With our previous experience teaching in Hungary and abroad we have found the most effective way to teach children is by seperating the classes into the following 4 age groups:
- 1. 4-6 years old (Preschool)
- 2. 6-10 years old
- 3. 10-14 years old
- 4. 14 years old and above ( Here the children are intergrated into adult’s classes )
All classes begin with a thorough warm up and some stretching excersises to prevent any injuries.Obviously the Preschool aged childrens concentration levels are limited so we structure these classes to run for 30mins. We focus predominantly on developing coordination and social skills through basic Aikido practise and a variety of games.
The second and third age groups following the warm up continue with Aikido techniques which are executed in pairs. Here they are also introduced to Aikido weapons techniques (wooden sword and staff) and we begin teaching them Japanese terms needed within Aikido. These age groups also finish with fun games/activities to further develop coordination skills. These classes generally run for 45-60mins.
The forth age group ( adult’s classes ) run for 90mins. The training in these classes tends to be more intense with both empty hand and weapons techniques practised every class. Aikido is primarily based on pair practice but within the weapons syllibus there are kata (forms) the children need to perform alone. This is also great for the children to practise at home which will further develop their empty hand techniques too. I should mention that when we talk about teachingthe children ’Aikido weapons’ this does not mean we will be teaching the them to fight with weapons. The sword and staff techniques of Aikido are purley taught to improve the empty hand techniques. It requires a very precise execution of distancing, positioning and entering so therefor it helps create a more precise movement in the empty hand techniques.
In Aikido there is no competition – no winner – no loser. The children never have to meet with the feeling of being defeated. We teach them to gain motivation through improving themselves and their character, not by winning a trophy or defeating their partner. Aikido is a peaceful martial art based on traditional samurai ideals and we teach the children to work together and not fight or harm eachother. Aikido inspires its practioners to work on their own faults; to better refine their character, their human self. In every class we always try to transmit this idea as the most important part of their training.
In Aikido the only way to measure your growth of knowledge and improvement in technique is through a traditional grading system. There is a different grading syllibus for children and for adults. The childrens gradings are always lead by their teacher once or twice per year. The higher you grade in rank the techniques become much more advanced, and all black belt and above gradings are performed in front of a Japanese master who usually visits 2 times per year.
Besides learning the Aikido techniques it is so important to learn the right values in life as well. Our students will learn that it is so important to respect each other and to be attentive to other people and to accept the differences. We believe in training chidren to be healthy human beings in body, mind and spirit from a very early age. Also, because Aikido is a very effective self defense system they will develop a self confidence and determination that will help them to succeed in all aspects of their life.
To practice Aikido it is necessary to train on some kind of mats ( judo, gymnastic mats) to avoid any injuries.We regulary hold classes in training halls (school gymnasium) but anywhere the mats can be laid safely would be suitable.
Besides the regular classes we plan to organise summer camps, weekend camps and other activities as well. These camps will usually involve both intensive Aikido practise and other activities like swimming, hiking etc. Most of all they will get to meet new kids from other Aikido clubs and can build new friendships with children from all over the world.
So if this sounds like just what you have been looking for please contact us and we will gladly organise a demonstration at your school.
With only words you cannot really describe ’what is Aikido’ – you must see it for yourself!
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us! -We look forward to hearing from you soon