Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #1
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
Offline
Age differences in class

Onegaishimasu, I would like to know how other dojos are handling age differences in class, especially teenagers who pair up with older folks and look at it as a challenge to strut their stuff.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 02:02 PM   #2
Don Nordin
Dojo: Aikibudokan Houston TX
Location: Houston Texas
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 41
United_States
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

In our Dojo your age does not matter. The class is pretty closely controlled with several black belts on the mat during training. So if anyone has something prove while training I think it would be sorted out quickly
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

My adult class has an age range from 14 years old (freshman in high school) to 71 years old (md- still in active practice). I find that the teens need extra guidance in how to be an uke. Everyone gets along really well for the most part. The 50's crowd tend to act as mentors for the teens. It is a genuinely good learning environment for everybody. I spend a lot of time, energy and effort toward creating and maintaining an integrated, training community.

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,318
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu, I would like to know how other dojos are handling age differences in class, especially teenagers who pair up with older folks and look at it as a challenge to strut their stuff.

In gassho,

Mark
At my old dojo, we had a sandan who was older, but strong as an ox from working in construction. We let the teenagers play with him until they learned some manners. Which didn't usually take more than a class or two.

More generally, if your senior students can't handle frisky teenagers, there's a problem with your training that needs to be fixed.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,339
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Our teens are also pretty well indoctrinated into our dojo culture by teaming w/ older adults...sometimes they get a tad out of hand after class playing w/ each other but this little old lady finds that a single throaty roar of "Yame!" accompanied by the schoolmarm stare of death works wonders.....

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
crbateman
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,502
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Take the youngster(s) aside and point to the old guy. Then whisper "Don't make him mad..."
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 12:10 AM   #7
Ian Keane
Dojo: Aikido Arts Center of Santa Fe
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 8
United_States
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Up until his recent retirement, the oldest student in our dojo was 83. The man stood about 6', was whipcord thin and very strong in his grip, and I don't mean just for his age. He's probably the only student in the dojo I've never heard complain of soreness or injury. I could tell you some stories, but I don't think you'd believe 'em.^^

Nevertheless, age does take a toll. While he could still take ukemi, we couldn't throw him or take him down at full speed. This is, of course, an extreme example, but it illustrates the basic principle.

In our dojo, we teach our students to time the speed of their throws to the speed of the attack. The basic rule is, the stronger your attack, the harder you are thrown. Our students pretty much abide by this rule, and when they don't, they are corrected instantly. This rule is irrespective of age. We've had young students who were not yet up to taking fast ukemi, and older students who preferred it (mostly because, once you know how to do it, fast ukemi is easier on the body).

So teaching students to abide by this rule is one way of keeping the kids from trying to act out on their seniors.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 02:45 AM   #8
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Sweden
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
More generally, if your senior students can't handle frisky teenagers, there's a problem with your training that needs to be fixed.
True. "Older folks" does not necessarily equal senior students, though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 05:48 AM   #9
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,211
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
At my old dojo, we had a sandan who was older, but strong as an ox from working in construction. We let the teenagers play with him until they learned some manners. Which didn't usually take more than a class or two.

More generally, if your senior students can't handle frisky teenagers, there's a problem with your training that needs to be fixed.

Katherine
I just let them play with me if I see them getting a little above themselves..... I was still taking full ukemi up until three years ago.... As I have not had a dojo since then.
I'm the/was the oldest as there aren't many takers wanting T/S aikido at novice stage past 45.... The oldest I've had is around the mid 40's.....He went on to do Tai Chi.... He thought it a little more appropriate....
I do advise older people to not expect to do what the youngsters can, but ego does tend to get the better of the men. The oldest, woman member I've had was in her late 30's (with the exception of my wife) but left to go on elsewhere in her career, she was a good student........
I suppose it's realising that you have to be a little easier on the body if at novice level.... Some I steer towards the "softer" styles as they find T/S a little too taxing ukemi wise.....
Swings and roundabouts....
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 08:41 AM   #10
barron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 68
Canada
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

