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Old 05-01-2008, 12:36 PM   #1
Sita Nanthavong
Sita Nanthavong's Avatar
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 34
Children in Aikido

Please forgive me for asking this as I'm sure it's been asked tons of times before... but I'm at the library right now and they time how much time you are allowed on the 'net.

At what age do you think it's appropriate to introduce young children to Aikido? For instance, I have a son... and while he's not anywhere near an age where he's able to train (ie, he's only 5 weeks old), I would eventually like him to train in Aikido.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:50 PM   #2
mriehle's Avatar
Dojo: New School Aikido
Location: Stockton, CA
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 320
Re: Children in Aikido

It's going to depend on a lot on the child and the programs available.

Some kids are ready as early as four. Most (IME), not until they are at least six. Many not until they are nine or ten.

Also, kids younger than eight should be in a program geared toward younger kids. More a "prep school" for later Aikido training than training per se. Such a program exists at the New School Aikido dojo in Stockton and it does make a difference when the kids spend a year or two in it before moving on to the main kids program.

But, really, there's no specific age at which All Kids Are Ready.

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Old 05-01-2008, 03:30 PM   #3
Erik Calderon
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Dojo: Erik Calderon's Martial Arts Program
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 66
Re: Children in Aikido

The youngest child starting at my school was 4 years old. He is know 9, and continues to come to class.

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Old 05-01-2008, 05:40 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,342
Re: Children in Aikido

I think when they are old enough to follow simple instructions, work with partners, have some gross motor control and play group games they are good for a children's only class - I've seen 5 and 6 yr olds do very well but some are not mature enough until 7 or 8.

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:26 PM   #5
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
Re: Children in Aikido

I have been teaching children for 19 years, and my experiences have taught me that a good age for boys to start is 8, girls at 7. A children's class should be a true refuge for children to learn self protection. It should not be a day care center.

In gassho,


- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:37 PM   #6
Aiki Teacher
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland , TX
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 62
Re: Children in Aikido

My Dojo Cho sets the age at 5, but honestly being an educator, I would set the age at 6-7 instead of 5. They just don't seem to be able to follow directions and stay focused at the younger age.
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