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10-12-2002, 04:33 AM
just on a curious note, how many of you people out there have family who practice aikido with you? whether it be a spouse, partner, father, mother, daughter, son, etc....
did you inspire them to join aikido or did they inspire you to join?

i have a girlfriend in thailand (where i am not unfortunately at the moment) who is expressing great interest in joining aikido and i think this is a great thing that i would like to share and train with her and i feel that this kind of thing can add greatly to a relationship. from any of you with experience in this, does it add to your relationship?

on another note, there is a forum on teaching a child aikido. im curious as for any of you sensei out there who have children, have you raised your children on aikido? do they express interest in what you do as a teacher? at what age do you try to let them learn?
i have desires at some point to teach aikido and have my own dojo (providing of course that my development in the art is suficient to be able to teach to others) and i have ideas about taking children (should i at some point have some) to the dojo to teach from a very early age how to fall and muck around, in a fun and not serious way.
anyone have any experience in this?

just a few little ideas i like to throw around and see if i can incite some kind of reaction.

take it easy.

10-12-2002, 04:52 AM
I train with my girlfriend. In fact, her enthusiasm was one of the main reasons I finally got off my backside and joined the dojo. She really enjoys it now, and doing something together is really important for us, as we have a small wench who has made significant changes to our lifestyle... :D

On another note, I notice she is much more self-confident also. Means she shouts at me more, but overall a good thing... :D

I am also interested in opinions on child aikido as our small wench is two and I would like to know when it is commonly accepted that children can begin aikido. No, I haven't bought the smallest dogi known to mankind yet, but just curious.


colin slider
10-12-2002, 07:36 AM
my two youngest children (boy aged 11 and daughter aged 7) started training with me at the beginning of this year - they love it.

still working on getting my wife (who coincidentally is a Thai - I'm British)to join the dojo with us.

as for me and my kids - it's been great and really strengthened our relationship - it's great after class when we all sit in the coffeshop for half an hour and all they want to talk about is what they did in their class that day.

aubrey bannah
10-12-2002, 08:13 AM
I have a wife and four children that train in Yoshinkan Aikido as well as myself. My wife has 20 yrs plus experiance in Judo, and recently received a 1st kyu in Aikido after 2yrs training. We train about four lessons a week. My eldest daughter is 14 yrs and the next son is 12 yrs, they have been training for seven yrs now.My daughter has a junior black belt and a 2nd kyu, while eldest son tries for junior black belt in december. The next two are 10 yrs and six yrs old. The 10 yr old has been traing for five yrs and has a brown belt, the six yr old has been training for just a year. These only attend one lesson a week while the eldest attend 2 or 3 times, except in school holidays when it's 5 or 6 times a week. The two youngest don't attend the adult classes. This really takes it out of them because they attend adult classes then. The training for the kids in Aikido seems to be a two edged sword because they devolop so strongly in so many ways, ie there sense of right or wrong, ethics etc, they won't take ahalf hearted answer to the questions they pose. Sensei was a ueshi deshi to Shioda sensei for ten yrs and after the kids get use to the descipline they seem to thrive on the atmosphere in the dojo. The first five min in class are spent in siza as well as any time that sensei demostrating a technique.

Cheers Aubrey

10-12-2002, 09:12 AM

I'm currently in your spot. :) I have an 8 month old baby boy and my wife, who practiced once a while back, is strongly encouraging me to "enroll" our son in our class because she likes the philosophies, techniques, etc. I'd love to have my son in my class, it'd be a riot.

I gotta believe family training is a good thing, up until my son forms an opinion about the art and decides to stay or leave. But yeah, I'm looking forward to this challenge and seeing how it evolves over the years.

The coffeeshop at the end is a great idea (or something similar), giving you and your family a chance to talk about what happened and dealing with questions.

Any more comments? This is a relevant thread to me, so I'm definitely interested too. :)

10-14-2002, 08:07 AM
Well my wife have never really been interested in taking up Aikido - which in a way is a good thing, as it would be expencive for us to pay babysitters each time we would go to the dojo or to a seminar :D

My oldest daughter (3 years old) often proclaims that when she gets older she will start doing Aikido as well. I try not to get my hopes up too much, but I really am looking forward to enrol her when she's 6 or 7 years old. Hopefully it will appeal to her as much as it does to me. If she's not ready at that age I might try to get her to take up Judo first. I think it's a bit easier for kids, and a very good practice for learning to roll and control your body.

I once brought my mom to the dojo. She liked it (she's 64), however in her hometown there is no aikido-dojo so now she is taking Tai chi classes - often calling me on the phone complaining of the lack of 'martial attitude' in her teacher. I'm so proud :)

Ta Kung
10-14-2002, 09:21 AM
I want my girlfrined to join me in Aikido practise, but she dosen't want to. She loves watching it, though.

Anyone got an idea how I can trick her into start practising? :)


Ron Tisdale
10-14-2002, 10:03 AM
Yeah...Its called a front strike...just aim at her head and let fly...

