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Old 02-18-2011, 09:18 PM   #281
Dojo: Aikibodo
Location: Arcata CA
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 150
Re: New Internal Style of The Wooden Staff

Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I taught kids (6-12 y/o range) I focused more on basic coordination and ukemi to mention "fun," for without it, young kids will get distracted.
We did regular boktoh practice every class (mostly shomenuchi practice) and one or two of the kids began learning jo kata with me before class, but that's about it. My understanding of weapons is fairly limited.
For about six months I had my own private stick class at Northcoast Aikido. I had two students 11 and 12 years old who'd been training in Aikido for at least five years. They're extremely intelligent and were totally captivated by the art when they first saw me training. Once my class was formalized separately from the kid's taijitsu class, I was surprised how fast they started catching on. After a while I was giving them difficult 360 rotation short forms which most adults at the dojo wouldn't even attempt to try! They loved it. I didn't have to give homework because the parents told me they were practicing on their own every day of the week! I mention this because I don't want anyone to think independent study is something to be afraid of, it's unbelievably compelling and exciting regardless of age or physical ability. All the questions whether Aikido is real or works or not disappears instantly. You no longer have to worry about disingenuous or passive aggressive ukes, in fact the staff will eventually teach you how to effectively work with such people and have fun in the process!

Two years of staff provides more than 20 years of status quo Aikido, a sobering yet honest assessment.
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