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Old 09-06-2006, 03:51 PM   #26
dps
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Trish Greene wrote:
The maturity level to sit down, be quiet, concentrate and learn the move is just not there.
Hey, I resemble that remark.

Are you sure you are talking about children?

Last edited by dps : 09-06-2006 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:45 PM   #27
Mark Uttech
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Mark Gibbons wrote:
What legal implications?





I'd much rather my 11 year old daughter trained with a black belt than with a non black belt. The black belts are the safest folks to train with.


Mark
If the black belt in question was a certain john lamont, you and your daughter may have the worst problem a minor child can encounter in aikido.

In gassho, tamonmark
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:49 PM   #28
Mark Uttech
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Re: Children and adults together

I forgot to add, please see my post #19 on this thread.

In gassho
Mark
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:52 PM   #29
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Children and adults together

While employed by the US Army Youth Services program I learned a valuable "rule" that should never be broken when working with minors: Never be alone with them! Always have at least one other adult present. This will protect the adult as well as the child.

Last edited by gdandscompserv : 09-06-2006 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:11 PM   #30
Trish Greene
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
While employed by the US Army Youth Services program I learned a valuable "rule" that should never be broken when working with minors: Never be alone with them! Always have at least one other adult present. This will protect the adult as well as the child.
In ANY situation where you work with kids you need to have at least two adults. I am also a scout leader and that is the strict rule, no one adult alone with the kids, you must have two deep leadership..very wise rule!!!
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:57 PM   #31
Brad Pruitt
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Re: Children and adults together

Where have we gone wrong as human beings that we have to worry so much about this kind of thing ? I know it's out there but it is just not something that I personally think about very often. I rely
on instinct and gut feeling to tell when something is not right rather than expecting that something just might happen.
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:51 AM   #32
happysod
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
I rely on instinct and gut feeling to tell when something is not right rather than expecting that something just might happen
I prefer to use the first rule of self-defense, avoid any potentially bad situation before it occurs - much less stressful. As for the implication that its a modern problem, you might want to remember that the age of consent is relatively recent and was brought in as way of preventing child prostitution which was very common at the time.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:30 AM   #33
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Brad Pruitt wrote:
Where have we gone wrong as human beings that we have to worry so much about this kind of thing ? I know it's out there but it is just not something that I personally think about very often. I rely
on instinct and gut feeling to tell when something is not right rather than expecting that something just might happen.
You may have the fortunate circumstances of not having to think about it, but let me assure you, we have gone wrong! If you spend much time getting to know the foster care system in American society, and those human beings in it, you will indeed ask; where have we gone wrong?
Gut instinct isn't reliable enough. It also does nothing to protect the adult in cases of false accusations. The 2 deep rule is a good one.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:42 AM   #34
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Children and adults together

And unfortunately, in too many places, is still very common today.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:20 AM   #35
Mark Gibbons
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
If the black belt in question was a certain john lamont, you and your daughter may have the worst problem a minor child can encounter in aikido.

In gassho, tamonmark
Any legal issues specific to aikido?

The problem above might be part of an argument in favor of getting rid of kids classes and having them train with the adults.


Thanks,
Mark G
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:25 AM   #36
James Davis
 
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
And unfortunately, in too many places, is still very common today.

Best,
Ron
Including here in the U.S. Human trafficking is prevalent all over the planet. There have been quite a few cases nationwide where a lot of traffic was coming and going at someone's house, and neighbors reported it, assuming that drug deals were going on. These complaints, coupled with other evidence, led to the lives of quite a few young people inside those places being saved!

Some of the people working the groves in my state work for pennies. Some have worked at gun point.

We need to keep our eyes open!

