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Old 02-05-2006, 11:08 PM   #26
Dojo: North West Arkansas Aikido
Location: Arkansas
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 48
Re: What age is a good age to start children

Our dojo offers class for 6 and up.

On the note of judo, my jujitsu school allows kids of 5 and older. Judo is as much physics as Aikido if not more. We do alot of hip and shoulder throws. You have to know how to move, pull, push, bend, and step to be able to load someone on your back. One wrong move and your on the mat counting the lights. Aikido you can feel and see the movements depending on the throw, judo its all feel and timing. Our hands are always on your uniform. Kids can learn movement and timing, and if you tell them to do something they will give it their all because they have no fear.
Our school has an age, weight, hight requierment. If you reach a particular hight and wieght you may be allowed to join the adault class. Also if you are 13, or obtain what ever rank Shihan has set for acceptance in to the adault class.

:kiAikido is just origami with people.
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:03 AM   #27
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,031
Re: What age is a good age to start children

I've been running a kids class for a little over two years now. We'd been turning kids away for years, we didn't have anyone interested in teaching kids, nor trained up to deal with them. When a young seven year old came and asked me if he could learn, I decided that it was probably time to start thinking about it. I started from scratch with him practicing in a corner for 30 mins during the senior class, after 2 weeks, his 2 older sisters and their friend joined, within 2 more weeks a further 4 joined, I had to give them their own mat, I have 20 students now.

I set 7 as the starting age purely because that was the age of my first student, he is actually very adept and picked things up quite quickly (as do his sisters), however, a couple of later students around the same age, are not so quick. As my class is mixed age, I just can't devote enough time to everyone for the full time, attention spans wane for some more than others. Consequently, I've raised my starting age to 9 and have recently had to turn at least half a dozen prospective students away.

If I had enough time to run more classes, and could split them into age ranges, I would, and I see no reason why I shouldn't start taking them at 7 again, as I could focus the classes more to individual levels than trying to develop 7 year olds alongside 14 year olds.

I don't think kids should be pidgeon holed, as with all subjects and all ages, some learn better/ quicker than others, but like the adult classes, the key is to keep coming to practice. My kids are more reliable than many of the adults in that factor............. As for being forced to do it it by parents, I only know of two that were (as their dad is my assistant), both stopped after 14 months or so, but one of them has recently started training again of his own accord. I've had 5 other drop outs over that time, 3 of those were because we moved locations and they didn't have transport.

I recently had my first junior move into the adult class, she's still 15 but can drop the big guys as well as anyone. For my thinking, the earlier you can get them training, the better. I don't expect them to be at the same level as adults in techniques, nor to understand the principles (hell, I don't even understand it), I just hope they come and have fun practicing, then it's been worth it. If they stick with it long enough and all join the adult class, then it will be even better, but at the moment, just seeing them all lined up on the mat, laughing and joking whilst taking ukemi, queing up for me to throw them over, that's what a kids class should be, fun.

As a point of note, their a lot of considerations needed in running kids classes. It's not the easiest thing to do, in the UK you have to take a BAB training course, which will do more to put most people off. We don't do any pinning techniques except ikkyo, but there's nothing wrong with kokyunage's, kaiten nage, iriminage, tenchinage, shihonage, taisabaki, ukemi etc. Give the kids a chance, they pick up a lot more than some of you give them credit for.



Last edited by batemanb : 02-06-2006 at 02:08 AM.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:24 AM   #28
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: What age is a good age to start children

Give the kids a chance, they pick up a lot more than some of you give them credit for.
Hear, hear! perhaps the Doubting Thomas's, have not had the experience of teaching kids themselves. I found that as long as I adapted my teaching to their needs, then all was well, just as we adapt to adults different needs. Some kids are more 'robust' than some adults, why should they be excluded from a beneficial practice? it makes no sense ( not to me, anyway ).



Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-04-2006, 01:05 AM   #29
tenshin_uke's Avatar
Dojo: Three Rivers Aikido
Location: St. Louis
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 8
Re: What age is a good age to start children

my daughter had just turned five a few years ago while i was still in tae kwon do. there were a lot of younger kids there so i thought about signing her up. i talked to my pediatrician at the time and he advised me against it. since kids that small have ligaments and tendons that still are not completely formed, he advised me against enrolling her in any 'striking' art.
i waited and now her (7) and her brother (6) have both been taking aikido classes with me for about a year now. they love doing the ukemi, not to mention 'shikko freeze tag'. they do have a little bit of an attention issue, but good instructors know how to keep them interested.
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Old 03-10-2006, 12:00 PM   #30
merlynn's Avatar
Dojo: lone pine ryu school of aiki kyusho jujutsu ,woking & guildford
Location: kingston upon hull
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 188
United Kingdom
Re: What age is a good age to start children

2 of my children train with on a wednesday my little girl is 5 my son is 8, both are getting on really well, i think it should be dependant on the childs ability to concentrate and not there age as to when they start training,also as to the ability of the instructor

some things are so dear and so precious you have to let them go
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Old 03-10-2006, 12:20 PM   #31
ChristianBoddum's Avatar
Dojo: Aarhus AiKiKai
Location: Aarhus,Denmark
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 263
Re: What age is a good age to start children

Hi !

When I started teaching children the age was 8 years and up,
now 4 years later we have settled on 12 years and up.
This is based on a few different things.

First ; the coordination of mind mind and body comes together
around 11-12 years.
And we teach Aikido not just moving.

Second ; to achieve a group that doesn't have to big a spread
age-wise.This is for the sake of the children not us.

This works well for us ,both children and teachers

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Old 03-10-2006, 12:31 PM   #32
Dojo: aikido dojo nippos Crete
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 75
Re: What age is a good age to start children

My teacher started a new class with children aged 12-16.
At first it seemed impossible to even make them be quiet for a moment or two but gradually things are improving. Since my master is very serious in what he does, this echoes well into the child's mentallity. Yes it can be a game for them at first but gradually it can evolve to be what we believe Aikido is all about. All about all, really.
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