Kid's Aikido Program
Aikido is a Japanese martial art that was invented by Morihei Ueshiba in the 1920s, after he had served in the military and trained in other martial arts including judo and jiu-jitsu. Disillusioned with destructive nature of violence and war, he invented a practice emphasizing harmony over aggression as a solution to conflict. In his book about aikido, The Art of Peace, he wrote: In our techniques we enter completely into, blend totally with, and control firmly an attack. The way of the warrior is based on humanity, love and sincerity.
What Do Kids Learn From Aikido?
Aikido teaches inner calm, focus and awareness through physical and mental training. Students learn how to play, rough-house, throw, fall, stand their ground, move, and meet high-energy situations in a way that fosters empowerment and respect for themselves and others.
Aikido is a practical martial art applicable to real-life situations. Students develop healthy body mechanics, become more physically fit, and practice techniques that are effective in a fight. They learn how to precisely deliver the powerful strikes of an attacker and how to effectively respond with aikido throws, joint locks and pins. They also learn how to roll, flip and fall out of techniques in ways that protect the body from harm.
Aikido is empowering. Students advance internally and externally, over time learning what it means to be a responsible member of a community in which formality, discipline, challenge, aggression, sharing and experimentation are all being mindfully explored.
What Happens in a Typical Kid's Aikido Class?
Arrival: Fifteen minutes before class, students arrive, change into their uniforms, bow and walk onto the mat. This is an important time for informal play, socializing and individual preparation for tests.
Warm-Up: Students bow in with the instructors, transitioning to more formal training. The instructor guides students in a brief focusing meditation, followed by running, striking drills, group stretches, breathing exercises, rolling and falling practice and basic stance maneuvers.
Training (Keiko): Students observe aikido techniques demonstrated by the instructor, pair off and practice with one another. One plays the role of attacker (uke) and the other (nage) responds with an aikido technique. Then, they switch.
Tests and Games: These do not occur in every class, but are part of overall training. For tests, students demonstrate techniques and are awarded colored belts. Attendance, mat etiquette, behavior and technical skill all factors in putting up students for promotion. Students may also play one of several games designed to develop aikido-related skills while having fun.
Closure: Students bow to one another and thank one another for practice. Review, discussion and announcements may also be shared. At 5:00 pm, students change and are picked up by their parents. On Thursdays, advanced students are invited to stay on for additional instruction and training until 5:30 pm.
How Do I Sign Up or Get More Information?
1. Contact the Children's Program Coordinator, Daisy Colchie, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, the name, age and athletic experience of your child or children (experience is not necessary), which days you wish to attend, and your phone number.
2. Drop by to observe a class. Emailing or calling the dojo ahead at 415.777.2833 is helpful to insure class is in session. Parents and children are both welcome to observe classes.
(Please arrive 15 minutes early so that your child has time to get ready.)
Thursdays 4:00pm-5:00pm, ages 8 and up, 5:00-5:30pm advanced kids training
Mondays 4:00pm-5:00pm, ages 6 and up
Program Co-ordinator and Instructor
4th Degree Aikido Black Belt
SFUSD Children's Educator