Aikido for children
Riai Aikido Dojo’s children’s training is divided into three groups: Group 1, 5-7 years (preschool, zero and first grade); Group 2, 7-9 years (primary school 1-3rd grade); Group 3, 10-12 years (4-6th grade ).
The age limits in the different groups are not fixed. Children develop at different rates both physically, mentally and emotionally. Sometimes a child at a certain age may need a lot of play and physical activity, and another child of the same age shows a greater desire for technical training and has a great ability to concentrate. Other factors, which come into play when choosing a group are friends and siblings. We mix in most groups, beginners and advanced. If necessary, we divide the group into certain parts of the lesson instead, to furnish needs at the different levels within the group.
Register for a group
If you are new at Riai, you register with this form.
Fill out your name and contact information, as well as which group the application refers to (feel free to write more e-mail addresses if you want!) Make sure you write the correct personal national ID number!
You pay to the association’s Bankgiro, and are thereby registered. The fee also includes insurance from the Swedish Sports Confederation. If you are several children / youth from the same family, you get a sibling discount of SEK 250.
For parents who train in an adult group and children who train in a child / youth group, a family discount of SEK 200 is given.
Clothes for training
Simple training clothes are enough for the first few weeks, trousers and a sweater with long sleeves. However, we urge everyone to buy a uniform as soon as possible, partly because it is more appropriate with a uniform, partly because it is an important identity-creating factor to wear a real gi (training uniform). We train barefoot, so it is important that you wash your feet before the training.
Our pedagogy Happy Aikido
The aikido we train at Riai Aikido Dojo is a traditional Japanese budo discipline in a modern variation. Learning to greet properly, sit quietly and watch and then perform the various steps in pairs is an exercise in itself. Our focus during the training is the children will find joy of movement in fall training and technique training. We alternate with educational games, which teach the children coordination and perseverance. We offer training where children can develop motor skills in a competition-free environment, where they can develop their self-awareness and ability to concentrate. The instructors work consciously with gender roles, where boys and girls train on equal terms. We call our pedagogy Happy Aikido.
An important part of training is to show respect for each other and learn cooperation. In group 1 (5-7 years) we teach a number of simple grip and throwing techniques, centered around play. In group 2 (7-9 years) we expand the technique repertoire slightly, but there is still a lot of focus on play. In group 3 (10-12 years), the techniques are dominant and we demand a greater focus from the children. To go to group 3, you must be ten years old this semester and attend 4th grade in school.
Training with jo (wooden stick) and bokken (wooden sword) is introduced in group 1 already, but with soft training tools instead of the traditional wooden tools. In group 2, you continue to use the soft training equipment and switch to wooden equipment in group 3.
We have various themed sessions, such as stuffed animal training for groups 1 & 2, Halloween training and Santa training.
The children who attend groups 1 and 2 receive an attendance diploma at the end of the semester. In group 2, you wear a new color strip on your white belt for each semester. Group 3 are part of Young Riai’s ranking system and have colored belts.
During training, we want the children not to communicate with the parents “on the outside” of the dojo as this distracts the training. Only at the last training session of the semester are parents, relatives and friends welcome to actively watch. All parents are welcome to participate in the child’s training in groups 1 and 2 free of charge if you wish. You can be there some classes, or every class. You decide! It is fun to share an activity with your children, in addition you get exercise, and learn aikido completely free of charge.
It is also important to remember that no one can “fail” or “make mistakes” technically (therefore do not correct your children during training or afterwards). The goal is for them to do their best, concentrate, show respect for themselves and each other and feel training is fun. Then we have all succeeded in Happy Aikido! This means there is no focus on technical performance and everyone can participate and develop at their own pace.
If you want to read more about our pedagogy, we recommend the book “Happy Aikido: Inspiration and motivation” where many of our exercises are also described in the book as well as on the accompanying DVD. The book is in Swedish and English. The book is available for sale at the dojo or as an e-book.
You can buy the book at our dojo.
Happy Aikido Kodex is an exercise book for all children. You learn about aikido, budo, reigi and about our mascot foxes. Hand-painted illustrations by Carl Stenmark, text and Japanese calligraphy by Pia Moberg.