aikido calligraphy

Aikido Westchester NY

The Martial Art of Peace


Kids Aikido: Class Structure Age 4-14

Teaching Children Since 2004

Kids Aikido Classes

Adult - Kids Combo Class

Still Mind Aikido Kids
Try Kids Aikido & Yoga
$25/2 weeks
Schedule - Cost

Family Pricing for Adults

Tai Chi

Aikido for Self Defense

Self-defense for children differs for adults in that the attacker, normally a child, is not as dangerous and can be more easily discouraged. Also the child defending does not have the same self-control and discipline as an adult. Aikido is particularly good for this situation in that it starts teaching how to control the attacker rather than harm them. Through exercise and evasive movements, children learn how to center and use their body more effectively. Both evasion and an ability to push solidly is often all that is needed to discourage an attack from another child. Executing complex techniques is often not necessary. Also, the child learns how to fall safely, which is helpful in play and sports as well.

Aikido for Fitness

The modern school district is often resource constrained and focused on intellectual education. Physical education can be insufficient. Also, children play more through video games than sports or other exercise. Our program begins with 15 minutes of solid exercise – 5 minutes of running, bear crawls, frog jump, and ends with didactically designed games that are active. The exercise is playful. Also, before or after some of our classes, children have time to play with each other. A padded mat and foam balls often contribute to a physically active form of play. In this way, children learn to connect with and use their body more effectively, and socialize exercise as well.

Aikido for Discipline

The word discipline often evokes the idea of punishment – making a child uncomfortable when they misbehave to teach them to be quieter or pay attention. In Karate, they may tell a child to do push-ups, but not to make them uncomfortable as punishment. It improves their energy of concentration. In Aikido, the word discipline actually means concentration or focus. Study takes place on 3 levels: first hearing instruction, then contemplating if/how it is correct and then realization through concentration and focus. However, in order for a child to learn, they must be taught in the world in which they live – the world of play. Other martial arts have competition and forms – Aikido doesn’t. Traditional Japanese instruction in Aikido is therefore different from other martial arts. Rather than competition, play is traditionally used more directly in partner practice and didactically designed games. To learn tennis you can’t just watch a video. You have to practice swinging in different situations to understand the application of instruction more deeply. In Aikido the instruction is give in a period of quiet, but deeper examination and concentration must take place in the world of play to produce genuine learning.

Goku Homma on Teaching Children

"I have often asked myself, 'How can a person in my position - a fully "made-in-Japan" martial arts instructor who lives and teaches in the United States - provide the best possible method for teaching a traditional Japanese martial art to American children?' I have tried to look at the situation from both a traditional Japanese perspective and a contemporary American perspective..." (page 2 - 3)

"In many years of teaching Aikido for children, I have seen hundreds of children. Regardless of their ages and backgrounds, I have found that once they enter the dojo and participating in class, they all become - children. Children who run around the space, who jump all over, roll around, who get praised, who get scolded, who occasionally get into scuffles with other children, who make up, and again start running around. These children are at play. This play is a true learning place for them because they learn best when engaging in their natural behaviors

Using photos and illustrations it is possible to define what sorts of techniques and skills are used in Aikido. But the real value of Aikido training, I believe, is that it teaches students to deal with the kinds of situations they face in everyday lives..." (Page 7)

Children and the Martial Arts
An Aikido Point of view