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:07 AM   #37
wayneth
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Re: Children and adults together

Recently the British Aikido Board implemented various legislation that banned children from training on the mat with seniors. The age of a junior was also raised from 16 to the age of 18, I do not now why this is.
The BAF also implemented a Child Protection Officer, so I guess this means that the BAF are now in the final or if not completed what the BAB have legislated.
Wayne
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:58 AM   #38
jonreading
 
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Re: Children and adults together

The biggest legal issue with children is the burden of responsibility the one assumes while watching the child - I usually call it an assumption of guardianship, but that is not the legal term. There are some aiki lawyers out there that may have the experience to be more exact of the scope of responsiblity (duty) and the specifics of the law.

An underaged child requires consent from a parent or guardian to participate in an activity, such as aikido. After consent is granted by the guardian, the burden of care then shifts to the activity organizer for the duration of the activity. For example, every child training should have parental consent. But if while training, the child is injured, molested, traumatized, or "harmed," the dojo would be liable for that harm. The same relationship exists between children and schools, day care, sports, and other activities. The organization I work for produces a large congress each year, we refuse to offer child care services because the insurance and liability it too expensive.

If you want to appreciate the legal implications of watching children, talk to your local daycare or school and ask them why they employ nurses, or what their inusrance liability premiums cost, or why they have rules against allowing children to be alone with any one adult.

There are so many activities in which we segregate children into similar age and ability groups, I just don't understand why we stop with aikido. If I told a parent her 5 year old was going to school at the 5th grade level, that would be a problem. If I told a parent her 10 year old was going to play football with the high school team, that would be a problem. If I told a parent that someone who did not undergoe a background security check was going to watch her child for a couple of hours, that would be a problem. In any other instance, parents would (or should) take issue with the risks associated with potential emotional, physcial and criminal circumstances that exist within a dojo environment.

Why is a child treated as an adult when they train aikido? Because we pat ourselves on the back and say, "Come train aikido, we are more civilized then society." I don't agree. Children can't vote or drive, they get discounts at the movie theater, and naps after meals. When was the last time you baby-talked to your boss? How often do you sit in a stroller because you are too tired to walk? We treat children different on every other social and physical level of interaction.

We treat children as adults because it is easier for adults.
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:52 PM   #39
Mark Gibbons
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
......

Why is a child treated as an adult when they train aikido? Because we pat ourselves on the back and say, "Come train aikido, we are more civilized then society." I don't agree. Children can't vote or drive, they get discounts at the movie theater, and naps after meals. When was the last time you baby-talked to your boss? How often do you sit in a stroller because you are too tired to walk? We treat children different on every other social and physical level of interaction.

We treat children as adults because it is easier for adults.
Jon, thanks for the information on legal aspects.

I don't think most kids are treated as adults when they train with adults. We expect a lot from them in terms of proper behavior but we don't lose sight that we are training with kids, even if they are very skilled. Kids get benefits out of training with adults. 10 year olds learn a lot faster dealing with somewhat competent adults rather than with beginning 6 year olds. Some adults and some classes can be ok for younger kids (9-11 in my experience). It depends on a lot on which kid and takes effort and thought to make it work. I can see where it wouldn't take much to ruin this type of interaction. So far we've been lucky I guess.

A 3rd kyu 14 year old that has been training for 8 years may quite possibly give any adult anything they could want in terms of training. Some of my under 17 sempai are very good, very scary and very fun to train with. Just another perspective.

Mark
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:59 PM   #40
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Recently 2 children aged 5 and 7 have started training with our evening aikido class.

I find it very difficult to train with them, they are less than a third of my size. my frustration lies on 3 levels:

- They are too small to offer any attack above waist height
- They sometimes lack the attention span to focus on the mat for the duration of the class
- Because of their size I do not feel comfortable throwing them or applying techniques to them.

I would really like some other perspectives on this, am I being selfish? Should I suck it up and train with whoever the Sensei allows onto the mat?

Is it reasonable to not want to practice with a five year old?

What should I do?
In my opinion it is not responsible to allow children to train with the adults. The consequences of a huge adult falling on someone that small would be devastating, even more than it would be with an adult.

Also, the basic locking technqiues of Aikido are not good to do on children until their joints start to get solid in their later teens.

If the training is being done in a manner that is safe for the children, then the adults aren't really training.

