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 > Teaching

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 07-08-2008, 09:53 AM   #1
Zolley
Dojo: Wimbledon, London
Location: London
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 15
United Kingdom
Offline
Teaching children, watching parents

I was involved in an email discussion about kids' aikido classes and there was a point about whether aikido is for a kid or not. I'm not talking about kids in general but individuals.

Who do you think decides if a kid is to join/attend aikido trainings, them or their parents? What should you do or say as an instructor when the kid is very interested in aikido and enjoys trainings and progresses well but the parent thinks the kid has to do karate instead? What if the kid is bored after five minutes no matter what techniques you teach, games you play or tricks you use to get their attention (suppose that it's not any 'disorder' we are talking about and all the other kids are enjoy the training).

I have limited experience with teaching children (6 months) but both issues seemed to come up so I guess I'm not completely isolated with this issue. (well, one of them turned out to be something else but it started my thinking about the role of parents in kids' trainings). Who knows better what is good for the child? The child, the parent or the aikido instructor?

Do people with more experience know something about this issue?

Zolley
http://onlineaikido.com

Last edited by Zolley : 07-08-2008 at 10:01 AM. Reason: I left out my signature :)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 11:17 AM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,217
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Onegaishimasu. I have been teaching children for 19 years, and I have made a point to let the parents know from the get go that the decision to try aikido must be the child's decision. I have let parents know from the beginning that I do not want to try to teach a child that does not want to be there.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 11:36 AM   #3
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,124
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

The parent ALWAYS knows better simply because he is the parent and bears the ultimate responsibility for the child. As an instructor of Aikido, swimming, football or anything else, you can educate the parent to the advantages and disadvantages of a course of study for his child and help them make an informed decision.

I agree with Mark to a point. Launching into a new course of study requires a strong commitment from the student and the parent. Sometimes a parent rightfully will prod a child into an activity in an effort to help develop the youngster and that's good generally. Obviously its best if the child is excited about it too. When the child hasn't "volunteered" to study/train/participate, I think it wise for the parent to give them a specific time period. For example, the parent can say "I want you to join the swim team for their three month beginner's course. At the end of three months if you want to do something else, that will be fine, but I expect you to give a good effort for the three months." All bets are off though if the child proves to be disruptive to the others.

I suspect its pretty hard for Little Johnny to get off the couch, turn off the video games and participate in some outside activity. Often they will grow to truly enjoy it once they actually begin. That's where the parent comes into the equation as I described above. Its important to break that inertia and that can be good parenting.

I think its good parenting to remain connected with the school, activity and teacher as well. Until a strong level of trust is developed between the parent and teacher, the parent should keep a close eye on the activities and discuss anything that concerns or worries him.

So, in summary all three have a big role, but the parent is always responsible for the child's development, well-being and safety.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 12:04 PM   #4
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

I strongly encourage parents to train with their children.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 01:01 PM   #5
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: Teaching children, seeing parents

I agree with Ricky and also strongly encourage the parents to either participate with their children or at least watch the classes. My reasons are as follows:
1) legal: It is important for a parent to view the classes and know what goes on. "witnesses" to alleged events and incidents are important to insure everybody's safety and well-being.

2) Budo: It about protecting our community. The most important community is the family unit. To make that unit stronger through a shared activity is fantastic to see.

3) Social: Many parent today view classes for their children as little more than babysitting services. Taking a child from one activity to another is somehow viewed as good parenting. A child knows when a parent takes an active interest in who that child is and what that child does. It reinforces good social connections through demonstrable caring.

4) Economics: Families that train together tend to make more referrals. At least that has been my observation.

I can go on, but I will stop typing now.

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #6
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Thank you for that post Marc. I couldn't have said it better myself.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 12:31 AM   #7
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,124
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

When is the Grand Opening Ricky? And in keeping with the thread content, Marc is spot on.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 04:32 AM   #8
Zolley
Dojo: Wimbledon, London
Location: London
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 15
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Thank you all for your quick answers.

