Monthly, on going. Most Saturdays from 9:15 AM - 10 AM. Some Fridays from 4:15-5 PM. Ages 6 - 12. Parents are welcome to join their kids on the mat for no additional charge. Younger or older, on a trial basis, with special permission from the instructor.
About Aikido for Kids.
“One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace.
Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.”
We like the idea that here and now is "the place to train". Aikido seeks to blend with an oncoming force and resolve conflict without causing harm. The study of Aikido is fun and challenging and it helps to develop and improve balance, flexibility, coordination, confidence and relaxation. In Aikido, we move in a flowing, joyful manner. Kids take to this type of soaring movement readily. Embedded within Aikido movement are martial principles such as lowered center of gravity, proper positioning, good balance, speed & timing, and calm under pressure. Although strikes exist in Aikido, we deemphasize their use in training. The idea is to place yourself in the best possible position to neutralize the attack safely and efficiently. One of the fun and exciting parts of Aikido practice is "ukemi", learning to receive a technique, roll, fall and recover. Aikido practice places an emphasis on cooperation with and care for our training partners.
Our intention is to provide ongoing classes, progressive instruction and a place for kids to train for the long periods of time necessary to attain excellence and proficiency in aikido.
Why have we invited parents or guardians to join us on the mat? Because Aikido is fun and we think your kids will be delighted to have you there! We take inspiration from the Suzuki method of teaching music to kids. The following principles are taken from the Suzuki Association of the Americas. They relate to playing an instrument. In the case of Aikido, we are “playing” the instrument of the body and mind!
"Repetition: Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.
Encouragement: As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation".
A few details about taking aikido with us:
Although you and your kids can initially wear loose, comfortable exercise clothing for class, a “gi" is required for ongoing study. You can buy a nice, inexpensive cotton karate gi on line. Ki International is a good source, but there are lots of places to get training uniforms. A light weight cotton karate gi with top, pants and belt is sufficient at this age.
These gi’s are about $20 each for kids, depending upon size.
No watches or jewelry, please.
We work out on a clean canvas mat, so feet need to be clean. Watch out, kids (or parents) who run barefoot in the summer. Pay attention to hygiene and just like at school, leave sick children home to heal.
Where are we? 152 Davis Street, Keene NH, behind New England fabrics.
For more info, or to sign up, contact Bill Whyte at [email protected]
Bill’s cell 603-313-3226