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-   -   Your thoughts on age restrictions! (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=260)

Kevin 09-09-2000 11:48 PM

I am just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about age and rank restrictions to children and teens. Example: You have to be this old to be able to test for this rank.

Kevin
http://www.aikidouniverse.com

Nick 09-10-2000 06:58 AM

Personally, I feel that you should judge the individual by his technique, attitude, etc, rather than his age.

But, I suppose I might be just a bit biased in this area ;).

Kanpai,

-Nick

Chuck Clark 09-10-2000 08:39 AM

The Jiyushinkai syllabus doesn't allow any joint locking techniques before 13 years of age. From 6 through 13 there are lots of drills and games containing kihon (principles) which emphasize posture, movement, ukemi, balance breaking, lots of judo type throwing and groundwork.

After 13th birthday, the student enters into the regular curriculum. No one is promoted to shodan under 15 years of age (and that is the exception).

If a young student has grown up in this practice, they are more than capable of shodan level sometime between 15 or 16 years of age.


guest1234 09-10-2000 04:22 PM

no joint locking techniques below age 13...what a great safety thought (i wonder if all kids classes do that?)!
so do you have a separate teen class then, or how do the teens learn those techniques when preteens are in the group?

Nick 09-11-2000 06:49 PM

My dojo does not offer children's classes, I suppose my size had more to do with me being allowed to train than age and maturity (I lacked both at the time). I'm just glad they didn't turn me away as they could have... my life would be much more different (and I doubt much better) if they had...

I'm going to have to stick with my 'judge the individual, not the age"... I've seen a 10 year old sankyu with more discipline and technique than some nidan I've seen...

-Nick


guest1234 09-11-2000 10:31 PM

Nick,

I'm not sure of your age, or your size, but the dojo that restricts joint-locking techniques below age 13 probably does so from an anatomy and physiology standpoint, not your maturity or your skill. i'm a family doc, so i have to admit, it's a good idea: younger students, no matter how tall, probably still have a significant amount of give in their joints, due to some areas of their bones still being soft. joint locks could inadvertantly seriously damage something before the student felt much in the way of pain in order to tap. also, if something does break in that area in a young person still growing, it may damage the growth plate, the area where the bone is lengthening. if this happens, when the break heals it may prematurely close that growth plate, leaving you with one arm or leg shorter that the other. not good. so if you are still growing, and i'll bet you are, be careful in those tecniques.

Highway 09-12-2000 09:48 AM

Well put Colleen,you have the advantage of your madeical background to help you see this from a healthy point of view.I did not see it that way but you have influenced my view and I tend to agree with you.I also feel that if the child has the mental and physical ability, and wants to learn, then teach.A mind is a terrible thing to waste.It takes a very long time to become balanced in any martial art and the youger a student is when he / she reaches that point, then the sooner we can all benefit from them.

Chuck Clark 09-12-2000 10:10 AM

As I stated in my last post, when youngsters reach 13 years of age, they are absorbed into the adult classes. If we had a large mid-teen group it might be different.

I taught this basic system with kids for about 25 years and it works really well. Curiously, here in the Tempe, AZ area most parents want their kids involved in something where they can "win trophies, etc). I have had several parents say, "why should I bring them if they can't get something out of it other than practice in the dojo?" It seems that trying to answer that question so that they understand is hopeless.

We have plenty of students who seem to understand though. They all have their own cars or ride bikes. Kids who have to depend on parents to bring them usually don't last long.

