Teaching Kids Aikido Can Be Fun

Teaching kids Aikido.
Teaching kids Aikido.

Teaching kids Aikido is a little bit of a speciality, so you may have to hunt around a bit to find a suitable aikido dojo and an experienced instructor or teacher.

Not every Aikido instructor will be willing to take on children in his/her classes. This is because teaching aikido to children needs more care than teaching the same kids kids judo, karate or taekwondo.

Personally, I believe that all sports are good for children. They increase fitness, strength and self confidence in growing young bodies… But here is the catch.

Many Aikido techniques attack the body’s joints – especially the wrist and elbows. But these joints are still growing in young children, and it is too dangerous to do these normal Aiki techniques to young people who haven’t hit puberty yet.

I was taught this by the late John Gay Shihan (7th Dan JAA). He said we could teach children Aikido, as long as we eliminated the wrist joint techniques and elbow joint techniques until the children became teenagers.

This immediately removes common Aikido techniques such as Kotegaeshi and Tenkai-Kotegaeshi (Shihonage) which are the basic aikido throws number 12 and number 14 from the kata of 17 in Shodokan (Tomiki-style) Aikido.

The first five Atemi-Waza techniques of theĀ Randori No Kata are absolutely ideal for this purpose because they do not put any strain on the joints, and they only require the trainee to do a simple backwards breakfall when they are thrown.

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