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Old 04-06-2011, 10:12 PM   #26
seank
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

Back to the OP comments I think there are some excellent ideas there. I started practicing Kyokushin when I was very young in a strict dojo in the traditional sense (you would get whacked across the back of the legs with a shinai if your kiba-dachi was not right, amongst other things). The training was full-on, harsh and always demanding and my brother and I both started under sufferance of our parents.

There was neer a question of motivation or desire to train; if class was on you were there.

Nowadays with a child of my own I take a more relaxed attitude. My son can (and does) practice karate (in a more relaxed environment) and will continue to do so for as long as he wants. He has been to many classes with my wife and I (both practicing Aikido) and he knows that I am an assistant instructor.

Would I ask him to train with us at his young age? No. Will I force him to try Aikido and come to practice at every opportunity? No. Do I hope that he will train with us? Definitely.

I should also explain that we have a high percentage of students that are of secondary school age (13-18 years). Each student varies in terms of their commitment, their understanding of on the mat and off the mat, physical ability, etc. I tend to instruct in the way I was taught - don't ask questions during instruction, train hard and always concentrate on what you are trying to achieve. Most times these kids are more than up to the challenge in this regard.

Thankfully I've not had to contend with any spectator coaching, nor would I tolerate such, but affording children a health amount of respect for their ability and their potential goes a long way to helping the child and assuaging any concerns a parent may have.

I firmly believe that children are inherently better adapted to Aikido because they come to the mat with no pre-conceptions, most are willing to listen and learn, they are flexible and for the most part fit enough to really engage with their training. Mostly though, kids pick things up exceptionally quickly. I've lost count the number of times I've seen younger students pick up a technique and run with it where an older student would struggle.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:34 AM   #27
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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Wow! That's the spirit - no kid will be good at Aikido.
Do you truly feel that any kid is "good" at aikido by an adult standard? Or are you thinking of a different, kids-only definition of "good"?
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:53 AM   #28
oisin bourke
 
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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Sean Kelleher wrote: View Post
I firmly believe that children are inherently better adapted to Aikido because they come to the mat with no pre-conceptions, most are willing to listen and learn, they are flexible and for the most part fit enough to really engage with their training. Mostly though, kids pick things up exceptionally quickly. I've lost count the number of times I've seen younger students pick up a technique and run with it where an older student would struggle.
My Daito Ryu teacher shares the same opinion. He is very strict in technique especially with the kids, but apart from that, he's very gentle and tolerant with them. He'll make everyone sit down, call up a kid to demonstrate a technique and remonstrate to the adults: "That's what you should be doing! You are using to much muscle!" If you are overbearing, kids (and adults) tend to stiffen up, which is the kiss of death for developing Aiki IME.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:56 AM   #29
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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I can see your point in that you can't be good at Aikido if you quit. In fact this is one of the things that kept my oldest boy in Aikido when he wanted to quit. He was feeling too much pressure. I was giving heim to many critiques after class. He expressed this by saying he wanted to quti Aikido. We discussed it and he did want to become good at Aikido. What he needed was more room to fail. He understood that he couldn't do Aikido if he quit. However, quiting was an option for him. If he did not want to become good at Aikido he had the option to quit. He had to know the consequence of that descision but it was his descision. You are right that if he quit he would suck at Aikido.

As a parent, I think it is important to identify when it's right to quit. It can't be as you say on a whim. You need to understand why they want to quit. the reason can be real and reasonable. You may need to persuade, encourage and insist that that they continue if the reason for quitting is not one you find reasonable. But for ne, it is a dialog. I need to listen and understand them. I need to know why they want to quit.

As for asking Sensei those questions. We both know the answer. We both know that they made sacrifices and sweated more than they wanted. We also know that in all likelihood they always had the option to walk away. They always chose to make the sacrifices and loss of personal control. They chose to place their fates into anothers hands. They always had the option to quit. They did not but they could have.

