A re-breakable epiphany

My instructor recently spent six weeks visiting family and friends in his homeland, so it was my responsibilty to instruct the childrens class while he was away.

Teaching kids can be quite testing, especially keeping everyone interested and challenged at the same time! On top of that you are dealing with a variety of ages and experience. One thing I had noticed over the last few years and especially the last few weeks is that it is difficult to inspire the correct attitude when punching and kicking in kihon or kata regardless of the amount of explanation and emphasis on correct technique - punching and kicking air just is not reality. At this point you might say that is why we practise partner work which is fine for aiming and control, however, unless you drill 100% full-contact it is still not 'real'. Many old-timers will be thinking to themselves at this point that is the reason why we have makiwara (Makiwara - How to Build and Use) - and indeed they would be correct for those who practise diligently and probably daily, but is also not the reality for most kids/adults training in this modern world where they might come twice a week for an hour or so.

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© Shane Clapson

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Children's Aikido - The lessons I have learned and how they have affected my own aikido

Children's Aikido - The lessons I have learned and how they have affected my own aikido

When I began teaching children Aikido I was entering a journey into the unknown. I had watched a video and read some articles, however at the end of the day I was an absolute beginner. I knew the children would be different to adults yet in how many ways I did not know.

Looking back to the beginning one of O'Sensei's quotes was particularly relevant:

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