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Old 05-19-2004, 11:17 AM   #1
Andy Scaley
Dojo: Fleet Aikido Club
Location: Hampshire
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5
Smile New kids class

Hello everyone

This is my first thread. I am starting up a kids class in a few weeks time and am wondering if anyone has addvice on what to include in the first few lessons ettiquette wise etc? Also any game that people have used in the past.

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Old 05-26-2004, 12:13 AM   #2
Jordan Steele
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 126
Re: New kids class

Kids classes are a lot of fun. My best comment would be to have fun yourself. In terms of etiquette, kids usually don't take "Aikido" on their own... a parent usually puts them there, so my advice, keep it simple, keep the attitude casual. Bow when entering/leaving the dojo, when stepping on/off the mats, and the usual bow to kamiza, bow to sensei, bow to fellow students as appropriate. Kids want to do something dynamic, so make evrything dynamic. Do what you normally do and add some spice to it. Kids have an amazing ability to learn with there eyes. Do five to six techiniques per class. Show each technique a few times and let them fly at it. If you do too much explaining they get bored quickly...really quickly. I'm not a big fan of games, even with kids, because it takes the martial part away. As long as you smile, encourage, and help, they are very co-operative and work pretty hard. Have fun.
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Old 06-19-2004, 02:40 AM   #3
Raul Roldan
Dojo: Aikikai NSW
Location: Sydney
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 18
Re: New kids class

hi Andy,

please see my post on teaching kids thread referring to an video by Bruce Bookman Sensei of Seattle Aikikai.

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Old 06-19-2004, 05:03 PM   #4
Dojo: Kyushinkan dojo
Location: Alpharetta Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20
Re: New kids class

one thing, dont let the kids get out of cotrol, i help teach sometimes at a kids class and thy get pretty rambunctious, so sometimes you have to put yur foot down and they will cooperate.....
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Old 06-19-2004, 11:39 PM   #5
Tadhg Bird
Tadhg Bird's Avatar
Dojo: New School Aikido, Stockton, CA
Location: Casper, WY
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 55
Talking Re: New kids class

One of the best skills a young one can learn in Aikido class is FOCUS.

The program in which I taught had this following mantra:

Sensei: What is the first rule of Aikido?

Class: FOCUS!!! (the louder the better)

Sensei: What is the SECOND rule of Aikido?

Class : FOCUS!!![

To this I added,

Sensei: What is the THIRD Rule of Aikido?

Class: "FOCUS!"

Sensei: No, no, the third rule of Aikido is 'don't forget the first two rules' (And yes, the wink is important)

A fellow teacher stumbled on "The Focus Game" which was really just a way to get the class settled down and focused again. The last version I used worked as such:

1) Everyone stands in a circle and "focuses" (standing straight, no excessive fidgiting, no talking, etc)

2) If a student loses focus, they sit in seiza and "get thier focus back" when they are suffeciently focused they are invited to stand back up.

3) When the entire class can go a minute (or however long Sensei says shorter or longer) with everyone staying focused, the game is over and EVERYBODY WINS!

Variations on the focus game can have Sensei or the assitants doing things (sudden claps, stomping on the mat, making silly noises, sudden breakfalls, etc.) to break thier focus and make them giggle. Soon they will be able to stay focused even with that kind of ruckus going on.


"Words and letters can never adequately describe Aikido -- its meaning is revealed only to those who are enlightened through hard training." -- Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei

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Old 06-20-2004, 07:55 PM   #6
Dojo: Aiki Kai, CHD, Victoria
Location: Melbourne
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4
Re: New kids class

Andy, I hope that your classes go really well, I agree with everything that has been put forward, except one thing, the martial aspect over games... games are important to children thats how everything is learned first off. suwari waza tag, normal tag games but however gets tagged play in suwari waza along with every one else who has been tagged.
I keep kids classes straight forward irimi, tenkan, blending, ukemi, they all love it dearly. When i clap my hands for them to sit in seiza i will wait until every student is correctly seated then and only then will i begin to teach, if they are not prompt in there actions of sitting down and settling they get a stern look and the kids all know that it is not acceptable to play around in class that comes at the end when we play the games... get the idea?
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:36 AM   #7
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 152
Re: New kids class

I found that when a new batch of kids starts, it is best to all sit on the floor, you in the corner...the kids all looking into the corner at you(fewer distrations) and just talk to them about martial arts in general. Talk to them about how we do not want to hurt somebody. Tell them the "RULES" of the dojo. That there are not many rules, but these rules are NOT ever to be broken. When you are talking about this, make sure they are all paying attention. Maybe, if you are sitting when talking to them....just before discussing the "rules", stand up....to reacquire their attention.

I think if you explain the "RULES" and how it helps make the dojo a fun place, it is received much better.
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Old 06-21-2004, 12:46 PM   #8
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Re: New kids class

AikidoKids.com is a good source of information. Good luck.
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