" With age comes wisdom " OK maybe not. Being in my 59 and ½ year and having started aikido at 48 (and very fit at that time and not so now) I know when to sit out, when to roll and when to break fall. Our classes age range is usually between 15 and 59, flexible to stiff as boards, and short and tall. I agree with the person who mentioned speed of attack. Young bucks in their 20's will react very quickly and not necessarily with smooth and safe technique (for the Uke) if you attack with speed. Also, as a “senior”, I take the responsibility to tell/show my uke what I can handle. If they attack with “vigor” I simply blend and slow the technique down being sure to control their center so they realize (I hope) that speed is not essential for control. If a student still persists in going “hard” (in the throw or pin) I just don’t work with them until someone else softens them up. If I decide to go hard I choose a good Nage/Tori who I trust and make sure I’m good and rested. We’ve never really had a student at our dojo who hasn’t got it, but then again they probably leave or don’t join when they figure out what our “culture” is.

Andrew Barron
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 01:24 PM   #11
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 865
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu, I would like to know how other dojos are handling age differences in class, especially teenagers who pair up with older folks and look at it as a challenge to strut their stuff.

In gassho,

Mark
In my dojo all the yongsters are the seniors.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 04:07 PM   #12
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,182
United_States
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

We don't have a ton of teenagers. The ones we have either grew up in the dojo and don't have attitude, or they're newbies and don't have any stuff to strut. In general, outside the dojo, I think that younger guys (not just teenagers) get this idea from the culture that because they're male, they're supposed to know how to fight (which makes about as much sense as knowing how to make sushi because you've got Japanese ancestry, but there you go). When they walk into a dojo, of course, they don't know anything, but with some styles they can sort of kid themselves that they can wing it (it's a kick, it's a punch, it's a headlock, how hard can it be?). I think that aikido kind of confounds that, and makes it very clear to any beginner that they don't know what they're doing. Of course, the flip side as I've seen it in our dojo is that a lot of young guys try it once and then leave, and I'm guessing it's because they came in with a "learn to fight" agenda and then quit because they didn't make an immediate connection between their first class and their idea of what fighting skills are.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 04:48 PM   #13
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,318
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Quote:
Hanna Björk wrote: View Post
True. "Older folks" does not necessarily equal senior students, though.
No. Sorry, I wasn't clear. My suggestion is that frisky teenagers can be routed to the senior students -- of whatever age -- until they acclimate a bit. And if the senior students happen to be older, too, so much the better.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 04:54 PM   #14
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 909
United_States
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

I've trained with 80 year old men, and 11 year old girls. Both have something very different, and very valid to teach you about your own Aikido. And I'm of the opinion that everyone pays their dues just like I do, and have just as much of a right to the mat as me, even if they are physically weaker or have more obstacles than me. They deserve a good uke and a good nage, just as much as some one who's my equal physically.

Teens can benefit from working with the elderly, and vise verse. Just by the virtue that some one gives you their body to practice with is a gift, no matter how old or young that body might be.

Last edited by RED : 12-18-2010 at 04:58 PM.

MM
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #15
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,236
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Remember too, that "older" has a different meaning to people of different ages. To a teenager, someone in his late twenties or early thirties is an "older" person. When you speak of older, you may not be talking about someone of retirement age. Maybe Mark can describe his situation a little better.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2010, 11:23 PM   #16
ninjaqutie
 
ninjaqutie's Avatar
Dojo: Searching for a new home
Location: Delaware (<3 still in Oregon!)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,002
United_States
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Everyone works with everyone in our dojo. We don't seem to have ego issues in ours, but I imagine it would be handled from the get go and it would be made clear that behavior like that wouldn't be tolerated.

