Junior Aikido Classes

There are three factors that all classes must be, when learning Aikido at our club: They must be MARTIAL, they must be SAFE, and ( perhaps, most importantly), they must be FUN!

At Lancaster Aikido Club, we uphold the belief that we are all beginners (regardless of rank), and should train with a ‘beginner’s mind’ at all times.

Our club trains in Takemusu (Iwama style) Aikido, which breaks footwork, empty-handed techniques, break-fall and rolling practice, into easy, step-by-step stages, that are later weaved together into continuous, flowing movement.

Aikido builds confidence and self-esteem, improves fitness, focus and flexibility, and teaches your child ethical and moral virtues of honesty, respect for others, and teamwork, through the practice of self-defence.

MARTIAL

Aikido is a Martial Art, and as such, we place a huge emphasis on teaching awareness (Zanshin). This is, perhaps the most important element of all Martial training; When you are aware of your surroundings and environment, potential threats or hazards, and your own balance and posture, then you are better prepared to deal with any kind of conflict.

This teaching is continued throughout all of Aikido practice, and should be the focus for personal safety, rather than ‘fighting your way out’.

We teach Budo (Martial practice), as we want young people to have the tools needed to deal with conflict, whether that is from a verbal argument, aggressive behaviour or physical contact. We want children to be able to protect themselves emotionally and physically, whatever the situation.

Aikido is different from other Martial Arts, such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo etc. as there is no competition.

We train in a co-operative manner, and help each other learn, without the need to compare or challenge, to progress together.

Aikido is also, often seen as ‘soft’ (compared to other styles), as we place the focus on ‘blending’ with someone, rather than ‘colliding’ with them. Because of this, we use many more circular movements and spirals, to neutralise aggressive intent, rather than trying to ‘fight’ or ‘dominate’ someone.

We teach the values of discipline, courtesy, respect and co-operation, all in a supportive and encouraging environment, where children are able to grow and flourish.

SAFE

When training any Martial Art (especially with children), our belief is that SAFETY is paramount; We know that if people are not taught how to look after their own bodies, they will suffer an injury at some point.

It is with this understanding, that Aikido offers something wonderful to all practitioners, that serves them in all aspects of their life.

Ukemi (the act of receiving) is fundamental to Aikido, as it embodies the principle of non-resistance when training; We teach all students (young or old) how to stay soft and flexible, how to break-fall and roll in all directions, how to move with someone, rather than against them, and how to protect themselves from injury (on and off the mat).

Children are taught not to use force when training, and know that force will not be used on them; this creates an understanding between all practitioners, that we are caring for each other, as well as ourselves.

“When you harm another, you harm yourself” – O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba

FUN

One of the most important things about keeping children and young people engaged in training, is making things fun.

We ensure that the group are doing what is required of them, but also, that they are enjoying it. We feel that learning must be fun, and sometimes Martial Arts are ‘too serious’ and ‘regimented’. Despite having certain dojo etiquette (such as bowing on and off the mat, bowing to one another when training, and thanking each other while training), we make sure that we are not too strict, and allow ‘kids to be kids’. They should learn, but not at the expense of laughter and play.

At Lancaster Aikido club, we always make time for games. We know that training for extended periods can be challenging and tiring, and we need some time for play, to balance learning and development.

These games include: ‘Samurai Castle’, ‘Ninja Scroll’, ‘Rolling Tig’, ZOMBIES!!, and (my personal favourite) ‘Crazy Samurai’ (which always involves lot of laughter, and screaming from the Samurai).

You can guarantee, that when your child/Nephew/Sister etc. gets home after training, they will be glad they came, have met lots of new friends, (and will be ready for a good night’s sleep).

What About Dad and Gran?

If you are a parent/guardian and are thinking ‘that sounds like fun’ and want to be involved while the children are training, we offer (and encourage) you to come and train as well; This supports the children in their training, gives them encouragement, and helps to develop strong bonds, between adult and child.

Because Aikido does not require size or strength, it is suitable for any age or fitness level, and adults can train with children without any difficulty or fear of injury.

In our experience, children are sometimes the greatest of teachers, and learning with (and from them) is something we feel all parents and loved ones should experience, through the shared practice of Aikido.

Due to the nature of non-resistance and not using force, Aikido can be practised throughout life, and well into your 80s… So, come on down with your Grandson, Brother, Daughter etc. and bond in the practice of this captivating and beautiful Martial Art.

We train between 6pm-7pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

The first class is free, and then each class is £3

You only need some comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, like jogging bottoms and a t-shirt, and can purchase a dogi (training suit) from the club, when you feel committed to the training.

If you have any further questions, please email us via the contact link, or message our Facebook account Lancaster Aikido Club