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Old 01-03-2004, 06:20 PM   #10
Dan Jones
Location: Calgary
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 5
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We've done this for the last three years in our dojo with a class for Children and one for Teens/Adults with success. Ours is ten weeks long, once per week. Here are a few points, which we've found successful, in no particular order.

Start the first class with introductions and some brief information about Aikido vs. other martial arts, class etiquette, safety, and working cooperatively. Most students have heard about Aikido but don't really know much about it.

Maintain a relaxed atmosphere. Use humour.

We offer the students an opportunity to attend another class each week by joining the regular class. If the beginners can do this in a non-threatening environment, they overcome more of their fear.

We introduce standing mae ukemi and ushiro ukemi later in the course, when students are more relaxed. Until then, they do lead-ups while seated on the mat.

Maintain a relaxed atmosphere. Use humour.

Students can repeat the course. They can be role models for newer students. We will challenge returning students at their own level when the instructor acts as uke.

We introduce footwork as Irimi One (slide forward), Irimi Two (step forward), Tenshin One (slide backward), Tenshin Two (step backward), Tenkan One (pivot 180 degrees at waist), and Tenkan Two (swing leg around 180 degrees). This standardizes our body movement so students can see how a technique is done as well as listen to verbal clues.

And lastly, maintain a relaxed atmosphere. Use humour.
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