The Aikido Japanese Program
Aikido Japanese is a unique program which offers a fun and engaging combination of active martial arts, creative Japanese crafts, and an innovative approach to learning the Japanese language. Tap into your child’s ‘young ear’ so they may enjoy the benefits of early exposure to a 2nd language through songs, stories and games, in a traditional dojo environment bursting with Japanese culture!
Our dojo is a safe setting where your kids can release their energy, make friends and blossom in confidence. We encourage your child’s natural adventurous and imaginative spirit and teach them to take considered risks and deal with the rough & tumble of life. Children learn skills and a mindset to safeguard themselves responsibly without harming others, to encourage friendships and to embrace cultural differences.
Aikido Japanese classes address the development of the whole child; physical, social and intellectual, in one integrated program. The progam is suitable for both girls and boys ages 3 - 18. Parents are most welcome to join in the fun.
“I was very impressed by your way of teaching Aikido movement and concepts to small children – this will help their development.”
– Saburo Takayasu Sensei: 7th Dan Aikido
The Aikido Japanese program for Tiny Tots emphasises playground safety, early language skills, respect and confidence.
Tiny Tots safely practice the basic elements of aikido through fun games and exercises which help to build their coordination, flexibility and strength.
Your child will also be immersed in a Japanese cultural atmosphere, doing activities such as origami, calligraphy, traditional stories, and songs.
“We were so proud to be at H’s presentation on Saturday. Thank you for organising it and for all your tireless work with our class this year. H was so proud to get his belt and personalised certificate. And it was fascinating to see how the kids progress, up to the amazing adult demonstration.”
– Mum of H, 4yrs
“Ann, we can’t say how grateful we are to have found such a great class with you. N really loves the Aikido & was thrilled to see you in action on grading day.
From our perspective, part of the grown-up attraction of observing you is how caring you are of the kids while also giving them a sense of responsibility for themselves & their partners. We are very lucky.”
– Dad and Mum of N, 10 yrs
Drawing on her keen interest in Japanese culture, Ann has created a fun, active and engaging program for Kids.
In the Kids classes, the children are physically and intellectually ready to learn more technical aikido. The children learn to roll safely, stand firmly - in all life situations, and respond to attack in a neutralising - not escalating - way. The older chidren are introduced to our weapons syllabus, starting with Jo (wooden staff) and progressing to bokken (wooden sword).
Energetic physical exercises are balanced by creative Japanese activities. During the year we investigate various Japanese themes inspired by folktales and festivals that Ann Sensei has received from her mother, aunts and grandmother in Japanese tradition. This approach strikes a deep chord in many children and we have witnessed many touching transformations in our young people as they grow in confidence and inner poise.
” We would like to thank you once again for such a great year. Both my children are so proud of what they have achieved. L’s physical confidence has grown exponentially for which we sincerely thank you. A mark of how much they love your classes is that they have both said that they cannot wait for next year’s school term so they can start Aikido again. They are walking around the house singing in Japanese and constantly use Japanese manners. You have had a massive positive influence on them already which we hope will continue for years to come. Our warmest and sincere thanks.”
– Dad and Mum of L, 9 yrs, & C, 7yrs
Big Kids & Teens
"I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of J . I am not sure he really communicates much to you himself but I have noticed he has become more confident over the last few months... I am seeing a difference in him and he has even told me he is learning a lot in your classes and it is giving him confidence. (Just admitting that is quite a big deal for J!!!). I just wanted you to know and to say thank you!!!!"
- Mum of J, 13 yrs
The program for Teens is designed to suit the body and psyche of this age group. Big Kids & Teens may choose to do Aikido and Japanese, or Aikido only.
In Aikido, we focus on developing these core skills: Awase, Ki, Kokyu, Ukemi, Zanshin and Budoo. These Japanese words encompass the concepts of centering, balance, blending, awareness of surroundings, breath control, extension, flexibility, hip power and martial effectiveness.
Some of the joint locks practiced in adult aikido classes may be damaging to growing young limbs; hence we are very careful in our selection of techniques for these age groups.
A more intensive Japanese session enables these groups to develop more comprehensive writing and conversational skills. Through a combination of fun games, rigorous training and exposure to another language and culture, the children develop respect, discipline, empathy, tolerance and confidence.
For some children aged 16+, participation in the adult class may be more appropriate. Please discuss with Ann Sensei. You may also be interested in the Teen Girls Self-Defense program
"I like the spirit you have engendered in the dojo – it is “family” orientated and makes learning easier and fun!!”
– Dad of A, 8yrs, and R, 6yrs
For the younger childrens’ classes, parents and carers also join in the fun! As children become more independent, parents are free to participate, watch or leave. The best outcome for the child drives this decision. Children are given relevant Japanese materials to take home, so to encourage learning and reinforce the ideas, expressions and songs introduced during class, it is useful if parents, even if not participating, are ‘listening from the sidelines’. This is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn Japanese and practice Aikido too!
During the year we hold various cultural events which all parents are most welcome to participate in! Many of our parents are also members of the Adult Aikido Class!