Aikido for Children
Martial arts are often encouraged for children, but why would we want our children to learn to fight with each other? Why learn to hurt or injure another child with techniques which have destructive origins?
The answer is often simple: to learn self-defence, self-discipline, to keep fit, as a sport, and so on. In fact, these are the same reasons an adult might learn a martial art and perfectly good reasons for doing so.
However, often we do not consider the deeper consequences of daily or weekly training in martial arts which actually have an overall goal of injuring or even killing another person, if this other person were actually to try to do harm to us.
Martial arts as a sport teach us to fight and compete with each other in order to be better than the others around us. In Aikido we stress the need to be better than we were yesterday, and as good as we can be tomorrow, without reference to the performance of others. Morihei Ueshiba stressed from the beginning the benefits of aikido for children, just as much as he stressed the benefits for women and men in the modern world.
Aikido requires very little physical strength, although strength and flexibility are developed through regular practice.
And its dynamic circular movements and techniques are both playful and effective.
Aikido offers plenty of possibilities to learn through play – with a number of games incorporated into children’s Aikido classes thereby making them a fun and playful environment for learning a martial art which is focused on non-violence, co-operation, respect and harmony.
Classes are available for children 6-12. Teenagers are advised to join in with the adult classes, as weapons are introduced.