As for time on the mat. We are at the dojo Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and Saturday when it is not Soccer season. We drop the Saturday session which is a little kids class that his brother goes to. If anything he's at the dojo to much. I will agree that two hours is not enough to get better especially if that is the only time that Aikdio is practiced. This week we are down to only two hours because his little brother blew chunks in the dojo parking lot before class but things happen. If we ever fall to a two hours being our regular session we would be discussing quitting something but that something will be his choice.

To be honest, I don't think we are that far from agreement. I just leave the option of quitting on the table. Quitting means they lose Aikido. They lose what Aikdio brings. However that is their choice. I do not view this as a detriment to their training. I have seen to many kids forced to do things their parents think they should and get almost nothing out of it. I've coached to many kids in soccer that are a deterament on the field and a problem in practice to think that forcing them into what they don't want to do is good for them or thier team/dojo mates. To be honest they suck, too.

If this is a modern view so be it. It is a view I have adopted from seeing it in practice. If the sole motivation comes from outside, they will suck and worse they impact those that are are their of their own choice.
No. I don't think we are far from agreement either. Remember, I never said "foce." I actually denounced "forcing" as a problem of the modern Man being unable to see their way through the two poles of possible options.

What I mean by having quitting not be an option is very much what you are doing - being creative and proactive. That is to say, that commitment is first and foremost about a decision one makes before hand. From there, one works, thinks, lives, speaks, and feels according that that decision being what one will hold true to. Thus, a committed deshi, even a child deshi by the direction of one's parents, does things that help one's commitment become stronger and able to support deeper and deeper levels of commitment. This isn't necessarily a matter of saying "No" to someone's "Yes," though it may be. More likely though, on an everyday level, it's about acting in such a way that the possibility of Yes or No never comes to fruition. It is a matter of training just because that is what we do - we train. That can't be accomplished when quitting is a philosophical option for us - especially for the child. And, for many folks, especially parents of child deshi, they don't get this. They never work to orchestrate their child's training so that it moves beyond the issues of "shall he/she train" or "shall he/she not train."

For them, quitting always remains possible, and as such it always remains firmly in place in the child's practice and in their experience of practice. As a result, like with all practices requiring discipline, as soon as the child changes their likes, as with all uncommitted people, they lose their commitment to training. End result: They suck at Aikido.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:01 AM   #30
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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Do you truly feel that any kid is "good" at aikido by an adult standard? Or are you thinking of a different, kids-only definition of "good"?
Yes, as for me the ultimate goal of Aikido is oneness with God, and a child has for example limited experience their own mortality and thus one of the major issues of existence, I am looking at "good" here from a child's point of view. "Good" in that sense refers to a child that is well on their way to building a foundation upon which they can continue to build a oneness with God.

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Old 04-07-2011, 11:06 AM   #31
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

My whole family trains. My whole family eats. We run our life, my wife and I, so that "family" and "togetherness" has including training and eating. As a result, without forcing anyone, we train together and we eat together. This running of one's life so that training adds to life and is added to by life is what is missing in parents that have their children start Aikido only to quit it.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:22 AM   #32
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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Yes, as for me the ultimate goal of Aikido is oneness with God, and a child has for example limited experience their own mortality and thus one of the major issues of existence, I am looking at "good" here from a child's point of view. "Good" in that sense refers to a child that is well on their way to building a foundation upon which they can continue to build a oneness with God.
OK, I think I understand what you're saying. I'm glad I asked, because I think that when you say "good at Aikido", most people probably think you're referring to martial skill. We could have a long debate about whether "oneness with God", by any definition, is the purpose of Aikido. My own feeling is that there is neither a singular consensus nor a universally accepted authority that could tell us authoritatively what the purpose of aikido is, and that any such debates are really taking place in the realm of "should be", if we're being honest. The practical reality is that every person who steps onto the mat brings their own purpose with them. Children, in addition, are usually at least partly driven by the purposes of others -- sometimes so much that it's hard to see what their own desires are. I don't think many children are seeking oneness with God, at least not of their own volition, but that's neither here nor there. If oneness with God is the goal of aikido, why would it matter if a child (or anyone else) quits aikido practice? Maybe they've found a better path.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:16 PM   #33
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

I love training with my kids. My kids love training.

