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Old 06-06-2003, 10:39 AM   #1
formerjarhead
Dojo: Okinawa Yoshinkan
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 19
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Freaky! Teaching Kids



I am looking for some ideas on how to teach young kids. My youngest daughter (5) and her cousin (also 5) want to start Aikido in our dojo. My other daughter (10) and her cousin (8) started about 2 months ago . Since we have no class for kids my wife and I will teach them but we are not really sure how to keep their interest in it, I don't think they will learn like the adults do. The older ones train with the rest of the class. We have thought of a few rolling games and the Basic moves but we would like some more for the younger ones. There is a book called, "Ah...to be a kid (Aikido Games)", but it's out of print. If anyone has any ideas PLEASE pass them along to us.
Thank you


Ni-kajo: Aikido's vertical adjuster
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:02 AM   #2
Sharon Seymour
Dojo: AikidoKIDS! & Katsujinken Dojo, Prescott Arizona
Location: Arizona
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 57
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First, go to http://www.aikidokids.com for lots of game and curriculum ideas.

5-year-olds do indeed learn differently from adults. Children vary widely in their focus and attention span, but generally speaking:

-35-45 minute class length

-activities change every 8 to 12 minutes

-almost any skill drill can be a game

-do teach and expect your standard dojo etiquette. We began class by lining up at the edge of the mat to practice bowing on and lining up, then bowing in formally

-I rely a lot on the aiki taiso movements; they provide a good framework of skills and lend themselves to partner variations

-with 6 young ones, 4 & 5 years old, I found I needed another adult to do any partner practice

-they're little sticklers for routine; don't be afraid to repeat the same class several times before introducing one or two new things.

Have fun!

Sharon

-----
There is more to balance than not falling over.
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:27 PM   #3
Jim Sorrentino
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia, Aikido Shobukan Dojo
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I do not believe that aikido is appropriate for children under the age of 14, for two reasons.

First, aikido techniques, even applied gently, put stress on the joints. As many former gymnasts and ballet dancers can tell you, too much stress on the joints at an early age leads to trouble later on in life. Second, aikido is a complex art. Even disciplined, motivated adults find it quite challenging to learn. In my experience, children do not yet have the ability or the motivation to concentrate at the level necessary to gain anything from the average one-hour aikido class.

Then there is the question of teaching martial arts to children. Study of the martial arts, like study of any other art or discipline, can produce wonderful effects on the student's character. But I believe that teaching young children martial arts is like teaching them to drive: it puts them in possession of power before they are mature enough to use it responsibly.

Some teachers will say that they teach the ethical use of martial

techniques, but I would not want to depend on the developing moral compass of a child. It's just way too likely that he or she will want to try out this new-found knowledge on other children.

Rather than martial arts, you may want to introduce your daughters to disciplined physical activity through more conventional sports and arts (such as soccer or tumbling), in which there is a far more

well-established tradition of teaching children. If they continue to show interest in the martial arts, I would hold that out as a future reward for good behavior and a helpful attitude around the house and with other children and adults --- in short, they should earn the right to train in the martial arts. After all, that's how it used to be in Japan: if someone wanted to study at a dojo, he had to present a letter of introduction to the instructor which vouched for his dedication and good character! Unfortunately, this is a tradition that never caught on in the USA.

Not having anything around to read is dangerous: you have to content yourself with life itself, and that can lead you to take risks. - M. Houellebecq, Platform
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:55 PM   #4
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
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I believe children can be taught and that they can learn aikido, you just need to know how to teach children. Children learn differently than adults but it doesn't mean they can't learn.

My sensei, has been teaching children for years and when I train with those who started at a young age and now can train with the adults (usually in their early teens) they have incredibly solid basics that I don't see in most in adults that I have trained with. The reason is that their curriculum is based on the fundamentals and basics of aikido. We make if fun for them but my sensei doesn't teach down to them such as only teaching games.

I have seen young children learn to improve their attention span. I have seen them gain confidence as they move up in rank. I have seen them learn to control themselves and listen and respect their seniors. Our aikido program provides this without lectures but with simple aikido instruction. I think we need more of this in the world, not less

If you want to know more, check out the article on www.aikidoonline.com written by Peter Bernath about teaching children aikido.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 06-06-2003, 06:34 PM   #5
Col.Clink
Dojo: Waiuku Ki Society
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 68
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Re: Teaching Kids

Quote:
Robert Fulton (formerjarhead) wrote:


I am looking for some ideas on how to teach young kids. My youngest daughter (5) and her cousin (also 5) want to start Aikido in our dojo. My other daughter (10) and her cousin (8) started about 2 months ago . Since we have no class for kids my wife and I will teach them but we are not really sure how to keep their interest in it, I don't think they will learn like the adults do. The older ones train with the rest of the class. We have thought of a few rolling games and the Basic moves but we would like some more for the younger ones. There is a book called, "Ah...to be a kid (Aikido Games)", but it's out of print. If anyone has any ideas PLEASE pass them along to us.

Thank you
Hi Robert,

I have that book, although as yet I haven't read it, but aim to. From my experience, you teach the younger ones just the same, it just takes a little more patience. Little ones need encouragement and praise with a good amount of discipline. Kids learn nothing but basics for the first 6 mths...things like moving out of the way from strikes, how to fall from a push forwards and backwards, and basic technique to teach them direction. It's also good to explain why they are learning what they are learning "you are learning this technique this way, because later it looks like this, and you aren't ready for that yet". I have a six yr old (and a few others) who are going for 8th kyu, been with us 1.5 yrs, they love it!!

I have a few other thoughts here

I think go for it, there is a lot to learn from teaching children.

All the best

cheers

Rob

"Excess leads to the path of Wisdom"
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Old 06-19-2003, 09:49 AM   #6
formerjarhead
Dojo: Okinawa Yoshinkan
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 19
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Thank you everyone for the good info.

Sharon that is a really good link.

I'll let you know how things go.



Thanks again

Bob
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Old 06-19-2003, 10:55 AM   #7
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
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Quote:
First, aikido techniques, even applied gently, put stress on the joints. As many former gymnasts and ballet dancers can tell you, too much stress on the joints at an early age leads to trouble later on in life.
An important point worth emphasizing. The IJF forbids submissions in judo shiai for children for exactly this reason.

Regards,

Paul
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