Aiki Kodomo Kenshukai – Teaching Aikido to Children

TAA member dojo Aikido in Fredericksburg organized the first Aiki Kodomo Kenshukai – Teaching Aikido to Children workshop on the first weekend of April 2006 in its dojo in Fredericksburg , Virginia .  Forty-four senseis (including TAA Dojo Cho Michael O’Quin and Brian Hill) and sempai came from around the US to participate in this ground-breaking seminar to learn new and mat-tested methods for enhancing children’s classes in the dojo.    Many Aikido styles and associations were represented.

The workshop faculty was an experienced group of nine senseis, aikidoists, and educators from around the country who gathering to provide "how-to" resources and share best practices.   TAA Dojo Cho Craig O’Connor and Aviv Goldsmith were among the presenters as was Donna Pienkowski from Aikido in Fredericksburg .

The workshop addressed a range of concerns for Aikido teachers of children including: safety, developmental learning stages, ukemi, warm-ups, games, drills, weapons practice, and ways to work with the very young and teens. Starting off each day with laboratory learning, children of Aikido in Fredericksburg got on the mat for two “live” classes. Many of the other workshops had participants jump in and pretend to be kids, an easy invitation for this group of young at heart aikidoka.

The feedback from the workshop was overwhelmingly positive so plans are being developed for organizing a similar event every two years, alternating between US east and west coast locations.  The next Aiki Kodomo Kenshukai will likely be held in 2008 in the San Francisco area.  For more information contact aviv@aikidoinn.com