I think if I took away our current training focus and replaced it with a fear of "sucking", it's the training that would begin to suck.

As my Sensei always said, "Relax".
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:35 PM   #34
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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I love training with my kids. My kids love training.

I think if I took away our current training focus and replaced it with a fear of "sucking", it's the training that would begin to suck.

As my Sensei always said, "Relax".
I don't think recognizing the natural order of the universe regarding the obtaining of skill, and the distancing of oneself away from "sucking," as being afraid. On the other hand, I do think trying to ignore this natural order and hoping or wishing it did not exist is a fear response.

In other words, if the order is what the order is, and if one is not afraid of it, and if one is fine not fulling what needs to be fulfilled in order to become skillful, then one should just be fine being unskilled (i.e. sucking). Personally, I'm fine with that as an instructor.

If parents would come in and say: "You know what? Jonny can only train two hours per week, and only half of that during soccer season. If he does music and football this year, even less then. He is allowed to eat at Mc-D's every day, ordering large shakes with every meal, everything surpersized. He spends most of his time on the couch playing video games. At home we have a might-is-right arbitrarily power-based hierarchy through which all relationships and matters of conflict contained therein are decided. That is what Jonny is used to. As a result, Jonny, like most of the modern world, has an ungrounded sense of entitlement. Additionally, I know Jonny is going to get bored with Aikido soon - especially when it becomes challenging for him (and for me to keep him training - to be honest). If the training requires him to face his fear or his pride, a repulsion to training will start almost immediately. At that time, he'll act like he likes something else more or better. In time, he'll hate Aikido. Then he'll quit. I know this is not the order of the universe on how to gain skill. I know Jonny will suck at Aikido. Will you still let him train here?"

I'd say, "Sure. Jonny can hang out with us till he gets bored, afraid, or has his pride exposed."

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #35
Basia Halliop
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

Mainly what I question is the presumption that it's terribly important for kids to 'not suck at aikido'. Personally *I* get a lot out of aikido but that's personal and subjective I don't see it as necessarily important for everyone else to do it or be good at it, especially a child. For some it's a very positive thing in their lives, but it is no where near my list of things that _everyone_ should do. For the children I know and care about, there are other priorities and things I want for them. If some specific activity, like aikido, helps that child get those things, then I'm in favour, if not, then it doesn't really matter.

If that list was about something I found more 'universal' then maybe I might agree -- e.g. I can imagine reacting differently if this was about a child learning to act respectfully and empathetically towards other human beings or be physically active and eat healthy foods or perhaps to read and write and do math.... But aikido? Nope, not at all. Let them go ahead and suck at aikido. When they're older they can decide for themselves if it happens to be something they want to do.

Probably has to do with the differing interpretations of what aikido is, as discussed, and what being good at it entails.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:14 PM   #36
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
I don't think recognizing the natural order of the universe regarding the obtaining of skill, and the distancing of oneself away from "sucking," as being afraid. On the other hand, I do think trying to ignore this natural order and hoping or wishing it did not exist is a fear response.

In other words, if the order is what the order is, and if one is not afraid of it, and if one is fine not fulling what needs to be fulfilled in order to become skillful, then one should just be fine being unskilled (i.e. sucking). Personally, I'm fine with that as an instructor.
"Much virtue in If", indeed. You're the one who used the word "suck", David -- I do hope you're not so disingenuous as to pretend that it is a value-neutral term meaning merely "unskilled".
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:31 PM   #37
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

Sometimes when I'm roughhousing with my 4yo daughter, she chases me around the house. I'll lead her into the living room wherever there's some space, and turn to face her. Then I give her the deer in the headlights look "Oh noes! You caught me!" As her eyes light up with anticipation, I lunge just outside the grasp of whatever hand she's reaching with, tenkan brushing her hand gently out of the way with my leading hand, pivot and then laugh as I run away toward the kitchen where, of course, there's room to do it again.

