View Full Version : Aikido Games for Children?

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05-05-2004, 07:11 PM
I've been put in charge of the childrens classes while their teacher is in Japan. Rather fun, but some of them are quite young and quickly loose concentration while doing techniques and need games breaks to prevent them from being bored. The older ones want to practice techniques and complain if there is too much playing games. I've been able to balance it so and so to keep both happy, but would like some advice on activities:

So... any good aikido related fun and games for the young ones out there?

05-05-2004, 07:48 PM
"Throw the Teacher" contests, with points for distance and accuracy?
Heather, about to get self in trouble

05-06-2004, 01:26 AM

I teach the juniors at our club. the attention span will be different for all, but shortest for the youngest (7 in my case). It is important that you don't spend too long on any one technique, no more than 5 minutes, but break them up during this time and change their partners. I too use games, the favourite being the janken relay (janken = scissors, paper, stone). I have two variations on this, split them into 2 teams starting in opposite corners of the mat. The first one from each side meet in the middle and play janken with me officiating. The winner does mae ukemi to a neutral corner, the loser does ushiro ukemi to the back of their starting line. the game is over when one team gets all of their players to the neutral corner. Variation on this is a shikko version, they shikko to the middle of the mat, winner shikko's to the neutral corner, loser does backwards shikko to the back of the line. Points to note, keep the tempo up playing janken otherwise the kids in the line can start to lose interest, and when they get to the neutral corner, have them kneeling in a line in seiza otherwise they will just stand around and talk.

There are more ideas for games here (haven't submitted mine yet).




05-07-2004, 02:41 PM
and when they get to the neutral corner, have them kneeling in a line in seiza otherwise they will just stand around and talk.

I find tremendous comfort in knowing that children are the same all over the world ;)

By remarkable coincidence, the kids themselves suggested that very same game you described on thursdays practice.. is it part of the grand aikido curriculum or what? And cheers for the tips!

05-07-2004, 02:45 PM
Susan, over at "The Mirror" column taught the children's classes at our dojo for a while. I'm sure she can give you some fun ones, too.

05-10-2004, 10:48 AM
Check out AikidoKids.com.

I used to play ukemi games-have them roll out of the way of sponge balls being thrown at them. Roll and pick up a ball. Samauri tag (shikko tag). I also use to take those foam pieces that are flexible and just happen to be shaped like a fat jo and have them practice getting out of the way. I'd also have them get in a circle and vary the sweep to the legs having them jump over the foam bat.

I also found kids love to do the rolls. I would get one of the big thick foam mats and have them practive high falls, layout falls, rolls with slaps, etc. The mats are so soft it builds their ukemi confidence since it doesn't hurt.

05-10-2004, 10:49 AM
P.S. I think Bruce Bookman sells a tape on teaching kids aikido. I believe he is in Seattle WA.

05-10-2004, 11:09 AM
Homma Sensei has a pretty good book out on the subject.