Cheers,

john 09-12-2000 06:04 PM

Nick,
I agree with Collen's observation about not stressing young peoples bones and ligaments to a dangerous degree. However, I do feel that young people can benefit from the discipline and strict code of behavior taught in Aikido and in the current climate this can only contribute to the greater good. The earlier we can teach them the better, although I would stress that very strict supervision from both qualified Instructors and 'mat marshalls'(i.e volunteer mums) and junior only classes would be necessary to ensure safety.

chrisinbrasil 09-13-2000 03:05 PM

Hey evreebodee,
I believe age restrictions as Mr. Clark enforces them are a good idea. The fact that younger kids can be hurt by some movements is good enough reason to separate the classes. I child might also find it difficult to manipulate a much larger persons joints and weight and therefore wouldn´t be able to apply technique and therefore should probably not be advanced further than his capabilities.
At your service,
Christopher

Nick 09-13-2000 05:49 PM

Quote:

ca wrote:
Nick,

I'm not sure of your age, or your size, but the dojo that restricts joint-locking techniques below age 13 probably does so from an anatomy and physiology standpoint, not your maturity or your skill. i'm a family doc, so i have to admit, it's a good idea: younger students, no matter how tall, probably still have a significant amount of give in their joints, due to some areas of their bones still being soft. joint locks could inadvertantly seriously damage something before the student felt much in the way of pain in order to tap. also, if something does break in that area in a young person still growing, it may damage the growth plate, the area where the bone is lengthening. if this happens, when the break heals it may prematurely close that growth plate, leaving you with one arm or leg shorter that the other. not good. so if you are still growing, and i'll bet you are, be careful in those tecniques.

I totally agree, those techniques are dangerous no matter who you do them on, and I totally back his theory. I was not disagreeing with Clark-sensei, as I may have come off, I was just 'stickin to my guns' saying that age can be important (IE, you might not want to slam a nikyo or sankyo on a 10 year old or a 75 year old), but it should not be a basis in which to judge the person's technique.

Also- I fully understand there are many 75-year olds who _can_ handle training, it was simply an example...

Sorry for not being more clear,

-Nick

Chuck Clark 09-14-2000 09:55 AM

Nick,

The problem with doing joint locks on people under thirteen has absolutely nothing to do with their ability, maturity of mind, skill, etc.

It is an age which medical studies done at the Kodokan showed was the ideal beginning age for safe practice of joint locking and choking techniques.

Young bodies (especially the joints) still have lots of "give" in them. Injuries can often be sustained before pain or sometimes even discomfort is felt. It can be build up over time and suddenly you have a problem.

I want young bodies to grow old doing this practice in a way that allows the old guys (I'm gettin to be one of those!! ... and so are YOU!) to continue practice in the best condition possible. I haven't always understood that and my body has signs of the "lessons learned the hard way" which I hope to help my students learn without the residual physical trauma.

Keep chasing...

Nick 09-14-2000 04:51 PM

I couldn't agree more.

Thanks for clearing it up :).

-Nick

Chocolateuke 09-17-2000 07:39 PM

hey clark sensi ( mind if I call u sensi although not spelled correctly?)
I just want you to know taht I started Aikido when I was 12 ( with 4 months till i turned 13) and i am 15 now years old I live 15 miles away from my dojo. my school is about 1/2 a mile from the dojo so on school days I just walk. But 2 years ago my middle school ( i am in highschool I am a shop and I am about to get my drivers licesen yay!) was abou 13 miles away and on saterdays I have to have my parents drive me to aikido and I have been in aikido for about 3 years! I find it easy for my parents to take me ( or me when they dont want to drive I have my perment) anyhow my parents love the idea of no compition they say that the reward is inside of you and Aikido will help you. Compition is not a family tradition so... but I have seen alot of parents ask if there kids are gonna be in tornements or anything and some are shocked when my good ol sensi says no. But I have benifited from aikido. I can drive with awarness, I have gotten better grades ( I went from a b- c grade point average to a b + A point average) anyhow I just wanted to get my 2 cents in. I also think taht age rescritions are not bad but I have learned a lot from the 8- 9 year olds in our dojo.

Chuck Clark 09-18-2000 11:51 PM

Thanks for your input. Keep practicing!


Kevin 09-19-2000 11:49 PM

Thanks for everyone's reply. Please visit my website at http://www.aikidouniverse.com. It isn't as great as this site, but I am pretty proud of it.

Kevin :)


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