(suggested starting age: 3 years old and up)
In our Aiki 1 class we work on cultivating the very fundamentals of all human achievement be that athletic, social, moral, intellectual, and/or spiritual.
Through games, our Aiki 1 program seeks to nurture the body/mind of the child member. This is done by cultivating body/mind coordination, eye/hand coordination, cross-lateral coordination, multi-relational thinking, environmental awareness, focus/attention span, a capacity for silence and stillness, and muscular and bone development through bodyweight resistance training. Additionally, because our characters are revealed on the mat, child members are mentored in the virtues of compassion, wisdom, love, and harmony.
We do not categorize our child members according to age. The line between Aiki 1 and Aiki 2 is permeable by design. Moreover, we encourage members in the Aiki 2 program to continue their Aiki 1 practice, since the cultivation of the above mentioned attributes remains fundamental to their maturity in the art. This means that children of all ages share their practice of Aikido with each other.
In our Aiki 1 class, we highly encourage parental involvement meaning, we encourage parents and guardians to get on the mat and play these developmental games right along with their child or children. To be sure, we have several adult dojo members on the mat at all times, and if a parent or guardian cannot participate in the class they are more than free to step aside from this responsibility perhaps getting on the mat the next time. Parents or guardians should wear comfortable clothing of a modest design to participate in class.
If a parent or guardian cannot participate in a class, watching class is the next best thing. By watching a class, a parent or guardian will find ways of extending the virtues being cultivated in the dojo to the home, school, and other areas of life. This is important since this is the overall goal of training in the traditional art of Aikido.
Sensei’s children, plus nearly all of the children of our adult members, participate in our children's program. For the dojo, Aikido is a gift we give to our children. We ask that all who are seeking such training at Senshin Center for their own children to see things in this same way: Aikido is a gift we give to our children.