I really liked all the points of Marc, however, the club's policy (where I'm teaching children) is that there should be at least two instructors present at all times (legal reasons) but the training is behind closed doors. I agree with this policy, too, because

1. I'm not the boss
2. I can see that when the door is open (yes, sometimes there are hot summer days in London) and a parent arrives 5 minutes earlier to pick up the child, the child's behaviour changes immediately. They will check whether they are being watched and start acting according to a different standard. Sometimes it's more discipline, sometimes it's just showing off. I like to think that when they attend my classes without constant parent supervision they can be more like themselves and forget the pressures from the out-of-dojo world.

Has anyone got similar ideas to this as well?

Zolley
http://onlineaikido.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 11:11 AM   #9
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Hi Zolley,
I have a different idea than yours if you're open to that.

I see the dojo as the new locus of a childs life when they come to train with me; not just a rest(my word) from the outside world. The two worlds are best when cohesive so they are 1; a model of oneness in a childs life. By being grounded yourself you can provide the kind of presence that will glide you and students through the moments of distraction when parents arrive(or stay the whole class). In that way you are 'energeticaly'(sorry I can't think of a better word for this at the moment) educating the entire family in support of the childs practice of a 'do' a way/method of life.
Many parents have turned corners in the suport of focused training for their kids by coming to my classes. The parents become focused supporters also. So now you've got a network of people assisting in the education of aikido. Not only yourself and your fellows at the dojo.

And also, just because someting is policy doesn't mean it shouldn't be dicussed or addressed. After all, if accusations come your direction it is you who will be under fire from behind those closed doors. Not the policy makers. Awareness of suki as an instructor is a vital point and good martial arts also.
Best of luck to you.And congratulations, too.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 12:06 PM   #10
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
When is the Grand Opening Ricky?
Actually I am teaching classes just down the street at the community center. I got a great deal at $20.00/month to rent the gym. They wouldn't let me store my mats there so I keep them in my home dojo and load them up twice a week for class. Don't have many students yet but I think it will pick up when school starts. I decided it would be better liability wise if I taught at the community center. Moving the mats is kind of a pain but the price of rent is tough to beat. I am also a big fan of the community dojo concept and teaching at the community center seemed the right thing to do.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 12:15 PM   #11
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Actually I am teaching classes just down the street at the community center. I got a great deal at $20.00/month to rent the gym. They wouldn't let me store my mats there so I keep them in my home dojo and load them up twice a week for class. Don't have many students yet but I think it will pick up when school starts. I decided it would be better liability wise if I taught at the community center. Moving the mats is kind of a pain but the price of rent is tough to beat. I am also a big fan of the community dojo concept and teaching at the community center seemed the right thing to do.
I totally agree with you about the community dojo situation.

If you'd ever like a guest instructor to play with, I'm available.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2008, 12:20 PM   #12
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I totally agree with you about the community dojo situation.

If you'd ever like a guest instructor to play with, I'm available.
Jen,
You are ALWAYS welcome. I will even provide food and a room in exchange for your teachings.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 03:51 AM   #13
Zolley
Dojo: Wimbledon, London
Location: London
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 15
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Thanks Jen, I'll think about it more during our summer break.

The responses to my initial question have helped a lot already to learn about aspects of kids training I wouldn't have thought of.

Another general question regarding kids' classes (preparing for the next 'term' from August-September): What do you think the best way is to attract children (and maybe parents ) to my classes? I went to schools with posters but that didn't seem to work.

Zolley
http://onlineaikido.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #14
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Jen,
You are ALWAYS welcome. I will even provide food and a room in exchange for your teachings.
You must've seen me on the streets recently with my bokken case open and my sign that reads:

'Will Teach for Donuts'

Thanks. You're very gracious. And I will take you up on that.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #15
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Quote:
Zoltan Szlavik wrote: View Post
Thanks Jen, I'll think about it more during our summer break.