Last week she got wise and stopped to ask sincerely: "Papa? How do you do that? Can you teach me that?"

I told her "That's Aikido. I learned that at the dojo. When you get a little older, and you're ready to follow directions you can come with me and learn it."
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:11 AM   #38
Eva Antonia
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

Hello,

I had four kids doing aikido for some time, and all of them quit. My big son started on his own initiative at 8, and he loved it...for three years. The last year was agony. I didn't want him to quit, I thought he was really talented, and he was certainly up to spar with adults. Not all techniques, because of the difference in height and weight, but certainly all those including wrist locks. He was incredibly swift and fluent.

And then he just didn't want anymore. He started to quarrel on the mat, he was annoying his partners, he was completely unmotivated, and I didn't see any sense in dragging him to aikido if it had lost its meaning to him and he was a nuisance to the others. But I still regret he didn't pursue aikido, and I still hope he'll take it up again.

As to the other kids...they all took it up because their older brother and I went, and none of them really liked it. They tried not very hard, and they achieved nothing. But all three of them love music, each of them plays an instrument, there are never discussions if they should or should not go to music lessons; they pick up the flute or the violin at 07.00 in the morning...it's just a great difference from aikido. You have to take them as they are.

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:42 AM   #39
SteliosPapadakis
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

We never had an aikido-for-kids class on its own. During the past 7 years many kids have come to join our adult classes, anything from 8-15 years of age. None stayed more than a couple of weeks.
At first i attributed it to the fact that the children had no other children to "play with". They found no much interest in doing things with "grown ups".
Then i though it was just because their parents "insisted" on them following a martial art's path. They did not want that in the first place so they eventually found the courage to tell their parents and quit.
Lately i believe it is just a matter of personal orientation. I mean, the percentage of CHILDREN that have come to do aikido and quit does not exaggerate the percentage of ADULTS that have come to do aikido and eventually quit after a week or two.
Some people like it, some do not.
A couple of teenagers came to join our class a month ago, good friends since kindergarden. One quit within a week, the other really seems to like aikido and never misses a class, is always on time and the sort. He might stay for good, i reckon...
At the end of the day, i sincerelly believe it is a matter of personal choice, and age might not have THAT much to do with it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:54 AM   #40
amoeba
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

Well, personally I just don't believe that you should treat children as adults on the mat. The children I teach have such a lot of work and pressure at school (and some of them at home), we just try to show them some of what we do, but still let them be children, play and have fun. And if they don't like to train, then I don't think they should be forced. We had some children who were "motivated" by their parents and it never worked out!
And I'd never, ever tell a child after training what it's done wrong! Even in class, I try to work with positive reinforcement ("That's very good already, but could you maybe try to...?") instead of criticizing them.

By the way, we got some very good children in that way who do not 'suck' at all. They can train with the adults, have stuck around for as long as our dojo's old - and the youngest one has only just turned ten. I don't believe their parents know anything about martial arts, they just let them do what they like by their own free will.

I don't mean that you should take your children out of training immediately when they're not motivated for a few weeks or so. But if they really don't want to do it, it doesn't make any sense!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:00 AM   #41
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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Alissa Götzinger wrote: View Post
We had some children who were "motivated" by their parents and it never worked out!
That is where the world is today - what I would call "Parenting Light." Usually, when I am faced with a problem that I need to solve, I try to find different ways of solving it once my earlier attempts to solve it fail. I don't make a jump in logic from "my attempt failed" to "the problem ceases to exist."

