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Old 12-02-2009, 01:54 PM   #26
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

I know of at least one graduate program in transpersonal psychology that requires the study of Aikido.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:18 PM   #27
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

I though the original question regarded aikido in high school? Did I miss something and the topic has changed to middle, elementary, or colleges? Because each school has specific age ranges and should be treated differently.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:15 PM   #28
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Perfectly stated! You also don't want kids who are doing it for the class credit, but have no real affinity for it, walking around trying to crank sankyo's or whatever on random people. If they don't really care about what they're doing they're not going to have much respect for what it's capable of.
They already do it on the college level as a P.E. credit. Highschool doesn't seem much different to me...particularly when you consider every one I know of already has wrestling as a program. My Jr. High had wrestling. I don't remember anyone from those programs assaulting people...certainly no more so than any other group of people I've known. I get that it couldn't be a "pure" form of whatever arts were used and perhaps there should be some form of disclaimer. The curriculum would have to have very specific goals in mind, among which would be not getting sued or otherwise held liable for anything. In P.E. Football you play flag; in Football football you sign a waver and hit each other. It would depend on the nature of the program for what kind of constraints to apply.
As regards liability I've never been directly injured practicing any of the few styles of Aikido I've experienced, but I've been injured plenty playing football, soccer and other sports.
To answer another question, I think a softer style would generally be an easier choice for the school system...or at least some kind of low impact curriculum.

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Old 12-02-2009, 03:24 PM   #29
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I though the original question regarded aikido in high school? Did I miss something and the topic has changed to middle, elementary, or colleges? Because each school has specific age ranges and should be treated differently.
Sorry. Lately I've been thinking about this idea of applying activities like martial arts in a public education setting. Didn't mean to expand the topic too much.

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Old 12-02-2009, 03:41 PM   #30
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
I expect parents to sit through an entire class at least once a month.
Interesting to hear your thoughts on this. It seems to me from the old dojo I went to, the kids were paying more attention to their parents then class when they were there. I think it is best if they aren't in the dojo watching. Minimizes distractions. My current dojo doesn't have parents watch either. I don't know if this is a dojo preference or not though. The one parent that stays the whole class sits downstairs and reads. The rest just pick their kid up after.

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Old 12-02-2009, 07:14 PM   #31
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

I was referring to high school in my initial question, simply because I think thats the only period of education that is called the same in most countries.

Colleges and middle schools, and primary schools go by different name in different countries as far as I'm aware, didn't want it to get too confusing but all are relevant. (Please refrain from picking this apart and correcting me, i'm just assuming this, it's not important, the age, say 12 - 18 that's the ball park age group.)

I think all are best discussed together, for comparison.

Last edited by alexmasters : 12-02-2009 at 07:17 PM.

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:26 PM   #32
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Alex Masters wrote: View Post
I didn't say anything about excluding anyone, I was referring to them choosing to change subjects. if it were an optional class they would be able to try it and then change if they felt it wasn't for them.
I was referring to your surprise that people would take the "No Aikido" position in such black and white terms. I offered a possible explanation for that. No offense intended... Personally, I think it would be great if the schools offered Aikido, but there's not much progressive thinking going on in the schools around here. Most thinking is in absolutes. They're so worried about being sued every two hours, that it's a wonder that they have left any "fun" activities in the curriculum.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:27 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

Yeah i see what you mean Clark, it's a shame isn't it? When I was at school there didn't seem to be any worry about people suing or stuff like that, seems the world is changing so much.

I can't imagine how it might be in 10 years time, I doubt things will go back to the way they were say twenty years ago or something like that, where you'd get a clip round the ear for misbehaving and stuff.

