Our aim is to provide children with skills for daily life, to deal with difficult situations and people, so they do not want to resort to aggression or violence, but have the ability and confidence to deal with it decisively when others employ it. We teach children to maintain a positive mind in a stressful situation, so that when they encounter conflict they learn how to relax and redirect the energy, or simply to leave the conflict. They learn conflict resolution for daily life through practice of Aikido, and respect and consideration for their partners.
We teach children that staying calm and relaxed can be much stronger and have a greater impact than anger, force and aggression. We teach our children that aggression is not appropriate, and instead to meet it with compassionate assertiveness and confidence. The awareness and confidence they develop is directly useful in all aspects of life.
Through the concentration that children will use as they learn practical self-defence techniques, and through the energy they expend during the fun, skills-focused games, they will naturally push themselves emotionally and physically beyond what they think they are capable of.
And they will have fun. Our training is serious and committed, but also fun and joyful.
And the end result? Children who have a sense of calm, quiet self-assurance and respect for all human beings.
What happens at the dojo?
Drop-off Policy – the dojo is a training hall. It is a refuge from the outside world where we like to maintain a sense of calm and focus to ensure that children reach their full potential at training. Experience has shown us that children respond much more positively to learning if the parents leave the dojo quickly and quietly once they have dropped their child at training, allowing the child the time and space to focus on the task in front of them. For their first class some children prefer their parent(s) to be there for a while; we are happy to accommodate this if you let us know in advance. Throughout the year we will provide opportunities where families are welcome to attend a class and demonstration to ensure that parents remain in touch with their child’s progress and understand what their child is doing.
We also request that children arrive 10-15 minutes early, allowing the class to start on time.
As you would expect in a martial arts environment, there are some etiquette and dojo rules that all who enter the hall are expected to observe, to focus minds and set the environment for successful learning and safety.
We start the class with meditation, then exercises and stretches and training in ki. On alternate weeks the class starts with a Boot Camp, to develop core strength, followed by stretches. The majority of the time is then spent learning Aikido technique and thinking, with the help of games and exercises for the younger group specifically targeted at the objectives for the class and more complex Aikido and some weapons work for the older group. Both younger and older groups explore self-defence scenarios and appropriate responses, with the older group doing more complex scenarios.
Aikido Classes for Kids and Teens with Autism or Aspergers
The Aikido class for kids/teens with Autism or Apergers begins the week ACT public schools return, although students can start anytime during the term.
The class is for students aged 6-Teen and goes for 45 minutes. The syllabus is the same as other classes, but instruction is modified to suit the learning approach ASD students prefer (which is actually very close to what all classes do). The class has been very successful, engaging ASD kids physically and intellectually. It has also prepared students to subsequently move to the mainstream classes.