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Old 10-19-2010, 01:25 PM   #26
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,002
Re: training kids in Aikido

Eva Röben wrote: View Post
One of my girls started at five and a half, and she also had a natural talent for all sorts of ukemi...... and at the age of eight she dropped out because she said aikido was nice to watch but hurted the joints too much.
At that age, I would think training would be nice to her joints. Even up until 16 (and a bit beyond) in our dojo we are careful about what techniques we do with younger people because we don't want to injur their still growing joints.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:52 PM   #27
Mark Gibbons
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 177
Re: training kids in Aikido

Ashley Carter wrote: View Post
At that age, I would think training would be nice to her joints. Even up until 16 (and a bit beyond) in our dojo we are careful about what techniques we do with younger people because we don't want to injur their still growing joints.
I think where I train we are careful about how we do the techniques rather than worrying so much about which techniques. With the understanding that the techniques taught kids are usually kihon taught to 2nd queue and under. We have plenty of folks with delicate arthritic wrists. We still do sankyo.

Kids get taught the same techniques as the adult classes as far as I can tell. The instructors do watch really closely for size and attitude mismatches. I know I've had my share of discussions with the kids about things that would really hurt and things that would really damage someone. We've had a lot of the 10 -12 year olds on the mat at Seminars. They can handle and dish out more than most people give them credit for. I think there are other reasons Aikido might not be a good fit for some kids. But few things fit everone.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:08 PM   #28
Lyle Laizure
Lyle Laizure's Avatar
Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 563
Re: training kids in Aikido

Slow and steady. Always slow.

Lyle Laizure
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:47 PM   #29
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,237
Re: training kids in Aikido

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think the argument here is how much can you alter aikido training for children before it stops being what we know as aikido.
Well, it's not like there's a concise view on that to begin with...And how many of us have an altered training from that of the guy who more or less defined what "Aikido" is?
At what point does the student get to call what he or she does, "Aikido?"
I think the focus of early martial training should be body awareness, coordination, discipline, and routine. To be honest, I believe there are tumbling classes, gymnastic classes, dance classes and a variety of other programs that better suited to accomplishing those goals than modifying aikido. Let alone other arts like wrestling, judo, karate, tai kwon do, etc.
Again, i think it depends on a lot more than what tradition of learning one happens to practice: There are bad gymnastics teachers; I remember being told to roll on my spine in the tumbling classes I went to as a wee lad. Furthermore, try getting some boys to be happy about going to gymnastics. Natural motivators, which vary from child to child, are a major factor to consider I think...not to say it can't work against you sometimes too (thinking of the disappointed looks when I told my students to stop having light-saber duels).

If you are in a situation where no other alternatives exist, sure, modified aikido works. But I don't advocate pushing children into aikido because you want them to train aikido.
I agree completely. I always saw a huge difference in the motivation and focus of my students who wanted to train and those whose parents pushed them...then again that's how I fell in love with soccer (mom definately pushed me to play when I didn't want to). It all depends.

And I can tell you for a fact I will NEVER take a dance lesson as an adult, but sure enough there is proof out there of my 5-year old rehearsal when I am dancing in an Elvis costume like a fool. Seriously. It's not funny.
From this glass house it's absolutely hilarious!

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Old 10-26-2010, 05:24 AM   #30
Tim Ruijs
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Dojo: Makato/Netherlands
Location: Netherlands - Leusden
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 463
Re: training kids in Aikido

In my dojo, my wife teaches the youngsters from 8 till 12 years.
To what extend can we call this true Aikido? Tough one.
We teach them to have respect for life, all life. The aim is not to hurt eachother, but learn with eachother. Respect the ability of others and yourself. That works wonderfully well.

Can you compare their Aikido to 'ours'? No. But I think should not either. How well does the Aikido of a beginner compare to that of a shihan? Be honest: probably just as bad.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:22 PM   #31
Dojo: Just This Aikido
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 59
Re: training kids in Aikido

At our club, we have a class on Tuesday and it is mostly kids (kyuu ranks.) The other kids are 7,9,10 and me, the oldest at 14. So, yes Aikido is very much a Martial Art suited for kids.

"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:04 AM   #32
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
Re: training kids in Aikido

I use aikido as part of my phys Ed curriculum, 2nd grade and up. Lots of arm swinging, with one partnered technique at the end. Just getting them to know that aikido exists is a major accomplishment.

"The martial arts progress from the complex to the simple."
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