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:36 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

I think the talk about lawsuits is a bit of a red herring here. This thread didn't start as a question to a bunch of school administrators about whether they would be open to aikido classes in their schools -- it was a question to a bunch of aikidoka as to what we thought of teaching aikido in schools. A number of us have expressed reservations about this, and mine, at least, have nothing whatsoever to do with the likeliness of lawsuits. So perhaps a bit less of the "oh you can't do anything anymore because everyone's so lawsuit-happy", yes? The question of lawsuits is irrelevant if you decide something's just not a good idea.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:46 AM   #35
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
It absolutely is. So, how do you teach your students to become better individuals, and who taught you how to do that?
It starts with "onegaishimasu," The definition I use is that it means "I am offering my body for your training, please respect it." From this I use instances on the mat to show where they are not being very "onegaishimasu" and when an opening presents itself I try to get them to realize that what we are doing with regard to respecting one another applys to everything. I ask them a lot of leading questions to get them on the same page of thinking I am using as well. It doesn't always work but for some it does.

As for who taught me, I have to give all credit to the Lord and my sensei. Without the understanding and patience of both mixed I couldn't do what I am doing.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:50 AM   #36
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
Interesting to hear your thoughts on this. It seems to me from the old dojo I went to, the kids were paying more attention to their parents then class when they were there. .
In the beginning this is normal but after a couple of classes it diminishes. Now and again I will call on the parents to be their child's uke for escapes and such.

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Old 12-03-2009, 11:34 AM   #37
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
In the beginning this is normal but after a couple of classes it diminishes. Now and again I will call on the parents to be their child's uke for escapes and such.
Hmm... I'm glad this works out for you. I think that is an interesting concept (parents being uke- provided they can take ukemi).

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Old 12-03-2009, 12:10 PM   #38
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

Hi friends-

I am quite interested in this topic- My M.A. thesis is going to look at the impact of "embodiment eduation" on youth in conflict and youth at risk.

The areas I hope to explore are acting, Aikido, yoga, and maybe meditation.

Obviously, I think it is useful and would be helpful to teach Aikido in high schools (even over MMA or other martial arts). I certainly don't think that competitive sports are more helpful for young people who are developing their sense of self- on the contrary I think it helps to establish a mentality of conflict and aggression in the world that stays with us for the rest of our lives.

Of course- anything mandatory isn't very helpful, but the option would be a wonderful thing.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:26 PM   #39
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

Martial Arts in general are beneficial to school age children. The Martial Arts provide the bridge between the mental and physical aspects of one's character. All to often there is a disconnect between the Mind and body in children, Martial Arts and some sports help bridge that gap.

I have taught public middle school children, as part of a curriculum, it was one of their electives. I believe the Principal had a different martial per trimester come in and teach the kids. I would say it was a challenge, as per the children were not use to addressing a person with respect. If anything, that was the issue I drove home to them. The first 2 to 3 weeks of classes were getting these kids to recognize that isn't a joke or waste of time or just a class to hang out. If they wanted me to teach them Aikido, then it would have to be done my way. Believe me it was struggle.

The next point is, Aikido involves ukemi as well as understanding and restraint. Until you get the kids up to speed ukemi-wise, the class is really limited until you can get the kids to roll safely and secondly be trusted enough to act responsibly enough to execute a technique. You have to teach ukemi, how to attack, technique and finally enough understanding of the technique to know how far you can go with a technique before it becomes a hazard. All in a hr period 1x or 2x a week. Its basically building a dojo from the ground. By the time things get going the semester is over. Its a huge challenge to teach Aikido as part of school curriculum from a teaching perspective, never mind any of the school system and state education rules that need be addressed.

As for parents sitting in on children's class, I think its great as long as the parents follow the golden rules, do not interact with your children on the mat, and be quiet as possible. The children need to be focused on the instructor and on his/her assistants and nothing else.

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Old 12-03-2009, 03:17 PM   #40
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
It starts with "onegaishimasu," The definition I use is that it means "I am offering my body for your training, please respect it."
How do you get that out of "onegaishimasu"?

