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Old 06-03-2005, 05:53 PM   #18
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Kids' Classes - Challenging AND Fun?

My sensei teaches children. The youngest I've seen is around 5 years old, but the better age seems to be around 6-7 years. And, children from 8-12 years can easily learn aikido. My sensei, too, has teens -- 9th to 12th graders one of our teens is a recent h.s. grad. Most of these teens been practicing 7-9 years and are ranked 5th kyu and approaching 4th kyu. (They'll probably test for it this summer.)

We start the kids at 10th kyu where they get colored belts until they reach the adult ranks of 5th kyu when they start back out at white. We include games as motivation to pay attention in class, testing as motivation to excel in aikido. We just had one youngster at 11 years old test for his 8th kyu (blue belt) in front of all of the adults who were testing at a seminar. Usually, the kids test separately, but he missed the kids testing so sensei tested him with all the adults. He had a fabulous test and was incredibly well composed and demonstrated fine technique. He probably started aikido at 8 years old.

Children are highly capable at learning aikido. They will meet your expectations. If you expect them not have the capacity to pay attention, they won't and they will walk all over you. If you expect them to have the capacity to be attentive, most of the time they will surprise you.

Last edited by giriasis : 06-03-2005 at 05:58 PM.

Anne Marie Giri
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