Curriculum and Learning Goals for Aikido Kids
Our Goals for Aikido Kids include:
- Having fun!
We promote joyful, energetic, and safe Aikido training in an environment that is supportive and encouraging to young learners.
- Improved Mind/Body Coordination and Physical Fitness
Aikido movements develop motor skills, balance, and flexibility.
- Improved Awareness and Mental Focus
Many Aikido exercises develop increased awareness of one’s surroundings and encourage student focus.
- Developing Self-confidence and Respect for Others
Aikido students develop skills of cooperation and respect for others through practice with training partners. Learning and following Dojo etiquette is the foundation of a safe and supportive training environment; thus, respect for others and the Dojo is expected. Increased self-confidence in Aikido Kids is actively developed by encouraging students during their training and helping them to set and meet goals.
- Learning to Respond to Conflict Non-violently
Aikido training helps children (and students of all ages!) learn to deal with challenging situations in a positive and non-violent manner.
- Learning Basic Aikido Techniques
Beginners focus on falling safely (ukemi), basic body movements (Aiki taiso), and basic partner training (kihon waza). As children progress, they are given more advanced instruction in Aikido techniques. It is expected that a student who has achieved the rank of 5th kyu or higher by age 14 should be prepared to train in the “All Levels” classes.
Each class will include: warm-up/stretching, strengthening exercises, instruction in learning to fall and roll safely, instruction in basic Aikido techniques and “games” that reinforce Aikido principles.
Schedule of Classes and Fees for Kids
Aikido Kids classes are for children between the ages of 10 to 14 and are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:00 pm . Parents, who are Dojo members, and their children are also encouraged to attend the Open Practice class on Saturday from 8:30 to 10:30 pm.
Parents and prospective students are welcome to come to the Dojo during class times to watch a class and meet the instructors.
Dues for Aikido Kids classes are paid monthly ($65/month). We also sell Dogis (training uniforms) for children for $20. To begin students may wear loose-fitting clothes such as sweat pants; however, after a month of training a Dogi should be worn.
Aikido Kids Rank Testing
It is important to note that Aikido practice has no “winners and losers” and further there is no organized competition in Aikido. Students are evaluated on their progress and capabilities independent from other students skills and capabilities. Aikido does have a ranking system which reflects students’ progress in their training. Testing for rank is not required; however, it is encouraged as it provides a meaningful way to acknowledge a student’s accomplishments. Testing evaluation is based solely on the individual student’s improvement and demonstrated understanding of Aikido principles. Testing is not just a means to promote students; it is also a powerful tool to give constructive feedback and encouragement to students. The WAAI Aikido Kids rank testing requirements are posted here.