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Aikido for Children

AIKIDO
  

Aikido for Children at Two Rivers Aikikai

children's class at Two Rivers Aikikai

Martial Arts in a cooperative and non-competitive environment.

Aikido is a traditional Martial Art that reinforces the development of compassion and understanding. The cooperative atmosphere in our dojo gives children a chance to have fun while they learn the value of respect for others. We begin class with a kneeling bow. At the end of class we bow to one another and say "Domo Arigatoo Gozaemashita." Bowing allows students to show respect to the dojo, their teachers, their partners and most of all to themselves. Students are not allowed to boast or show off. All students in the children's class, regardless of rank, wear white belts so that they treat one another as equals. Two Rivers Aikikai is one of the few select dojos in the country that does not use a colored belt system. Children learn Aikido techniques that use a partner's energy to propel them away. They learn forward and backward rolls on our canvas covered mat to reduce the risk of injuries here in the dojo and out on the playing field, ski slope, or indoor court. Here at the dojo, children experience the result of win win situations and learn that a collaborative effort can produce lasting friendships. Learning can be fun, especially when you do it with a friend.

A big reason we do not use colored belts.
This is a big reason that we do not
award colored belts in Aikido.

Children may start Aikido at our dojo at age 6, when they can focus for a full hour. Each class begins with stretches to help them relax, breathe and increase their flexibility. We move on to strengthening exercises and rolls before working on Aikido techniques. Toward the end of class, we incorporate Aikido into a few games children like to play like freeze tag, follow the leader, dodge ball, whirling blades of death, and dragon. By age 13, we will move children into the adult classes. We currently have several teens practicing with the adults. This gives them a great opportunity to focus on details of Aikido while interacting with other teens and adults in class in a more serious yet safe environment. The minimum age to move into the adult class is 10 for highly focused children.

Testing in the children's Aikido class

Testing is optional for children in Aikido class and all children wear a white belt regardless of rank attained by testing. Our emphasis is teaching children that learning can be fun and rewarding especially when we do it with our peers. We also try to encourage the children to challenge themselves and not be afraid to make mistakes. Being afraid to make mistakes can stifle taking the risks needed for developing a creative mind. Testing in Aikido for children and adults is a way to demonstrate to ourselves what we have learned.
Children's Aikido test requirements:
click here to download the test requirements
for the children's Aikido tests.
Parents can join children on the mat:
Parents of children may join the Aikido class for children at no extra charge except for the purchase of a gi(uniform $50). Parents who join the class will learn along with the children and follow the lead of the instructor in the class. All students in the class are expected to follow the Rules of Practice for the dojo.

The formal practice of Aikido at Two Rivers Aikikai will provide your children with improvements in the following areas:
  • Personal Skills: Discipline, Focus, Concentration, Self Confidence and Self Awareness.
  • Social Skills: Cooperation,Tolerance, Relating to Others, Good Manners.
  • Physical Skills: Flexibility, Agility, Balance, Stamina and Strength.
  • Cultural Skills: Japanese Customs, Etiquette, Tradition, Language and Clothing.
Development of these areas
will help your children improve
in school and in sports.
They will learn early on,
that exercise on a regular basis
will reduce stress and
anxiety in their lives.

Working together is an important part of Aikido practice.
Working together is an important part of Aikido practice.

Schedule of Classes:

  • There are no children's classes during the month of August.
    During the rest of the year:
  • Wednesdays at 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.
  • Saturdays at 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.
  • We ask that children and parents observe a class before enrolling.
  • Children may then participate in one class before enrolling.
    (They should wear loose clothing such as sweats with long sleeves and pants.)

Monthly Dues:

  • $50.00 per child.
  • $80.00 for two siblings and $105 for 3 or more siblings.
  • Children can attend both Wed. and Sat. classes.
  • One time registration fee per family: $35.

Instructors:

Alex Nelson, nidan
Robert Fraley, nidan
Michael Boeder, nidan

Children's Aikido test requirements:

click here to download the test requirements
for the children's Aikido tests.


Our group picture after kyu tests.
Our group picture after children's kyu tests
in February 2014.

E-mail Two Rivers Aikikai: info@2rivers.org

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Two Rivers Aikikai is a 501(c)(3) federal non-profit organization that admits students of any race, color, age, gender identity, and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities that are available to all members.