My son is 12 and has been practicing aikido for 6 months with my club. At the last Aikido seminar he was asked a copule of times by partners if he could do breakfalls. He can't. He has practiced slapping out of front ukemi but certainly no high falls. Being a University Dojo we don't have a lot of experience with kids, in fact my son is the only under 18 member of the dojo.
I'm concerned about him taking breakfalls while his body is still actively growing. I personally would prefer he not take any breakfalls till he is 16, but I have no scientific basis for that decision and I don't want to uneccesarily retard his aikido development.So my question is, at what age is it appropriate to teach breakfalls with regards to growth development and what criteria do you use for your decision? I'm particularly interested in hearing from dojos with active youth participation.
<Sigh> I used to think Aikido was the most challanging thing to learn in my life; then I became a parent