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Old 08-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,139
Re: Teaching children - age restrictions and safety

Potty-trained...solidly - 4-5 years. The attention span will limit your curriculum. I actually recommend judo for younger kids to stay away from joint locks and sophisticated techniques. I help teach ashi sabaki, te sabaki, tai saki and kuzushi movements in our kids judo class.

Serious aikido... teens, pre-teens maybe. I find it odd that on one hand we explain how aikido is for everyone and on the other, we justify a 30-yr learning curve. I guess we better start 'em early because otherwise they die before they know what they're doing... I also make a point to describe our training for young people as martial movement, not practically a martial art.

In one of my favorite YouTube channel episodes (Enter the Dojo), Master Ken requests of an author who wrote a book about teaching martial arts to a child to appropriately title the book, games children play before they get beat up. While clearly making fun of the "take-yo'-doe" industry, I can appreciate the humor in being honest with what we "teach" kids.

Good luck!

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