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Old 09-09-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Teaching Teenagers

Just to add to an already good conversation...

One challenge I've found with teenagers is trying to motivate them to get involved in their own progress. In other words, many seem to be so ingrained with "sit quietly and listen" that they become, well, more like receive only units. Many seem to sit there ignoring obvious connections and watching the fly by without even a blink. So for me it is all about trying to get them to understand that they need to be engaged, an active participant in their own learning. And some kids find that frightening while others thrive. Aikido can be taught by rote work, but it seems best *learned* by actively struggling with the ideas and themes.

And I have to say my proudest moments haven't been in teaching adults. It has been watching a teenager have an "ah-ha" moment on their own. Nothin' better...

So it is all about helping them understand the connections. And teaching principles and trying to help them explore how those principles manifest themselves in techniques. Then how those ideas can be generalized into life in general.

But then... Some just wanna toss each other around. More power to them.

I would add a caution about the raging hormones thing. Watch out for techniques that are a little too personal in the grabs. Personal space issues can be really complicated with teens. Not to mention their parents.

Which reminds me... Make sure you *always* have another adult present at all times. You're venturing into an area that requires touching, grabs, and all sorts of potentially awkward and easily misunderstood areas. Not to mention those who take advantage intentionally... So all due diligence here. The last thing the Aikido world needs is another debacle on this front.

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