For me, saying that motivation never works, and then jumping to only letting kids do what they want or like, and forgetting that that child is going to have to learn to do a lot of things they don't want to do or like in their lives in order to grow, be fulfilled, to stay well, and to succeed, is copping out of one's parenting role.

Rather, what a parent needs to do is figure out how to be more productive in light of the big picture (the overall wellness and needs of the child) and in light of one's desires (e.g. want them to study in Aikido) - to not quit themselves at the parenting role of forging their child's character because at first glance they can't solve the riddle of getting away from the poles of forcing the child against their will or appeasing the every whim.

David M. Valadez
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:35 AM   #42
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

David, don't forget about the problem of dogs and cats living together, while you're at it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:48 AM   #43
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
David, don't forget about the problem of dogs and cats living together, while you're at it.
Or this one:

http://youtu.be/G0wYaXYwP-w


David M. Valadez
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:27 AM   #44
Basia Halliop
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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And I'd never, ever tell a child after training what it's done wrong! Even in class, I try to work with positive reinforcement ("That's very good already, but could you maybe try to...?") instead of criticizing them.
Personally I don't find this so helpful, although I'm sure it depends so much on the details and your tone when you say these things. I don't like to make pointing out errors into such a big deal, either with adults OR with kids - that's what it feels like to me if you avoid ever saying something's an error or talk very carefully around mistakes instead of just saying that's not where that foot goes, etc. It feels like saying it's such a terrible thing to make an error we have to pretend no one ever does - but they still know they do so why not just tell that bit wasn't right but keep acting like it's normal and they just have to keep practicing and trying and in time they'll get it better and better? Of course it's good to focus lots on all the things they're doing right (especially things like being persistent and not giving up when something's hard!), and when you point out errors you point out things that are within their grasp and celebrate any time they improve at all, but why should it be such a bad thing if you sometimes do some part wrong? We're just learning after all, and there's no shame in making mistakes as you learn. That's part of how you learn.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 04-12-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:37 AM   #45
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

If you think aikido is important for _everyone_ to do, or specifically you think it's very important for your kids to do, then naturally you will do what you need to to make it work.

If I had a kid who didn't want to read, I wouldn't give up -- I'd make sure they learned to read and I'd keep working at it until I found a way to get them not only to read but to like it and want to read.

But to me and to many other people, aikido is simply not one of those things. It's very important for some people and not at all important for others. I know many adults who I don't think would particularly benefit from doing it and likewise many kids. And to me one of the things that makes it most important to me is the fact that my motivation for doing it has always come entirely from me, unlike most things in my life. One of my nephews has been old enough for the past year to be in our aikido kids' class... but I don't really think it would suit him or benefit him particularly... perhaps when he gets older or when my other nephew is old enough I'll feel differently about that and try to get him and his parents interested in it, but for now I don't think that's what's best.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:01 PM   #46
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

I think there's also the danger of selective hindsight. Adults who discover a pastime they love often say, "I wish I'd started this when I was a kid." That assumes that the child would have loved what the adult loves, and that's by no means a given. You weren't then what you are now.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:07 AM   #47
amoeba
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
For me, saying that motivation never works, and then jumping to only letting kids do what they want or like, and forgetting that that child is going to have to learn to do a lot of things they don't want to do or like in their lives in order to grow, be fulfilled, to stay well, and to succeed, is copping out of one's parenting role.

Rather, what a parent needs to do is figure out how to be more productive in light of the big picture (the overall wellness and needs of the child) and in light of one's desires (e.g. want them to study in Aikido) - to not quit themselves at the parenting role of forging their child's character because at first glance they can't solve the riddle of getting away from the poles of forcing the child against their will or appeasing the every whim.
For me, Aikido is something we all do in our free time because we want to. It's bad enough that children have to do so many things they do not like - Aikido should not be one of them!
And, anyway, I do not believe that children need Aikido to do well in their lives. For some of them, it just doesn't work out. Then they can do something else instead - play an instrument, play soccer, whatever. I wouldn't want them to switch focus every few months, but there's nothing wrong with trying different things out until you find what suits you.