~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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2010, 04:43 AM   #17
Dave de Vos
 
Dave de Vos's Avatar
Dojo: Shoryukai, Breda (aikikai) & Aiki-Budocentrum Breda (yoseikan)
Location: Baarle-Nassau
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 348
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

In our dojo ages range from about 15 to about 60. Most of the older (40+ years old) students have a dan ranking and/or a solid body. I don't see much correlation between roughness and youth.

One new 17 year old student might be a bit frisky. He is not trying to hurt his uke. He just likes to train energetically I guess. He tends to push and pull as tori, but I feel he does not take my center, which makes it easy for me as an uke to slow it down a bit if needed (and I am new too).

When he is uke, his breakfalls are not yet on par with the energy he puts in his attack. The way he slams himself into the mat looks painful to me, but he does not seem to be bothered.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 12-19-2010 at 04:48 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2010, 06:55 AM   #18
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Onegaishimasu. Thanks to everyone who posted; age issues are wonderful discussions, I think.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 11:28 AM   #19
B'Dragon
Dojo: Westside Aikido
Location: CT
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 7
United_States
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

I remember one time we had this "young man', 20ish, in our dojo for a while. He can from another school with, shall I say, a chip on his shoulder. He was a big, strong and stiff, 4th or 3rd kyu with something to prove. When he started getting "frisky" in class (specially the lower white belts) the black belts would gravitate to him. One, so he would not hurt the beginners. And two so we could have our fun with him.

Personally, I would practice doing as prefect technique on him as I could. As hard as he attacked I would return his energy back to him. Which was sometimes quite hard. I would suggest to him to ease up a bit. Because he would try to do hard (or fast) techniques on me. That usually didn't work for him because the were quite sloppy.

Quite the ego this guy had. That was usually what it was all about, him trying to prove his technique. I even spent time doing extra soft, slower and very controlled techniques no matter what he threw at me, as nage or uke. Don't think he ever quite got it.

But back on topic, I've worked from very young to quite senior (80's+) and enjoyed everyone of them.

Peace to All

B'Dragon

"They weren't just being thrown, it was if they were being shocked by high-voltage electricity." - Hiroshi Tada on O'Sensei's technique
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 04:57 AM   #20
Eva Antonia
Dojo: CERIA
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 211
Belgium
Offline
Re: Age differences in class

Hello,

in my dojo "adult classes" currently start at 12 years, when my son began aikido it was at 8 years, but then we had lots of kids and it was never a problem.

We have several teenagers but none of them suffers from an excess of strength and energy. It is rather the opposite...they are small and frail, attack like butterflies and are easy to hurt - so we have to take much care of them.

We have lots of aikidoka in the forties, fifties, me included, the teacher included and several reserve teachers included. There are only two young men, one third kyu and one second dan. Age is never a matter; I get the impression that except the teenagers everyone practices rather vigorously, dynamically and no one shrinks away from whatever fall has to be taken. There are obviously preferences who likes to fall how, but no disabilities. Our oldest member is a 70 year old grandfather, at the beginning he had some difficulties because he was too rigid, but he takes ukemi as swiftly and easily as the others of us, and better than most of our teenage white belts.

But when training in Istanbul, most students are in their twenties to forties, the teacher is born in 1981, and I am often the oldest practitioner (with 42 years!) and ALWAYS the oldest women. They always need some time to realise that this makes no difference whatsoever in training...but that's also an important learning process.

Best regards, and a merry Christmas for all who celebrate it!

Eva
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
So I took a Judo class today... shihonage General 107 06-16-2013 03:30 PM
starting a new class nigel audain General 5 12-24-2006 05:05 AM
techniquies in street fights Aragorn Techniques 172 07-03-2005 05:19 AM
Aiki Expo Thoughts (Long!) akiy Seminars 5 09-29-2003 10:15 PM
Looking for intensive courses in SE Asia John Yeldham General 5 03-25-2002 02:16 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:20 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2018 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2018 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate