In today's climate, where often children don't exercise as much as they use to do, due to computer games etc., practising a martial art can often be a great way of not only giving them a chance to get fit, but also to help them focus and have better concentration.
The discipline, focus and commitment it takes to understand and learn Aikido techniques can often be used in their daily life within the home and at school.
At the NIA Aikido club and its associated clubs we do not have a dedicated children’s class, but often have children from the age of eight upwards join us at our regular classes. These children are taught separately by qualified Instructors who have been DBS checked and approved.
The children’s syllabus which is separate from the adults’ syllabus, starts with very basic techniques.
The idea at this stage is for children to feel happy and confident with the techniques they are learning. As they progress and become more familiar with the techniques from the junior grading syllabus they can, in time, go for grading.
The junior grading system is put together not only to learn basic self-defence skills, but also to help build physical and mental control, as well as a sense of achievement. This in turn helps them in gaining confidence.
Our syllabus has been designed into two grading structures, junior and intermediate grading systems. The intermediate grading structure is for children who have outgrown the junior grade class, but are not quite yet ready to fully enter into the senior grade group. We are always aware that each child is different, so it’s not always down to age as to when they join the senior grading system.
Our main aim for children is that they learn Aikido in a safe and friendly environment, make new friends and enjoy their time with us while learning all aspects of the martial art.
NIA Aikido junior Filippos Psychogios, age 9 years old, demonstrates the first part of the jo kata and throwing techniques using the jo as part of his first junior weapons grading.