Re: what to teach 8 yr old?
Yes this is an interesting subject. With so many variants on how children's bones develop, organ malfunction and so forth it can be confusing to know exactly what will happen. However, I am of the opinion that children tend to be more flexible, pliable and resilient that the average adult. In saying this every technique can be taught to a child. I recommend that if you are teaching children, to go to your local school and watch what kids get up to, the games they play and the way in which they interact with each other. This will give you a very clear indication the children will cope just fine with any technique including all joint locks, pins and throws. Aikido can be harsh or it can be graceful but everything comes down to conditioning and it takes time and steady progression. If you are a teacher of children my advise is to include a game at the end of class, we play suwari waza tag forwards some days backwards others. Its fun for the kids, the assistant instructors, the parents and the aikidoka that are waiting to do the next class.
So if anyone has some great games for kids I'd be interested in knowing about them.