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Homma, Gaku -- Children and the Martia Arts: An Aikido Point of View
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.5
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Description: From the Publisher:

In the first half of the book Homma Sensei gives a very detailed and convincing account of how he came to the martial arts (and aikido in particular), and how this has shaped his practice as a teacher. He gives many easily-recognizable examples of conversations he's had with parents who want to enroll their kids in his classes. These would be comical if not true, but they serve to illustrate many of the wrong reasons parents want kids to participate in martial arts.

In the second half, he gives examples of many of the exercises children in his aikido classes perform, accompanied by black-and-white line drawings. These would be very helpful for parents with a child in aikido (as a way to understand what the children are doing, and to help them practice at home), but certainly can *not* substitute for the expert guidance of a certified instructor.
Keywords: homma children kids
ISBN: 1556431392


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AikiWeb System


Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Author: Janet Rosen
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Janet Rosen

When I started assisting with children's classes, Joel Posluns Sensei handed me this book, saying "Here, see if you get any ideas from this." I had gotten some very helpful information and perspectives from the author's "Aikido for Life," so was looking forward to curling up on the sofa with this one. I was disappointed. The chatty tone and self-oriented philosophical pronouncements that only occasionally marred "Aikido for Life" were here presented in full force and every chapter seemed to repeat and restate the same ideas (if not exact sentences, then paraphrases) so that the net effect was of reading raw, unedited personal ruminations. Yes, there are some practical pointers on training techniques to use in kids classes; frankly, I'd just as soon ask the members of Aikido-L for their suggestions....
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AikiWeb System


Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
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Author: Diane Skoss
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Diane Skoss

Translated by Yutaka Kikuchi. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1993. ISBN 1-55643-139-2. 8 x 10" paperbd. US$16.95.

Instructors who teach children, martial artists who have children, parents of children studying martial arts, parents of children who don't study martial arts, instructors who run their own dojo, instructors who'd like to run their own dojo—all will benefit from this thoughtful and well-designed book on children and martial arts study. Gaku Homma's concern for the overall education of children is evident on every page, and in fact, Part I is titled, "Martial arts training as an educational tool." In addition to a thorough explanation of what aikido is, and what it can do for children, this section is full of anecdotes from Homma's childhood in Japan and his extensive experience as a teacher of children. He offers a wealth of sensible suggestions on how to deal with both the kids (leave time for free play before class, change activities often, and turn as much training as possible into a game), and their parents (no watching class, no helping students with shoes and dressing, no unreasonable expectations). He creatively combines many aspects of his Japanese upbringing with the better features of American child-rearing into a comprehensive and compassionate method of instilling discipline, confidence, responsibility, and respect for others into his young students. Although not all will agree with his contention that aikido is the only martial art inherently suited to children, he argues his points effectively. However, he does overlook a few important matters. In his analysis of the physical dangers of "kicking-punching" arts such as karate and tae kwon do, he neglects to mention the possibilities of damage to not-yet-fully-formed joints that can occur as the result of roughly applied aikido technique. In his dojo, however, this evidently rarely (if ever?) happens, since he stresses the cooperative/partner side of aikido in a way which seems entirely appropriate for children.

The second portion of the book describes physical exercises, aiki warm-ups, some basic kamae, approaches (he prefers not to use the term "attack"), and techniques, as well as games which he has found over the years to be successful. Illustrated with cheerful, if occasionally bordering on the cutesy, line drawings, the explanations are clear, simple, and are accompanied by useful dialogues and stories the instructor may find helpful when teaching a specific technique or concept.

All in all, Children and the Martial Arts is an excellent book for all martial artists involved with children and all parents with children who have an interest in the martial arts.

Diane Skoss
Koryu Books
http://www.koryubooks.com
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AikiWeb System


Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
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Author: harry odonnell
E-Mail: Send E-mail to harry odonnell

the book is based around the differences of japan and it cultures and america it is seen through the eyes of an aikido instructor who talks about his upbring in a traditional japanese family and also about his own dojo in america and how it is run and why. i personally dont agree with everything that the author says but i found it a great insight into the japanese tradition and how they applied it to their children
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DaRa


Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cultural insight and technical portion.
Cons:

Should be reclassified in the beginner\'s category. The book will benefit beginners and their instructors. The keikis will only enjoy the sketches of children.

First portion of book is dedicated to a Japanese instructor\'s (the author) point of view and cultural insights. For Japanese-Americans especially Nisei and beyond, it can only help in reconnecting to a heritage and clarify some cultural collision. The last portion of the book is technical aikido at a beginner level but good if not bordering on excellent. The aiki-taiso is basic but more thorough.
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