What constitutes a "child" from the sfaety standpoint has to do with size rather than age. I've had 12 and 13 year olds start training with our adults but they weighed around 135 lbs which put them heavier than many of the deamle adults and equal to many of the males.

Attention span is another issue. I've had kids of ten doing the same exact class in the advanced kid's class that I later did with the beginner adults that same evening. These kids had been training for five or so years at that point though.

I've had several teens who at first kyu had been training for almost ten years. Initially the adults would treat them like kids until they found out that the kids could do the techniques better than they could. Then I found the adults asking them for help and treating them as full adult members of the class.

So kids under aroung 110 lbs or so belong in a kids class. After that it has more to do with maturity although the joint locking issue really is age related.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:02 PM   #41
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Children and adults together

If the children aren't allowed to train with an adult, who will teach them aikido?
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:26 AM   #42
Brad Pruitt
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
You may have the fortunate circumstances of not having to think about it, but let me assure you, we have gone wrong! If you spend much time getting to know the foster care system in American society, and those human beings in it, you will indeed ask; where have we gone wrong?
Gut instinct isn't reliable enough. It also does nothing to protect the adult in cases of false accusations. The 2 deep rule is a good one.
I do understand all this but I don't understand what it has to do with aikido and kids training.Seems to me like two seperate issues maybe three. I mean foster children are one thing, child prostitution is another and akido practice is yet another. And Human trafficking ?? Sure these things are out there but within the relation to aikido class ???? I am very familiar with the foster program but I am still a bit confused with the correlation to aikido in this context. I do believe you can go overboard with just about everthing. I'm not trying to be difficult I'm just trying to make sense of the relation this all has with eachother especially aikido training with children.To me it feels lost on some tangent.

Last edited by Brad Pruitt : 09-08-2006 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:16 AM   #43
wayneth
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Re: Children and adults together

I personally think alot of countries are now steeping up their protection on children; which will ultimately mean on the protection of children when they do sports. Like I added in an earlier post, Britain are now in a final stage to completing this. This is possibly because of the murderer Ian Huntley, who was a school caretaker.
In Britain now where a Federation is a member of the British Aikido Board, no child is meant to be on the mat where adults train. This may seem a little bit silly, since myself am in their eyes a junior and train in an all adult class.
I guess this is my opinion, and I might be far from the point.
Wayne
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:24 AM   #44
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Children and adults together

The connection is people(?) like John Lamont and Bruce Klickstein. Look 'em up if you have to.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:38 AM   #45
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Brad Pruitt wrote:
I do understand all this but I don't understand what it has to do with aikido and kids training.Seems to me like two seperate issues maybe three. I mean foster children are one thing, child prostitution is another and akido practice is yet another. And Human trafficking ?? Sure these things are out there but within the relation to aikido class ???? I am very familiar with the foster program but I am still a bit confused with the correlation to aikido in this context. I do believe you can go overboard with just about everthing. I'm not trying to be difficult I'm just trying to make sense of the relation this all has with eachother especially aikido training with children.To me it feels lost on some tangent.
Brad,
I run an aikido club for foster children.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:49 PM   #46
James Davis
 
