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Old 07-08-2022, 12:56 PM   #1
Conrad Gus
Conrad Gus's Avatar
Dojo: Eclipse Budo
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 274
Cool Safety for kids

What's the consensus on "dangerous" techniques when teaching kids? I seem to recall there were a few techniques that some dojos were banning because of physical developmental vulnerabilities.

Also, does anyone ban breakfalls for kids? It seems to me that they are pretty bouncy and good at picking up the technique.
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Old 07-10-2022, 05:26 PM   #2
Dojo: Kitsap Aikido, Poulsbo, WA
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 65
Re: Safety for kids

I would have to ask our instructors for a more complete list (I'm just a longtime student myself), but I know we skip nikyō for the children's classes, along with pretty much anything we wouldn't teach to an adult newbie, like rokkyō (a.k.a. "hijikime", "hijishime"; various other names) or the choking variants of certain other techniques (that is, techniques that end with chokes).

As far as breakfalls go, something like koshinage should be fine for kids: a child training with another child has less height to fall from and less weight to impact the ground with than an adult does. Some preparatory breakfall exercises would still be warranted though. However, I would exclude forced-breakfall versions of shihōnage or kotegaeshi, as those can seriously torque wrists and elbows if the uke isn't fully ready to do so.

Also, take judo as an example: nearly all falls are breakfalls, rather than rolls, and children's programs in judo are commonplace. Yes, you can bring up a counterexample of the child that died in Taiwan, but that was a result of an uncertified, unaffliated, negligent instructor, who was repeatedly throwing the kid himself as some malicious form of "toughening up".
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Old 07-20-2022, 12:52 PM   #3
Dojo: Free style Aikido ,Coos Bay Oregon
Location: Coos Bay Oregon
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 13
Ki Symbol Re: Safety for kids

[quote=Conrad Gustafson;355674]What's the consensus on "dangerous" techniques when teaching kids? I seem to recall there were a few techniques that some dojos were banning because of physical developmental vulnerabilities.

Also, does anyone ban breakfalls for kids? It seems to me that they are pretty bouncy and good at picking up the technique.[/QUOTE

I ain`t ban any techniques when comes to teaching kids. I believed in safety but survival is very significance. I teach student with high risk , low income families. I have to teach ukemi more than 20 time in a day. believe it or not is not an easy task but when they got it means they got it.
I teach them freefall too. And I always say this to all my students " IF YOU FALL AND GET HURT
YOU DOIT WRONG" and everyone remember it .
Don't take me wrong I believe in safety but survival for me is significance. If I teach them to survive in this dying world then safety will be attach by.
I think teaching kids the hard way they can survive long.

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Old 08-20-2022, 05:21 PM   #4
Jim Myers
Dojo: Makoto Dojo
Location: Ventura, CA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 6
Re: Safety for kids

At Makoto Dojo, Reynosa Shihan stressed ukemi for kids. Usually through creative games. You can see the jump rope curriculum he used beginning at the 2:00 minute mark in this video. https://youtu.be/h3V9CKW5jBQ

He stressed evasion and deflection. "Don't get grabbed, punched or kicked." In various games of tag. (The kids favorite was usually "take down tag".) He'd teach "circle hands and slippery hands to get away from a grab attack. When you got tagged (taken down) you couldn't be freed by your teammates until you'd done 5 forward rolls and 5 back rolls.

How to recognize danger and good ma'ai

Techniques were limited depending on age and level. Mostly ikkyo, sankyo, shomenuchi irimi waza, mae giri hiza jime. Nikkyo was not taught except at the highest level teen classes. Kote gaeshi might be taught at a slightly younger high level class. Koshi nage was taught in a modified way.

Hard falls were also taught. But the most important teachings had nothing to do with technique. Things like "It's OK to cry but never to give up" "There is no try only do" It's OK to fail learn from it and do it again.

Unfortunately Makoto Dojo was a victim of Covid. But Makoto Aikido Kyokai still exists. I'm sure Shihan would be willing to share his thoughts on teaching kids.
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Old 08-23-2022, 03:57 AM   #5
Dojo: Shoheijuku Aikido, Fukuoka
Location: Fukuoka
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 157
Re: Safety for kids

Over here in west Japan, the kids have a 22-level system (11 grades with half grades) which can take a child from 4 years old up to pre-black belt, for the most part each grade adding a single technique each time. That system has them fairly at late elementary/primary school age before they are doing nikkyo. Note that children here are extremely respectful of each other, so I can't say if it would translate to a Western dojo.

We haven't been doing much koshinage, except with late teens who will be going for their black belt i a year or two. We do have big gym mats though so people can get used to breakfalls before doing it on the mats directly.

If we want to send someone into a kotegaeshi breakfall, we usually grab their forearm for the throw to avoid wrist strains. We don’t do forward ukemi for shihonage at all, and almost never for kotegaeshi.

Naturally having something useful to say is like natural responses during training: It takes much practice.
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Old 08-23-2022, 02:35 PM   #6
Jim Myers
Dojo: Makoto Dojo
Location: Ventura, CA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 6
Re: Safety for kids

Children don't need dangerous techniques. Use the less dangerous techniques, exercises and games to teach them ukemi (including break falls), deflection, ma-ai, awareness and avoidance, kindness, compassion, honesty and integrity, courage, respect and humility.

Teach them to avoid/deflect an attack and get away. If they can't be grabbed, punched, kicked, etc. there's no need for them to stay and fight.

There is no reason to teach a child how to break another child's wrist etc. I say another child's because their chance of performing effective technique on an adult is minimal. Besides the training required for them to successfully execute these techniques is dangerous to them and their partners.
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