As for the main question in the OP:
Quote:
Alex Masters wrote: View Post
I'm interested in hearing what other countries do and whether you feel it would be beneficial to teach Aikido at high school level.
I don't see how aikido would be more or less beneficial than any other martial art, sport, or difficult activity of any sort. If you mean offering it at as an optional activity, whether elective class or club activity, I don't see anything wrong with that. If you mean adding it to the required curriculum, it strikes me as entirely bizarre.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:11 PM   #41
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

I have a college class (community) and also high school students getting PE credits.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:37 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I think the talk about lawsuits is a bit of a red herring here. This thread didn't start as a question to a bunch of school administrators about whether they would be open to aikido classes in their schools -- it was a question to a bunch of aikidoka as to what we thought of teaching aikido in schools. A number of us have expressed reservations about this, and mine, at least, have nothing whatsoever to do with the likeliness of lawsuits. So perhaps a bit less of the "oh you can't do anything anymore because everyone's so lawsuit-happy", yes? The question of lawsuits is irrelevant if you decide something's just not a good idea.
Mary, I will reiterate that I opined this because it was specifically asked by the original poster (whom I addressed directly in my response) why some people might see logic in categorically rejecting the notion of Aikido training in schools. That one might be mindful of the litigious nature of our society today is, in my opinion, not irrelevant (I wish it was). Sorry you feel so strongly that my response was off topic, but I felt the question put to me was at least deserving of an answer. I shall now repair to my books, and leave this topic to those more motivated.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:39 PM   #43
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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How do you get that out of "onegaishimasu"?
Onegaishimasu -"do me this favor" What favor is it you're asking your partner for. I will grant you that the definition I use is not a literal translation but IMO it is an implied concept.

Last edited by akiy : 12-04-2009 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Fixed quoting tag

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Old 12-04-2009, 09:50 AM   #44
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
Quote:
Kent Enfield wrote: View Post
How do you get that out of "onegaishimasu"?
Onegaishimasu -"do me this favor" What favor is it you're asking your partner for. I will grant you that the definition I use is not a literal translation but IMO it is an implied concept.
Right, but I believe in general, "onegaishimasu" is used more or less as "please" is used in English when asking for something. It's a courtesy, but an ordinary daily courtesy -- while it's better than just saying, "Gimme the ketchup," I don't know that it really rises to the level of creating a better human being.

If we are to promote the value of aikido in creating better human beings or resolving conflict or straightening out your life or curing bad breath or whatever, we need to be honest about it and not exaggerate. Aikido is not a magic pill. When presented in the right way by the right person, it can serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of people who are ready to make such changes, but so can countless other things, from writing to volunteer work to spiritual practices to rock climbing. This forum naturally self-selects for people who feel that their lives were changed for the better by aikido; many of them may never have experienced such a change before, and (erroneously) attribute some unique character to aikido as a result. The truth is, if you're ready to make a change, there are a lot of catalysts that will get the job done. Hence, the problem that I have with putting aikido in schools is that it puts the emphasis in the wrong place, and creates an unrealistic set of expectations. Yes, there is magic in the process...but its name is not "aikido".

Last edited by akiy : 12-04-2009 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Fixed quoting tag
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:34 AM   #45
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Right, but I believe in general, "onegaishimasu" is used more or less as "please" is used in English when asking for something. It's a courtesy, but an ordinary daily courtesy -- while it's better than just saying, "Gimme the ketchup," I don't know that it really rises to the level of creating a better human being.
When I first learned the term it was in context of ordering beer or Sake at a Japanese restaurant. "O-sake, onegaishimasu!"

One second thought that was about making me a better person... I like Sake... Makes me happy. Happy is better.

But I remember someone later saying "Onegaishimasu" is about offering up your body, etc. I remember sitting there in seiza wondering "was I offering up my body to the cute waitress every time I ordered sake?"

Translation and context is fun...