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Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Personally I don't find this so helpful, although I'm sure it depends so much on the details and your tone when you say these things. I don't like to make pointing out errors into such a big deal, either with adults OR with kids - that's what it feels like to me if you avoid ever saying something's an error or talk very carefully around mistakes instead of just saying that's not where that foot goes, etc. It feels like saying it's such a terrible thing to make an error we have to pretend no one ever does - but they still know they do so why not just tell that bit wasn't right but keep acting like it's normal and they just have to keep practicing and trying and in time they'll get it better and better? Of course it's good to focus lots on all the things they're doing right (especially things like being persistent and not giving up when something's hard!), and when you point out errors you point out things that are within their grasp and celebrate any time they improve at all, but why should it be such a bad thing if you sometimes do some part wrong? We're just learning after all, and there's no shame in making mistakes as you learn. That's part of how you learn.
No, of course we tell them stuff like "You have the wrong foot in front", and stuff like that. But there are things that you cannot change so easily, like e.g. rolling or body posture. If we tell them they're not doing it well and they're not capable of changing it, it gets frustrating. Then we try to go for "It would be even better if..." or something along that line.

Something else: normally with our children it becomes clear pretty fast who is into Aikido and who isn't. The children that decide to come back after their two trial lessons normally stick around. The other ones don't even start. So I don't feel that much depends on "whims" - they can decide what they want to do quite well!
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:55 PM   #48
Basia Halliop
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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I wouldn't want them to switch focus every few months, but there's nothing wrong with trying different things out until you find what suits you.
I'd go further and say go ahead and let them switch focus in their hobbies every few months. That's part of what childhood is for. Save the continuity and work ethic for school, helping with chores around the house, or volunteer work - they can keep plenty busy with such things as it is. In their free time let them play and explore to their fickle little hearts' content.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 04-13-2011 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:42 PM   #49
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
I don't think recognizing the natural order of the universe regarding the obtaining of skill, and the distancing of oneself away from "sucking," as being afraid. On the other hand, I do think trying to ignore this natural order and hoping or wishing it did not exist is a fear response.

In other words, if the order is what the order is, and if one is not afraid of it, and if one is fine not fulling what needs to be fulfilled in order to become skillful, then one should just be fine being unskilled (i.e. sucking). Personally, I'm fine with that as an instructor.

I'd say, "Sure. Jonny can hang out with us till he gets bored, afraid, or has his pride exposed."
David,

I don't know how to approach this other than straight ahead. Frankly, I've watched a number of your videos and I see a glaring mistake that runs through most of your demonstrations: you lean forward quite a bit. Before the uke moves toward you, you're usually leaning toward him. When pinning the uke, you're almost always way forward of your center.

I don't know why you feel that you need to criticize children so much, but I think these things are related.

In Budo.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:23 AM   #50
SteliosPapadakis
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Re: How to Make Sure Your Kids Suck at Aikido

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Alissa Götzinger wrote: View Post
Well, personally I just don't believe that you should treat children as adults on the mat. The children I teach have such a lot of work and pressure at school (and some of them at home), we just try to show them some of what we do, but still let them be children, play and have fun. And if they don't like to train, then I don't think they should be forced. We had some children who were "motivated" by their parents and it never worked out!
And I'd never, ever tell a child after training what it's done wrong! Even in class, I try to work with positive reinforcement ("That's very good already, but could you maybe try to...?") instead of criticizing them.

By the way, we got some very good children in that way who do not 'suck' at all. They can train with the adults, have stuck around for as long as our dojo's old - and the youngest one has only just turned ten. I don't believe their parents know anything about martial arts, they just let them do what they like by their own free will.

I don't mean that you should take your children out of training immediately when they're not motivated for a few weeks or so. But if they really don't want to do it, it doesn't make any sense!
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