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Old 05-10-2006, 05:52 AM   #26
DmG
 
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Dojo: Southern Maryland Aikido Center
Location: Southern Maryland
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 15
United_States
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Re: Children in the Dojo

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
From my very limited experience i think it makes you look at your own technique in more detail when you have to explain it to someone who maybe cant make the mental connections that an adult can (by which i mean work out for themselves what you have said) so you have to be bang on otherwise they just plain don't get it.
Actually....I find that kids, because they do not have any preconcieved notions, often make the mental connections long before adult beginners!

I started teaching kids when we opened our own club....and - even now - I underestimate them. I'll think that they'll only get one or two techniques....and then the class is only 1/2 over....so I have to rapidly think of things to do.

I had 5 kids on the mat last night 10 minutes before class. All of them started practicing rolls. No one told them to do it...they just started doing it! Kids love to tumble, they love to compete in a genuine and good manner, they love it when they can feel powerful (I had one 11 year old girl...a tiny thing....discover that if she dropped during a throw, that she could really throw my husband really far....she laughed about it all night and told me it was her favorite thing that she had done so far).

I don't force my adults to train with the kids, but I do encourage them. It benefits the kids, and it benefits the adults. (Kids can be tricky, so your technique has to be spot on...and as someone already pointed out....your suwari waza can improve tremendously!)

My husband was initially against kids in our dojo (we don't have any kids ourselves), but his mind has changed since we have been teaching them....like me, he's continuously amazed at what they can do!

DmG
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:53 AM   #27
Qatana
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
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Re: Children in the Dojo

On mini-nage- one of our twelve-year-olds has figured out that it is to her advantage to practice shihonage in hamni handachi. Even I have to practically kneel to grab her wrist.
Both kids at Monday night seemed to be over-wired and decided it was time to "take me down". Who taught them reversals when I wasn't looking?

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:55 AM   #28
mickeygelum
 
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Dojo: Warren Budokan, Ohio USA
Location: Youngstown, Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 502
United_States
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Re: Children in the Dojo

In our dojo , We welcome children...mostly in the family aspect..We do not turn anyone away....training should be geared at the simplest level... all can interact and learn from each viewpoint...
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:13 AM   #29
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
United_States
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Re: Children in the Dojo

When I teach martial arts to kids, I chose not to teach them aikido in most cases.

First I like to teach them to kick, punch, yell, wrestle, and strike fun poses. Aikido can come later.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:58 AM   #30
pcallen
 
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Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 19
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Re: Children in the Dojo

Our dojo is located in a local YMCA so from time to time we have kids that sign up. Only one has stuck with it for any serious time.

I find that training with Andrew (now 13, 11 when he started) really makes you think about being technically precise. He is much more flexible than any of the adults and therefor has a real flair for keishi (sp?).

The problem that he created by staying was one of testing. There was no children's curriculum and no other children to use as nage. This problem was solved by having him test as an adult with adults. Visiting aikidoka from Chicago and Nashville described his rokkyu test as one of the best and most self confident that they have ever witnessed.

His maturity level is better than many adults that have walked through the door (especially the idiot, oops I mean student, who told us to really crank it on because he had soooo much experience in martial arts - two months here, two months there etc.)

The only other problem is trying to make sure that he doesn't get left out of the social scene, that we have some get togethers where the primary consumption is not alchoholic in nature.

"If the bird will not sing...wait."
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