The responses to my initial question have helped a lot already to learn about aspects of kids training I wouldn't have thought of.

Another general question regarding kids' classes (preparing for the next 'term' from August-September): What do you think the best way is to attract children (and maybe parents ) to my classes? I went to schools with posters but that didn't seem to work.

also, do demonstrations at public events.

Zolley
http://onlineaikido.com
One suggestion would be to teach a class in a public school and to develop a relationship with the school districts in your area.

Parents are some of my greatest 'recruiters'. they want their kids to have friends in the class( and with gas prices they want to carpool) and they do a lot of verbal promotion for my classes.Another reason to lets parents in to the dojo ( not to hammer on a different point).

Promote your classes for kids as you would for adults; however your dojo does that.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 04:02 PM   #16
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

I think the idea of "bored" kids is an interesting one. Each of us has own own little world spinning inside of our head, and it is a challenge to try to see what planet these kids are on. What is it that they think aikido actually is? Is it possible to show it to them at all, or can they not see it? Is the kid just acting bored, or is boredom their standard fall back when they actually feel confused or intimidated? (can the parents even tell what it really is?)

I show kids a lot of different types of martial arts, but I always tell them how important aikido is to me and try to explain why.

Most kids like the idea of self defense. To capture their imagination, I use elements of their daily life. For example, I'll have a kid do shomen uchi with a full book bag and wind up standing behind him. Or I'll ask a group of kids to tell me what they are afraid of having happen to them (usually it the side headlock they ask about), and then show 5 counters. Showing kids how to respond to something they are actually afraid of, rather than "grab my wrist," is a good attention getter.

Sometimes the bored kid winds up being your best student. (But usually they just stay grumpy.) If you can get through to one of them though, it's very rewarding. And the rest can pay the bills and then open up space on the mat at month's end.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 10:07 PM   #17
Steve Peters
Dojo: Aikido of Madison
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
I strongly encourage parents to train with their children.
I'm kind of have two minds on this. Somedays, your kids are just not having a good day, in which case training with them can just drive you up the wall. One day, one of my daughters decided she was not going to fall properly at all while I was training with her. It gets hard at those kinds of moments to remain a student and not let the parent take over. Overall, however, I have found that while I am on the mat with them, they pay better attention (usually) and train a little more seriously than they do when I'm not training too.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2008, 05:20 AM   #18
Zolley
Dojo: Wimbledon, London
Location: London
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 15
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Teaching children, seeing parents

Quote:
Somedays, your kids are just not having a good day, in which case training with them can just drive you up the wall.
In my case, it turned out that one of the kids was not particiapative because she didn't like tests. I asked several times if she was bored or had some problems but the problems all sounded like excuses. She even wanted to quit. Then on the day of the test, she made a deal with his father that she would do her best and after the test she can decide whether she wants to keep coming to trainings. I managed to learn about her strong 'anti-test' feeling after the exam (which went very well) when she was more relaxed and she said she actually liked trainings but not the exams (I guess all of them have more than enough tests in their lives these days, especially if they attend lots of different extra classes). So what started as boredom turned out to be exam-shyness. I'll see if she will come back after the summer holidays...

It's great to teach, I have learned so much about people (and something about techniques ).

Zolley
http://onlineaikido.com
  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
Teaching Aikido to Children 2008 Seminar Aviv Teaching 3 10-14-2008 01:23 PM
Teaching Aikido to Children Workshop wmreed Seminars 2 09-06-2008 04:33 PM
Ultimate fights expand to include kids Jennifer Yabut Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 107 04-15-2008 08:54 PM
Hello, Need help on Navajo Rez. teaching children IDKY Introductions 3 06-18-2007 09:35 PM
Physical contact vs. "no-touch" policy Stina Anonymous 28 12-16-2005 12:09 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:13 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 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