Thursday, November 27, 2008

How to teach children aikido

So, how do you go about teaching kids aikido? The common view, at least in the judo world, is that you shouldn't teach young kids chokes or joint locking techniques because of the potential risk to growth plates in their long bones. Some jiujitsu teachers are able to work these techniques in relative safety with kids but I think if I were to teach a class of kids aikido, here's some of what I'd do to avoid chokes, joint locks, and etc...
  • Mobility games
  • Ukemi - lots and lots of ukemi
  • Walking kata
  • Evasion drills with partners
  • Brush-off and escape
  • Wrist releases
  • Aikido atemiwaza (shomenate, aigamaeate, etc...)
  • Suwariwaza and kokyudosa (kneeling knock-down games)
  • Positional newaza basics
  • Cool ki tricks (mind games, concentration, etc…)
  • Talk about how to deal with interpersonal conflict
  • Situational self defense
  • Competition of some sort - not sure how I'd do this because all the competitive aikido randori systems I've seen are awful.
So, there's still a lot of aikido and pre-aikido that we could do. Much of the pre-aikido stuff is identical to the pre-judo stuff we do in kiddie judo. You know, the more I think about kiddie aiki the more fun it sounds...

1 comment:

  1. We run kids classes for kids from 7 - 12 (before they can go to the adult classes).

    Most kids don't want to treat it too seriously, so we try and keep it fun. Warmup and ukemi practice for about 20%. Aikido techniques for about 50%. The rest is mucking around with mobility and coordination based games.

    It's a hard transition for them to get into the adult classes, but the ones that stay tend to become very good.


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