Aikido for Kids –Frequently Asked Questions
Aikido is a modern japanese martial arts that is purely defensive. It evolved from old japanese arts such as sword fighting (Ken-Jutsu), stick fighting (Jo-Jutsu) and unarmed fighting (Ju-Jutsu). Founder was the japanese Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). If you have never heard of AIKIDO before think of a mixture of Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and Tai Chi combined with a dancer’s feeling for rhythm and the mental imperturbability of a zen monk. Aikido is purely defensive: it tries to utilize the aggressive energies such that both opponents remain unharmed and may leave the conflict strengthened and purified.
Our Aikido is influenced by SEISHINKAI Aikido of Thorsten Schoo Sensei, Frankfurt, Germany. It focusses on a clear stable basis, on fluent and dynamical movements, on the feeling of contact to the partner and on flexible footwork – without neglecting self-defense and fighting aspects.
In Aikido for Kids children have ample room to physically experience how strong they are without belittling others. They strengthen their social competences and learn that in order to progress they need to cooperate. They learn the value of fairness, respect, attentiveness and other virtues.
This integral training is beneficial for their further life.
Mainly its defensive approach. We practice to solve a conflict by blending with the attacker, by accepting the attack and by transforming it into something positive. Therefore, there can’t be competition in Aikido. Aikido teaches us to remain calm in difficult situations – a most valuable skill.
Aikido is a martial arts – it is all about fighting! But we decide the mind-set with which we enter a fight and what principle to apply. Aikido is about finding the mutually best solution of a conflict. Therefore there is no competition that establishes some bodies rank/strength.
However, contest and trial of strength is important for kids, particularly for the boys. We take this need seriously because they need to experience that they are able to do some things better than others.Others may be their superiors. They learn their capabilities and their limits. We offer playful contests and competitions keeping the Aikido principles and qualities. Everybody will find a task that he/she can excel in. We also talk about this to the kids: Enjoy if you accomplished something, then share it with others!
These experience is balanced by practice – constantly changing role between attacker (uke) and defender (tori). Breakfalls (ukemi) help the attacker to keep his integrity without being harmed or destroyed. In tori’s role, kids do not develop a feeling of triumph or superiority but instead they become calm by deflecting the energy of the attack and nobody is hurt.
To learn how to handle the energy of an attack it needs a good attack! In Aikido this also includes striking techniques (atemi waza) that are also practiced in kids classes.
We call them passages instead of examinations, because we focus on presenting what we learned and celebrating the achieved. It is not about judging the kids. Nobody can fail. To make sure that quality does not suffer the teachers and the kids agree on a passage beforehand.
Beginning with 6 yrs. kids can participate in the passages and achieve the belt grades. The passage curriculum covers 13 Mon-grades and ensures that the kids get a good Aikido education over the years. If they turn 18 they may immediately do a black belt 1. Dan passage. We count kyu/mon grades backwards, i.e. the first passage they do is the 13. Mon. They can do this passage already very early, after a few dedicated classes. Every 6 months we offer kids passages that take place in the dojo. Parents are welcome to watch.
Kids are not required to participate in the passages. But we constantly how passages provide the kids with a strong motivation to delve deeper into the Aikido practice.
The keiko gi is the jaüpanese training suit. We use Aikido or Judo suits. We recommend to get one as soon as possible. To do a trial practice you only need comfortable sportswear. You don’t need shoes.
The monthly membership fees are due beginning of each month and are 30 EUR/month per kid. In addition there is an initial administrative fee of 20 EUR.
The keiko gi’s (training suits) can be organized by us and cost around 25-30 EUR, depending on size. You may find less expensive offers online.
Yes. Every additional sibling gets a 20% discount, i.e. 24 EUR/month fee.
Only one initial administrative fee of 20 EUR is charged if sibling register together.
Yes. Please schedule a trial practice. You can take two trial classes. If your kid is too shy it is also possible to just watch the class. We often find that they are eager to participate though.
Experience shows that it is better to wait for the 4. birthday, maybe even somewhat longer. In the individual case we will decide after the trial practice. Please contact us.
This depends on the kids, on how attentive they are. If kids are still in kindergarten age, it is often better to choose the 4-6 yrs. class. But even after they started primary school the more playful approach in the 4-6 yrs. classes might be better. Please talk to us.
During summer vacation the dojo is closed for 4 weeks. During the remaining 2 weeks and during Spring/Autumn vacation we offer a reduced holiday schedule. You will be informed in advanced. During winter holidays the dojo is closed.