Many parents will be asking the same questions when it comes to their child’s education. Most often than not, the question revolves around how the programme can benefit their child. It becomes more predominant when it comes to learning a martial art like Aikido. Adults may practice Aikido for inner peace, relaxation, or self-defense. But these are concepts that most kids don’t even think about. The question in this case is how does aikido helps kids?
We all know that Aikido is a non-aggressive martial art. To explain it in the simplest explanation, it is a non-violent, non-competitive martial art which focuses on harmonious body movement and balance control rather than destructive striking techniques for self defense. And because of this, Aikido is an exceptionally wonderful martial art for children, ladies and senior citizens as it does not uses your strength to counter an attack but rather the movement of the attacker. Aikido teaches kids practical self-defence, since it does not rely on size, or speed, or weight.
As there are huge depositories of Aikido philosophy being shared throughout the class, kids will learn the most effective ways to deal with bullies without fighting. The training is carried on in a friendly environment with kids of all age levels training together. Through these philosophies, kids will also learn respect for themselves and the people around them, self-discipline, and confidence. Learning basic Aikido principles through fun exercises, games and techniques, kids can receive additional benefits, such as an increased awareness of their surroundings and a better perception of the strengths and limitations of themselves and others. Aikido teaches kids “how to be strong” and how learning to stay calm and relaxed can be much stronger than things like anger, force and aggression. They learn about responsibility, doing the right thing, even without reward, about treating each other with respect and kindness. They also learn about things like bullying, or how to respond to verbal insults.
By training, kids develop calm, clear minds. As a result, they absorb knowledge easier, and think with greater clarity. It teaches that in order to create something worthwhile, you must work in harmony with your environment and others. If your mind is correct, calm, and positive, you can make something good out of whatever the universe hands you.
Aikido teaching and training allows kids to foster the three aspect of Aikido:
Spirit: Aikido develops win/win philosophy.
Body: Aikido is physically challenging but not impossible, and it is good for strength training.
Mind: Kids learn that the mind is a tool; therefore, they learn problem solving skills and mental discipline.
Through a variety of Aikido games and controlled partner practice, children begin to understand the physical principles of Aikido and develop their ability to move fluidly, to step out of the line of an attack, and to recognize the unbalanced nature of violence.
Conditioning, balance, timing, relaxation, visualization, kinesthetic awareness and fun are at the core of Aikido teaching. One of the greatest problems in the modern world is learning to deal with stressful situations in calm, controlled, yet expressive ways. Practicing aikido, over time, will give your kid the tools for resolving life’s daily conflicts.
Of course lastly, Aikido makes your kids tired. So hopefully, they’ll go to bed a little earlier on Saturday nights.
Written By: Erwin Yuhanis (e-Sama)