Aikido is a particularly valuable discipline for youngsters. The training emphasises physical balance and timing, coupled with a calm and controlled attitude.
The great difference in Aikido from other martial arts is that it is strictly defensive; therefore the youngster can learn how to be effective and safe in hostile situations without having to resort to violence as a reaction.
Youngsters mimic what they learn. If you teach your children how to punch and kick, he or she will punch and kick. If you teach them how to be more relaxed and confident in a difficult encounter, fear and animosity become less important and less automatic in the moment.
Clear thinking and instinctive, precise action replace violence as a response. This is the kind of training on the mat that becomes a wonderful lesson for dealing with all life's problems that your child may face as her or she grows up.
The classes are comprised of warm-up exercises, basic movements that form the building blocks of Aikido, more advanced techniques and some more playful activities meant to enrich the skills already beginning to develop.
The youngsters train in a lively, healthy and relaxed atmosphere that they enjoy, yet the purpose and skills are always serious and real. The students work with the Instructors and each other. A great deal of class training is with partners and they learn how to trust each other and how to help each other.
Learning to take "ukemi" (how to fall and roll safely) is strongly emphasised. This skill not only makes training safe, but is also one of the most physical abilities that a child or adult can have to keep themselves healthy, accidental falls being one of the leading causes of injury during one's life.
Aikido is helpful in the development of a child in many ways. It is an excellent self-defence system and helps a child to develop a physical grace, a peaceful mind and a healthy, vibrant spirit.
Since Aikido is based on unbalancing one's opponent while staying firmly balance oneself, physical size and strength and athletic ability are not important , youngsters of all sizes and types can enjoy training and become good at it.
Youngsters ages 6 - 17 years are accepted into classes. They may join at any time - new students are given particular attention and everyone trains at their own level.
All our Instructors are fully qualified (BAB Level 1 Coach or above) and are expected to hold the Children & Young People's Coaching Award. They are all CRB checked and hold First Aid Certification..
More information for parents can be obtained by clicking here
More information for children and young adults can be obtained by clicking here
(these links will take you to the Child Protection in Sport Unit's web site)