticated message that is taught just by doing it.

Just my two cents - I really don't know much about aikido for kids...

Laurel Seacord
05-30-2008, 06:52 AM
In the childrens classes I help out with, I think of 7 minutes as the minimum block of time for anything (sit seiza and listen to the teacher talk about aikdo in daily life; practice an exercise all lined up; see the teacher demonstrate and explain a simple technique; practice the technique with a partner). So at most you would be able to do four things in 30 minutes, and more likely only three if you want to make a clear presentation. I would suggest picking one simple message to get across, and three ways to express it..
I also second Mr. Stenudd's suggestion of suwarikokyuho (I think this must be what we in Ki Society call kokyu dosa) as a fun practice for children that teaches them about non-dissension (that non-dissension is not the same as avoiding conflict).

RevAaron
05-30-2008, 01:40 PM
Thanks for the ideas! I was also thinking of kokyudosa (what we call it too, in our Seidokan-related school), and perhaps another "ki game" (as we call them, informally). Any other ideas along these lines would be also appreciated.

They want a little info too- the theme of that week or day is world cultures, so I'm to speak a little bit on topics related to the history of Aikido as related to Japan, Japanese martial arts, philosophical connections, etc. Not in those terms quite, but you get the idea.

With the kids being on their own schedule, I guess I'd like to prepare four or five things, with the intent of getting through 2 or 3 of them well. Fortunately, our next-door neighbors include with a couple kids, 6 and 8 year old brothers, whom I regularily show some of the things I've learned. It'll be handy to have them to practice on.

30 minutes is such a short period of time- it'd be fun to teach backward rolling, as it's something younger kids seem to pick up quicker than adults.

Thanks again-
Aaron

judojo
05-31-2008, 11:47 PM
Dear Sensei Aaron Reichow, God Bless America. The topic about 30 minute Aikido Discussion for Children 6-10 years old thus interest me, because I questioned my self on Wazas for Children and such Illusive Question. I love you all. Reynaldo L. Albano

justin
06-01-2008, 07:34 AM
My questions are these:

Is it generally allowed for someone with 9 months of training but with no rank to teach a simple demo like this? I posed the question to the sensei over email, and as we have different instructors on different days I plan on talking about it in person with the chief instructor.

I myself have never heard of this especially children as you have to be extremely careful a roll in the wrong place could cause lasting damage to undeveloped bones