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Brad Pruitt wrote:
I do understand all this but I don't understand what it has to do with aikido and kids training.Seems to me like two seperate issues maybe three. I mean foster children are one thing, child prostitution is another and akido practice is yet another. And Human trafficking ?? Sure these things are out there but within the relation to aikido class ???? I am very familiar with the foster program but I am still a bit confused with the correlation to aikido in this context. I do believe you can go overboard with just about everthing. I'm not trying to be difficult I'm just trying to make sense of the relation this all has with eachother especially aikido training with children.To me it feels lost on some tangent.
Occasionally, horrible things can happen when children are alone with the wrong adults. Children are also quite often the victims in situations involving human traficking. The connection with these situations is that, in most cases, justice was not done until someone noticed. Use your training to notice things that others would ignore. Look around. If someone is brave enough to ask for help, be ready to give it.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 09-09-2006, 06:47 PM   #47
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
If the children aren't allowed to train with an adult, who will teach them aikido?
Obviously, kids need to train under the supervision of an adult teacher. Most folks seem to be focusing on the adult teacher potential for abuse or perception of abuse... I was talking about having younger kids in class with adults or even older youths. In the case of the typical kid's class, it's just great if you have a couple of instructors available to team teach the kids but many dojos have a tough enough time finding one person who is free in the late afternoon to do a kid's class or classes. If you don't have multiple adults to teach class, encourage the p[arents to stay and watch class. Many perents use Aikido as a form of baby sitting. They just want to drop their kid and go do errands. But if there are a few adult who stay around, then you never have to worry about any perception that there might be something going on that is not above board.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:49 PM   #48
Carol Shifflett
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Re: Children and adults together

Quote:
Recently 2 children aged 5 and 7 have started training with our evening aikido class . . . .<snip> Is it reasonable to not want to practice with a five year old?
5- and 7-yr-olds do not do not do NOT belong on the mat with adults for the very immediate issue of physical safety (as in "physics," as in "F=ma") and for the very same reason that tricycles are not permitted on super highways. Even the more developed physical bodies known as "bicycles" are restricted to their own class environments. Children are not just small adults any more than a bicycle is merely a small Mack truck. Even dwarves and short women, regardless of size and configuration, have adult bones, joints, and brains. Young children do not.

On the surface, how nice to send a child to Aikido rather than "violent" karate. Well, hmmmmm . . .Karate classes might actually be safer. There are no wrist or joint locks (or shouldn't be). They do not teach falling and rolling, hence students are not surrounded by other students who are falling and rolling. If they were, damage would be minimal due to small size and weight.

Sending these same small bodies out to play with the Big Rigs presents enormous risk. So maybe this is just an Opportunity to practice Awareness and Control? Okay -- but imagine the potentially disastrous results of an Awareness Lapse during which a 200-pound Big Person falls on a 40-pound Person so short that no one noticed him/her walking behind uke. It would be roughly equivalent to the 200-pounder serving as a crash pad for Andre the Giant and his brother. Major damage.

Meanwhile, WHERE are the parents?
As George remarks, many people use these classes as karate kiddie care. If there is some compelling reason to start Aikido at ages 5 & 7, then I would want to see the parents there on the mat working with the kids, not just dropping them off and zooming away. And students (it's usually the short females) should not be dragooned into providing child care while the others practice.

Check with the insurance providers for your dojo. They are the experts in the equations of risk and injury -- and I would bet dollars to donuts that they would take a mighty dim view of this. Perhaps the parents are there, but you didn't mention them. If they are not, it doesn't sound as tho it is merely annoying for the other adult students, it sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Inappropriate touching, child abuse and John Lamont are NOT the first issues that leap to my mind in this scenario. It's the potential for "pancaking" -- in the worst possible sense of the word -- and the inability of a 5-yr-old to give an adult student the practice and workout that he's paying for. As you describe it, it seems unwise in so many ways. WHY is your sensei permitting this?

Since Lamont has come up, I will mention that I actually took my first classes from him. I was not a young girl, therefore, in theory, safe from the behavior that has given him such an unsavory reputation. But there were other behaviors in that class that struck me as extremely odd so I left. I didn't learn of his reputation until years later. However, I have retained a General Life Lesson from that experience: If you see one instance of bizarre behavior and poor judgment, chances are there are others that you don't see -- yet.

Carol Shifflett
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:53 AM   #49
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Children and adults together

Very nice post Carol. Thanks,

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:40 PM   #50
Mark Uttech
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Re: Children and adults together

Good post Carol. For those not in the know, John Lamont is a convicted sex offender now on parole and has resumed teaching aikido in the Greensboro, NC area. His parole stipulates that he be barred from teaching anyone under 18, but how safe is a stipulation? Those who want to check into the story, simply google the name john lamont.

In gassho,
Mark
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