Kids Program FAQs
Why should my child choose Aikido instead of another martial art?
All martial arts have benefits for kids, building their self-confidence and providing them a positive physical outlet for their energy. Aikido in particular is unique in that it is a non-competitive art in which students practice cooperatively. In addition to the physical benefits of training, because much of our practice is partnered students learn to interact positively with their peers and develop the social-emotional skills needed to deal with conflict positively and proactively.
What are the benefits of Aikido for kids?
There are many. Physically, kids build core strength by learning to roll and fall safely. By learning complex partnered techniques from a variety of grabs and strikes, students develop mental focus and coordination. One of the biggest benefits of Aikido for kids is that by learning in a cooperative environment, they naturally develop the self-awareness that allows them to regulate their emotions and become more self-directed.
My child has trouble focusing—is Aikido right for him/her?
Yes. With all the distractions and stimulation of modern childhood, kids often struggle with focus and self-regulation. By having our classes divided by age group, we are able to provide developmentally appropriate instruction for all our students.
Whereas some martial arts may take a top-down, authoritative approach to discipline, in our dojo the natural flow of our classes, going from one group activity to the next, naturally rewards kids for being on task because they are able to enjoy activities with their peers.
When needed, our instructors will directly address students with disruptive behavior including time-outs as needed. Overall, our approach to discipline is to set clear boundaries and help kids develop the self-awareness needed to allow them to participate alongside their peers.
My child has been bullied in the past—will Aikido help?
Bullies tend to target kids who lack self-confidence and those who don't understand the complex social situations of school life. Learning to roll, fall and do challenging techniques in a positive environment builds kids' self-confidence, making them less likely to be targeted by bullies.
Moreover, because our classes are group-oriented, students are provided many opportunities to develop positive peer relationships. On the mat, our senior students help and take care of younger, newer students. Conversely, newer students have the positive experience of having both adults and their peers support them in their learning.
Is it possible to practice on the mat with my child?
Yes. We welcome and encourage parents to train with their kids. Being on the mat together can be a great way to bond and it's a lot of fun for parents, too.
How often should my child come to class?
It's important for kids to come regularly to develop their skills. We all understand how busy family life can be, and we recommend coming at least once a week so kids have enough repetition to build their skills and gain confidence.
Can my child try a class before signing up?
Absolutely. The first class is free with no obligation to join. If you decide to sign up, membership is month-to-month and we'll never pressure you with long-term contracts.
Great, how do I get started?
To sign up, you can print a Kids Program Contract from the kids page or we have them available at the dojo. If you want to use our automatic payment option, the triplicate forms are available at the dojo—just bring a voided check and we can take care of everything at once. See you at the dojo!