Aikido is perfect for children because it teaches that there are alternatives to violence. Instead of learning how to kick and punch, children learn to redirect an attacker’s energy and resolve conflict while minimizing injury to the attacker. Because Aikido is not taught as a sport there is no competition. Competition in sports is healthy for children if the emphasis is not placed so much on winning but rather on effort, sportsmanship, and teamwork. In a martial art, however, when a child fights another child, one must “win” and the other must “lose.” Aikido is built on the premise of not-fighting. Winning by defeating another human-being is not winning at all. Instead, we teach children to learn to protect themselves while not hurting others.
What will my child learn at San Diego Aikikai?
Our program for children focuses on developing the whole child. Our conditioning exercises, Aikido techniques, and games develop physical coordination, flexibility, agility and endurance. We also seek to reinforce core values such as self-esteem and self-confidence, humility, discipline, and respect for others.
Deena Drake Chief Instructor and Children’s Program Instructor.