Although adults might practice Aikido to develop inner peace, relaxation, or self-defense, most children don’t even think about these concepts. So why is Aikido a good idea for kids?
Value of Aikido for kids
Aikido teaches kids calmness. Of course, kids shouldn’t be calm all the time. Aikido gives them the choice. If they need to sit still at school, or concentrate on homework, or focus during sport, Aikido shows them exactly how to do that. The techniques and ki testing we do teach them correct calmness. This is entirely different from keeping their emotions bottled up. Aikido calmness feels good.
Aikido helps kids at school. By training, kids develop calm, clear minds. As a result, they absorb knowledge easier, and think with greater clarity. Aikido is about developing the full human potential, and school is one of the most important places for this potential to be realized. Aikido teaches kids practical self-defense. Aikido does not require athletic talent. In fact, athletic prowess can sometimes get in the way. Aikido works for little people, since it does not rely on size, or speed, or weight.
Kids have the ability to learn basic Aikido principles through exercises, games and techniques. Kids can become absorbed in an activity because it is fun and then receive additional benefits, such as an increased awareness of their surroundings and a better perception of the strengths and limitations of themselves and others. They have the opportunity to push themselves further, to explore their abilities, to assert themselves, to focus their attention, to push themselves physically, emotionally and mentally beyond what they think they are capable of. Aikido teaches kids “how to be strong” and how learning to stay calm and relaxed can be much stronger than things like anger, force and aggression. They learn about responsibility, doing the right thing, even without reward, about treating each other with respect and kindness. They also learn about things like bullying, or how to respond to verbal insults.
Aikido gives kids a positive worldview. It teaches that in order to create something worthwhile, you must work in harmony with your environment and others. If your mind is correct, calm, and positive, you can make something good out of whatever the universe hands you.