Children are an integral part of One World's community. The dojo is a safe, supportive environment in which children may learn and grow. Practice teaches courage, confidence self awareness and self esteem. Aikido practice also teaches body awareness, and provides a unique framework for acquiring developmental skills. Children are encouraged through practice to build relationships with others and practice social skills. Classes are structured and the children are held to high standards.
While building skills, children also participate in non-competitive games, which are based around basic skills. Games turn work into play, foster cooperation, and build communication skills. Our program is designed for children ages 6-11, or first through fifth grade. Children in the sixth grade are placed in the Teen Program. We also offer camps for children.
Children and Tests
At One World, tests are a celebration, not a pass/fail situation. Children are asked to prepare for testing when they have been practicing regularly for several months, and are demonstrating that they have a good grasp of basic movements. Unlike the adults, children are promoted by colored belt ranks. The ranking system we use is yellow, red, purple, orange, green and finally blue.
Testing can be both exciting and challenging for children. While there is a set of requirements for each test, tests are adjusted according to the needs of the child. For example, very young students are not asked to learn as much vocabulary as older children.
We also have a history of passing colored belts. When a student is promoted, he or she keeps their lower belt, and is able to give it to another student coming up through the ranks. This is voluntary, but nearly all of the children choose to do this. It supports children in understanding that each person learns something from the other members of their class, and has a responsibility to share their knowledge with students who have less experience.
If you have questions about our program for children, please contact our Chief Instructor.