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Old 06-09-2002, 10:42 PM   #5
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 238

Originally posted by batemanb
In our renmei, the children are very important. We have over 50 junior members, most between the ages of 5 and 10. It was explained to me when I joined that martial arts practice in general is on the decline in Japan, i.e. the younger generation (teens - 20`s) are not that interested in them. In order to protect the future, it was important to start when they are young. All of our dojo`s have kids classes, and there is no shortage of sempai helping them out, often, there will be at least one sempai per 2 kids.

Of course the technical and spiritual techniques of the children are not going to be the same as adults, not at the start, but maybe in 5 or 10 years time they will be. Having said that, I am constantly amazed at the abilities of some of the little ones, and it is fantastic to see 4 year olds doing over arm ukemi from kotegaeshi (much softer of course) with Sensei during embutaikai`s.

At the All Japan embu a couple of weeks back, there was a great embu, where a little one who couldn`t have been more than 2 or 3 years old, was tori doing kokyunage`s to (presumably) dad as uke.

Personally, I agree with the renmei thinking, the kids are important for the future. My dojo back home in the UK doesn`t have a kids class, but I hope that when I return, it will be something that I can help with.
TWO sempi per child?? all the people my age went off to get jobs ( im still at school) and stoped Aikido. the only sempi above tthe age of 15 is me. Im kinda like an asstiant instructer. for sensei and I its almost overwhelming with the youngsters ( the new arivals are VERY childish ) training? no such word for some of the kids. Not to say we dont have any kids who train in fact we have great kids at the dojo as well as the goof balls that you cant get them into stance without a questionof why. Its good training for me tho it helps with my patience and the "Good" students are a plesure to trian with. I go to adults class for technical stuff to I sorta teach teh kids class... no thats not right assist the kids class.

Dallas Adolphsen
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