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Old 12-04-2009, 11:17 AM   #46
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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But I remember someone later saying "Onegaishimasu" is about offering up your body, etc. I remember sitting there in seiza wondering "was I offering up my body to the cute waitress every time I ordered sake?"
If that's true, then the cute waitresses at the sushi bar are offering their bodies every time they hand the itamae an order!
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:31 AM   #47
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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If that's true, then the cute waitresses at the sushi bar are offering their bodies every time they hand the itamae an order!
Good God, I know where I'm going for lunch then. They say it to customers too! I think they're Korean and don't really get it either, but whatever...

Seriously, on aikido in schools...

I teach kids are our headquarters. Grade school and up. Those who start at grade school level are there because they know anything about Aikido -- it's their parents who put them there. Most have fun, some even stay over time. A few grow up to be incredible aikidoka. Some are there because they have "issues" that their parents think will magically be solved by getting them into "martial arts". Well, usually that doesn't work as the real issue usually isn't whether I can *make* them behave in class. It is why their parents can't...

Which leads into the point Mary made originally -- not everyone is cut out for it. On that issue I am of two minds. There is no problem if they try something like Aikido as a sort of PE deal. Heck, there were things I was terrible at -- the rope climb in gymnastic. I dreaded that. But it was simply part of PE. You can't like everything.

On the other hand aikido does train in things like throws, wrist controls, joint controls, and even some painful things (yonkyo done as a nerve pinch). There I have some issues. Some kids don't need to learn new and unique ways to hurt other kids. Nor do they need to be in a class where they're given an opportunity to do just that.

So... I'm of two minds. If it is going to happen they need to be *really* careful and monitor the kids closely. And there better be a mechanism for dealing with those kids who get out of line.

In a dojo setting the door swings both ways. We've suspended kids who misbehaved in class. I had one kid intentionally hurt another one -- he found himself kicked out for a long time. He had issues, but the issues were deeper and much too important to deal with to think that we could fix them. And we let the parent know just that.

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Old 12-04-2009, 11:45 AM   #48
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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If that's true, then the cute waitresses at the sushi bar are offering their bodies every time they hand the itamae an order!
Damn, you two have put every self-introduction I did or heard at my middle school in Japan in a disturbing new light.

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Old 12-04-2009, 01:31 PM   #49
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Right, but I believe in general, "onegaishimasu" is used more or less as "please" is used in English when asking for something. It's a courtesy, but an ordinary daily courtesy -- while it's better than just saying, "Gimme the ketchup," I don't know that it really rises to the level of creating a better human being.

If we are to promote the value of aikido in creating better human beings or resolving conflict or straightening out your life or curing bad breath or whatever, we need to be honest about it and not exaggerate. Aikido is not a magic pill. When presented in the right way by the right person, it can serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of people who are ready to make such changes, but so can countless other things, from writing to volunteer work to spiritual practices to rock climbing. This forum naturally self-selects for people who feel that their lives were changed for the better by aikido; many of them may never have experienced such a change before, and (erroneously) attribute some unique character to aikido as a result. The truth is, if you're ready to make a change, there are a lot of catalysts that will get the job done. Hence, the problem that I have with putting aikido in schools is that it puts the emphasis in the wrong place, and creates an unrealistic set of expectations. Yes, there is magic in the process...but its name is not "aikido".
I'm not crediting Aikido nor onegaishimasu with creating a better human being. But what does it take to make someone a good human being? Good manners are a start.

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Old 12-04-2009, 02:33 PM   #50
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Re: Aikido in Schools: What are your thoughts?

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If it is going to happen they need to be *really* careful and monitor the kids closely. And there better be a mechanism for dealing with those kids who get out of line.
I agree. I think for it to be accepted in public education as part of the regular PE curriculum, whatever martial art was used would have to be seriously pared down. Nearly all the impact would need to be removed to the levels it already is in PE for other sports and activities (e.g. if no floor hockey, then no punchy punchy). It would be Aikido-based, not Aikido.
Certainly it's not for everyone, but neither is geometry, calculus, or any other number of subjects students are forced to take.

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