Aikido for children

Aikido is also a wonderful thing for our younger fellows. Our children’s training not only promotes physical fitness and agility, but also automatically increases self-confidence and teaches important social skills such as respect, tolerance and courtesy towards others.

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Journal Frankfurt – Frankfurt & Rhein-Main mit Kindern 2012

4 – 6 year olds (kindergarten children)

Here, the youngest children first learn that they can get along without their parents for a while and master difficult situations. Above all, the children learn to trust themselves, their training partners and the trainers in order to explore what they themselves are capable of.

6 – 12 year olds (school children)

In this group the technical aspect of Aikido is already more in the foreground. In addition to playful exercises, the children learn sometimes complex techniques that require all their concentration. From the age of 6, the first belt examinations can be taken. Advanced students train together with beginners in a community and support each other.

When the children are a bit older, traditional form training as well as the development of physical and mental endurance in conditioning training form the focus of our work with children in this age group. Both contribute to the development of an orderly physical intelligence from which the children can greatly benefit during puberty.

13 – 18 year olds (teenagers)

The teenagers train in their own group – the older ones can also train together with the adults from the age of about 16. We want to make it possible for the teenagers to train together with their peers and older people in order to create a pleasant atmosphere and fast progress for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Aikido is a modern Japanese self-defense and martial art that evolved from ancient Japanese arts such as sword fighting (ken-jutsu), stick fighting (jo-jutsu) and unarmed techniques (ju-jutsu). Aikido was founded in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). For those who have never heard of or seen aikido, it is best to imagine a mixture of judo, jiu-jitsu and tai chi, combined with the sense of rhythm of a dancer and the spiritual steadfastness of a Zen monk. Aikido is characterized by its defensive nature, which is also evident in the forms: Here we want to work with the attack energy in such a way that both participants emerge from the encounter not only unscathed, but strengthened and purified.

Our Aikido is based on the SEISHINKAI Aikido of Thorsten Schoo Sensei, Frankfurt. It lives from a clear and stable base, from flowing, dynamic movements, from the feeling of contact to the training partner and from flexible footwork – without losing sight of the aspect of self-defense and fighting.

In aikido for children, children find a space where they physically experience how to be strong without having to make the other person small. At the same time, they strengthen their social skills as they realize that they can only make learning progress if everyone works together: They learn in a very concrete way the value of fairness, respect, attentiveness and other virtues.

The children will benefit from this holistic training as they move forward in life.

It is above all this defensive character that distinguishes aikido from other martial arts: We practice resolving the conflict by adapting to the attacker’s movement, accepting the attack and transforming it into something positive. Accordingly, aikido knows no competition. Aikido helps us learn to stay relaxed and responsive in difficult situations. This makes Aikido very valuable especially today.

Aikido is a martial art, so it teaches the art of fighting. The decisive factor is with which spirit, with which intention and with which principles we fight. Aikido is always about finding the best solution to a conflict together. Accordingly, there is no competition to determine who is the best.

However, the test of strength is an important issue, especially for children in kindergarten and elementary school, regardless of gender. And this need must be taken seriously, because it is indeed important for them to learn that they can do certain things better and other things less well, that others are superior to them in this. In this way, they experience their abilities and limits in a very concrete way. In this respect we give space to this aspect in small competitive games, which however breathe the spirit of aikido and impart aikido specific qualities to them, e.g. who is the first to sit straight in seiza(heel seat) in the circle of students after the game? Who can stand still in the kamae(basic position) the fastest at the end of the sprint? It distinguishes our small competitions that the children can be happy about the first place without putting themselves above the others. And we talk about it with the children: Be happy when you succeed in something, and then share it with others.

These experiences are balanced by training. Here, in a fixed rhythm, the roles of uke (attacker) and tori (the one who pacifies the attack through the technique) continuously change. Thereby the qualities of Ukemi(the reaction possibilities of the attacker) are practiced in such a way that Uke maintains its integrity, i.e. is not injured or even destroyed. In Tori’s work, there is no sense of triumph or superiority; rather, there is a sense of calm – a calm that comes when the energy of attack has been redirected so that no one has been harmed.

To work with the attack energy, you need a successful attack. In Aikido, this includes holding techniques Katame waza as well as striking techniques Atemi waza, which we also practice with the children.

We talk about passages instead of exams, because our focus here is on presenting and celebrating together what we have achieved, not on judging the children. Accordingly, no one can fail. To ensure the quality of the work, the children consult with the trainer before registering for the passage.

The children from the group of 6-10 years can participate in our passages and graduate with it. The passage order includes 13 Mon degrees and is designed in such a way that a child receives a serious training in Aikido over the years, in order to be able to take the 1st Dan = so-called “master degree” = 1st black belt passage at the age of 18. We count the student graduations backwards, i.e. the first upcoming passage is the 13th Mon. The children can pass this graduation after only 4 trainings if they are willing to do so. There is a regular opportunity for a passage approximately every six months as well as during the regular training; the date will be announced or discussed well in advance. The passages take place in our dojo in Offenbach.

There is no obligation to participate in the passages. But we experience again and again that the passages are a great motivation for the children to get more intensively involved in Aikido and to practice more seriously.

The Keikogi, the Japanese training suit for Aikido, is the usual attire in Aikido. It is tailored to our specific training needs, so we recommend purchasing a keikogi as soon as possible. At the latest for the first passage we need the suit, so that the obi (belt) can be worn sensibly or the monchos (colored sign for certain graduations) can be fastened on the obi (belt).

A comfortable pair of pants and a T-shirt or similar are sufficient for trial training. We train barefoot. Since we take off our shoes when entering the dojo (aikido school), it is useful to have slippers or similar for walking outside the mat.

The fees are due monthly and are currently 35,00 € per child for one training per week. In addition, there is a one-time registration fee of 20,00 €. Click here for the membership fees.

Yes: If siblings are registered at the same time, the registration fee is only charged once per family. The monthly fee for siblings is reduced by 20% to €28.00.

Any interested child can come for a free trial training by appointment, usually twice. If your child is very shy, they are welcome to watch first. Often we experience that they would like to participate in the games and then they come to the mat.

Experience has shown that it usually makes sense to wait until the 4th birthday, or even a little longer if necessary. In individual cases we decide this question after the trial trainings. Please contact us.

This decision depends largely on the children’s attention span. Especially if the child is still attending kindergarten, it often makes sense to choose the 4-6 year old group for the time being. But even if it already attends school, it makes sense to see if a more playful approach in group of 4-6 year olds can be useful for the start. In individual cases we decide this question after the trial training Please contact us.

In the summer we take a four-week break from the dojo during the school vacations. In the remaining two weeks, as well as in the Easter and autumn vacations, joint vacation lessons will take place; we will inform you about them in due time. During the winter vacations the dojo is usually closed.

Upon registration, the contract runs for half a year. Thereafter, a notice period of 3 months to the end of the month applies.
Exception are the children of the group 4 – 6 years. Here, a period of notice to the end of the month applies up to the age of 6.