Aikido for children
Aikido for children creates community and joy of movement. Through aikido, children will be able to develop and practice valuable skills they will benefit from throughout their lives. They learn presence and discipline through etiquette, and they learn coordination and motor skills through play, exercises and techniques. Girls and boys train together, supervised by experienced adults . Aikido is a leisure activity with focus on individual development and cooperation rather than competition.
Aikido has room for everyone and no one is “benched”, and no other equipment than a uniform is needed. At a time when many children and young people experience bullying and loneliness, children develop a sense of capability, self-confidence and respect for others. They learn adaptation and interaction, and acquire tools for peaceful conflict resolution. In aikido, the goal is not to win, but to neutralise without harming the partner. Through the training, children gain valuable experience with empathy in practice: Practitioners throw and are thrown, fall and get up again.
Several clubs in Norway offer dedicated sessions for children and young people where exercises and teaching methods are adapted to younger age groups. The sessions are usually shorter than sessions for adults, and more focused on play and safe implementation of technique. There is also a separate grading system for children with colour striped belts, and the grading is about showing friends and family what you have learned.