Ron (just kidding) Tisdale

10-14-2002, 10:09 AM
I've got a 4yr old and a 3 yr old, and would like them to start in martial arts. I'm not sure if aikido is right, especially as we do not have children classes - just adult - and I am thinking about judo children's classes for them when they get to 5. Any thoughts or advice?

10-14-2002, 10:26 AM
My daughter (3yr) has been trying to roll since she was about 1 :p

I'm thinking of starting her out on gymnastics first, leading to Aikido when she's a bit older. How is the children's grasp of Budo ethics when they're young/young?

in any case if i don't teacher to roll properly soon she'll end up in trouble..

10-14-2002, 04:16 PM
Yeah...Its called a front strike...just aim at her head and let fly...

Ron (just kidding) Tisdale
Ron, I want to drink a beer with you some time!

10-14-2002, 09:33 PM
My wife (Japanese) practiced for a year or so before pregnancy, but has not been back to the mat since, partly because of our son, and partly because she suffered some back problems after a 36 hour epidural. She is healthy again now and talking about getting back on the mat in a year or so, along with our son. He is now two and does mae ukemi on the bed, started doing it himself after watching an Aikido video. My elder son is 13 and also trained for about a year before I transferred to Japan, he hasn`t practiced since though.

Here in our dojo`s in Tokyo, we have many family members practicing, a lot of people turn up to enroll their kids about 5 years old, one or both parents join with them and seem to continue. We also have at least 4 husband and wife teams training that I can think of, off the top of my head.

I have just returned from our annual gasshuku, there were three kids in attendance with a participating parent in tow.

10-15-2002, 02:48 AM
I don't have a family myself, but I'd like to reply to the part about children learning aikido.

I noticed that people who have had gymnastic or ballet experience are more graceful in taking ukemi. In the dojo where I practice, one of the girls there has background in gymnastics and ballet and even in her first few days of practice she could already high fall easily!

Since ballet and gymnastics are one of those skills that are best learned as a child, maybe it would be also good to get your kids enrolled in those lessons aside from (or before) aikido. They'd certainly appreciate it when they start doing the techniques and taking ukemi, and presumably the resulting gracefulness and flexibility will lessen chances for injury during practice.

This is just my observation, though. I don't know about others who know people who have background in gymnastics and take up martial arts, too.

Just a thought. :)

10-15-2002, 06:16 AM
My wife was never really interested in MAs, but was so curious about that Aikido I kept talking about (this was before we lived together and got married) - so she tried it one day and (with times on and off due to work, moves, child birth, etc.) is still on it today (although, I think, with different reasons for doing Aikido).

Now in my own dojo, where I have to teach every class, it is a bit tricky for her to train (we can not alternate the classes each of us goes to anymore) - and not need a "baby" sitter (our daughter is little over 4 now).

So we have set up two classes per night with the earlier being timed so my wife can train for that hour, our daugther watches (and does some drawing on a table next to the mat), and still gets to bed at a reasonable hour.

It's not perfect, but it's been working so far.

As for the kids training - yes, I think Aikido (or "digestible-by-kids" forms of it) is very good even at a younger age. Our's is practically growing up with the dojo, and she is the reason I started a kids class in our dojo. She is the youngest in the group (she's as big as the 5-6 year olds) and the exception age-wise, otherwise I don't let kids below age 5 on the mat. Very soon we will have to open another group for bigger kids, the current spread from age 5 to 8 is the maximum possible (in my pov), and the bigger 8 year olds would be better off in a group 9 to 11 or so.

So far my experience, good luck in finding your own optimized set-ups.


10-15-2002, 11:19 AM
I recently started Aiki back after a long layoff, and my fiancee decided to jump right in and try it out, having heard me wax poetic about it and seen how superhero-like I am in videos of my old classes! ;)

She has an acute fear of falling (!!!!) but after just a month is well along the road to conquering that, and has a great concept of how to be a good uke and is fantasic at applying her limited number of techniques to randori. Once things start to click she's going to be a beast!

henry brown
10-15-2002, 03:15 PM
I think Aikido is hard for kids, and I don't want to teach my own children! I have a 9 year old girl who has started European fencing, and two boys 5 and 7 who practice shotokan karate.

10-15-2002, 08:05 PM
I think Aikido is hard for kids
I think the the complete opposite on this, having watched the kids classes in our 4 dojo`s over the past 20 months.

We admit kids from age 5, and I have been truly impressed with the speed that they pick things up, especially the ukemi. The Sensei who teaches the kids in my dojo is pretty strict, but in a fun way, he insists that they only learn aikido for 45 minutes, he then takes the kids onto a side mat and gets them to play games fro another 30 mins or so. The games all have an underlying aikido theme to them, i.e. ukemi relay races or shikko relay races, in addition, he throws in a few physical exercise type games, keeping records of their achievements and letting them know when they are improving. I have come to appreciate his format a great deal and beilieve that there is good value in having a kids class.

