Many parents want their young children to learn techniques of self-protection so that they will be more self confident, self reliant and better able to deal with the ever present bullying at school.
However, their choice has been mainly restricted to martial arts, which no matter how noble their philosophy, in practice taught their son or daughter how to repeatedly punch or kick another child to achieve physical supremacy and ensure compliance.
The methods taught at Rising Stars Aikido are different. As well as teaching winning over self, Aikido encompasses practical techniques to preserve integrity and win over others cooperatively. This is why the techniques of Aikido are used as a metaphor for teaching the skills of mediation.
The general aim of the practice is to open children up to the humanitarian and engaging principles that underlie the practice of Aikido while developing their physical and emotional stability.
Please note, although martial arts involve teaching techniques of “self discipline” Aikido is not practised in a rigid way and children need a degree of self-control to be able to participate.
The classes are comprised of warm-up exercises, basic movements that form the building blocks of Aikido, more advanced techniques, and some more playful exercises meant to enrich the skills already beginning to develop.
The children train in a lively, healthy and relaxed atmosphere that they enjoy, yet the purpose and the skills are always serious and real. The students work with the instructor and with each other. A great deal of the class training is with partners and the children learn how to trust each other and how to help each other.
Benefits of Rising Stars Training
- Learning effective ways of dealing with bullies and strangers
- Respect for self and others
- Improved self-confidence
- Heightened self-awareness
- Increased personal power and effectiveness
- Personal growth and character building
- Knowledge of self-protection techniques
- Learning to have fun
Children aged 5-7 years
Children in the 5-7 year old age group will be taught a mix of some technique and lots of movement games which are designed to make learning fun.
At this age kids have little patience for technical instruction so sessions are geared to assist the kids in learning while they feel as if they are playing. Later, as the kids get older they will move into the next age group sessions which have a bit more actual Aikido technique.
There is no grading for children of this age group but to recognise progression they work towards gaining a badges to show proficiency. The different badges are;
Children aged 8-10 years
Children in the 8-10 year old age group will be taught a mix of technique and games designed to foster an understanding of Aikido’s basic principles.
Aikido practice for this age group fosters discipline and mutual respect. Additionally, they begin to learn the basic techniques of Aikido and their Japanese names as well as learning to speak and count in Japanese.
Games, designed to teach various lessons about attitude and awareness in a fun context, serve as a reward when the students have stayed focused on the more routine aspects of training.
Children aged 10-12 years
As with Children in the 8-10 year age group, Children in the 10-12 year old age group will also be taught a mix of technique and games designed to foster an understanding of Aikido’s basic principles, fostering discipline and mutual respect.
As the child progresses, the ranking system begins to include testing procedures to encourage them to organize their technical knowledge and to challenge them a bit more while still focusing on building confidence and self-esteem.
The non-competitive nature of Aikido teaches children how to work cooperatively.
Beginners start with a white belt and have to obtain 2 red tabs before going for their yellow belt, this system continues throughout all the belts.
- White 7th Kyu
- Yellow 6th kyu
- Orange 5th kyu
- Green 4th kyu
- Blue 3rd kyu
- Purple 2nd kyu
- Brown 1st kyu
Training with Mum or Dad
A number of children have parents who want to participate in the class with them.
We wholeheartedly encourage this!
- Build confidence & self esteem
- Learn respect for self & others
- Encourage teamwork
- Learn & develop new skills
- Enhance physical fitness
- Improve balance, flexibility & coordination
- Become more disciplined
- Make new friends
- HAVE FUN
CPO Sensei H & Sensei Al
CWO Claire Burgess
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