10-16-2002, 03:29 AM
I think Aikido is hard for kids, and I don't want to teach my own children! I have a 9 year old girl who has started European fencing, and two boys 5 and 7 who practice shotokan karate.
I've been doing both Shotokan Karate and Aikido, and if you find that Aikido is the hardest of the two, then either your way of Aikido is very different from mine, or your local Karate dojo is very different from the one I went to :D

Seriously: I think that Aikido would be a far better foundation for a childrens MA-program than karate, but as I stated in my post above Judo is probably even better. I know that karate dojo's vary a lot, but some of them instill a rather competitive mind in the young students, in a way that is not allways positive. On the other hand learning a striking art would be benificial for anyone who would later on pursue Aikido.

The conclusion must be that in the end it comes down to the person being trained and the actual dojo. Any good teacher who trains kids with respect and care are the good choice allmost no matter what art he teaches.

10-16-2002, 08:38 AM
two boys 5 and 7 who practice shotokan karate.
Who do they train with?

10-16-2002, 10:24 AM
just on a curious note, how many of you people out there have family who practice aikido with you?
My older brother started due to accute sibling rivalry and pressure ;). He was my teaching assitant for about a year and made it to 3rd kyu before having to drop out to complete a degree while working full time. He'll be back.

I met my wife at the dojo. She made it to 4th kyu. Her interest dropped off, but I think eventually (hopefully) she'll be back.

Two of my older nephews (twenty something) have interest in joining. We'll see. A younger nephew takes tae-kwon-do. I'm working on converting him.

And finally, my daughter. One year old and already does a baby kiai (eeeyaaaaee!). I'm trying to be insidius with her instruction in aikido. I hold her when practicing tenkan movement, let her sit in my lap as I do back rolls, etc. She loves it!

On teaching children: I've only taught one class and it's a whole different ballgame than teaching adults. I have, however, watched many classes with our experienced children's instructors. What I've realized was that children need action, less talk, and a well thought out curriculum that is captivating and fun. The instructor needs to present confidence at all times. Also, don't forget that you're their teacher not their parent. Be sure to talk with the parents about yours and theirs expectations concerning training and dicipline.

Good luck!

10-17-2002, 09:41 AM
No one in my family trains. My two sons took some Tae Kwon do when they were young. IMHO, its inappropriate to try to get others to do soemthing that we may be passionate about, but they couldn't care less. My family is very suportive of my life long passion as a perpetual student of the martial arts. They don't have to join me on the mat. In fact, the separation and having soemthing of my own is rather nice.

Perhaps if we want to enter and blend with them, we should go into what they are interested in. Much more loving.

Until again,


10-17-2002, 10:00 AM
I inspired my girl friend to start aikido.. she loves it!

Its pretty lucky that she has started otherwise we wouldnt see each other...

hehehe.. she becomes my wife tomorrow! :D

10-17-2002, 11:09 AM
hehehe.. she becomes my wife tomorrow! :D
Good luck, and God bless. :)


Eila Saarni
10-17-2002, 11:40 PM

hehehe.. she becomes my wife tomorrow! :D[/QUOTE]
Ah, Congradulations

Yeah, My brother takes aikido with me, He has a cold lately so he cant train, but whenever he's there, I eather try to stay away from him or go out of my way to train with him...mostly staying away from him... though if I end up with him he'll just remember he has to fall fast and know I dont usually have mercy for him on the mat, but he has none for me eather so it balances out,... ;) ;)

Though,On the subject of kiddies training, I think its a good idea, at my dojo,theres kids class, they have so much fun, and its fun to be thrown by them beacause they're young and have few things that weigh them down(my sensei said somthing like it but I forgot it), like getting a raise or the stock market, or what college to go to...yet..., any way.. I think getting kids aikido, or possibly any martial art will serve them well ;) Just my opinion at the moment :)


aubrey bannah
10-18-2002, 02:56 AM
My wife's sister and herself have a Judo dojo, so my kids get to practice Judo as well as their Aikido. I would have to say that Aikido and Judo do not mix well. The main training in Judo is geared towards competition and I notice when I started to throw the kids that they would resist each throw as much as they could.

You would get right on the point of the throw and they would drop all there wheight to resist, which is what they do in Judo to stop a point being score against them. The ballet & gymnastics do help, you can see the difference in the kids with the one's that have done ballet. Our kids class lasts for a hour and has a game break in the middle and at the end of class. It is Yoshinkan Aikido so has atemi, but the kids seem to follow the movments easily. It seem's to be hard for them to remember the whole of the technique but as soon as they make they first movement the rest of it flows.

Even for the parent's that bring their kids to Aikido and aren't interested in MA they say they see the improvment in their kids.

Cheers Aubrey

10-18-2002, 05:22 AM
... hehehe.. she becomes my wife tomorrow! :D
RUN boy RUN!!!! ;) sorry - guess it's too late now anyway so best whishes to you and your wife :)