Aikido For Kids – Train Mind And Body

Aikido For Kids - Train Mind And Body

As given throughout the world, mainstream education often underestimates different forms of education and puts sports education in “extra-curricular.”

However, the kids do not benefit from this categorization of education. Sports as education is necessary and a vital part for kids for self-development and optimal growth.

One such sport is Martial Arts.There are varied forms of martial arts. However, in particular, one variant is very beneficial for kids’ physical and mental development: Aikido.

Aikido is usually referred to as a more philosophical martial arts practice. Its founder Morihei Ueshiba, also known as O’Sensei, was a profoundly spiritual and religious person.

He spent a lot of time teaching about how Aikido should be an art of Peace and how it should help a person grow as an individual.

Martial Arts Training: Why Aikido is excellent to start with?

Martial Arts Training: Why Aikido is excellent to start with?

Distressed by the philosophy and intent of all the other martial arts as being violent and intending to cause harm, Morihei Ueshiba wanted to develop a practice based on the intention of being defensive while also protecting the opponent from harm.

Aikido is an integration of martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs.

Ueshiba’s senior students, depending partially on when they trained with him, have different approaches to aikido.

Today, in various styles, with wide ranges of interpretation and focus, aikido is found worldwide.

Nevertheless, they all share tactics built by Ueshiba, and most have concern for the attacker’s well-being.

The purpose of Ueshiba was to develop an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while shielding their attackers from injury.

Although the word Aiki does not readily appear in the Japanese language, it has many potential meanings such as “combine, unite, join together, meet.”

Even the essence of Aikido is centered on the principle of reciprocity.

Aikido is deeply beneficial for kids as it fosters a sense of discipline and reciprocity, moral values, and empathy by not intending to harm the opponent.

This approach of Aikido makes it fit for kids. The lessons that Aikido offers to kids are often essential life lessons and life skills. 

Benefits and essential life lessons of practicing Aikido

Responsibility 

Aikido For Kids - Train Mind And Body 1

The most important thing that practice of Aikido enforces is that of responsibility. Studies suggest that being responsible is the topmost habit of highly successful people.

They keep their words, set goals, and are always acting with accountability. Aikido instills the sense of responsibility of well-being and caretaking for oneself as well as the opponent.

It replaces war-like values of martial arts with a collaborative and community-friendly art. 

Psychologists suggest that kids who can grow up to move forward on the path of self-actualization can achieve great heights. Aikido can be a path to self-actualize so that kids can grow up to take responsibility for their progress.

Non-Verbal Communication Skills

Understanding how the opponent may act and planning the next move, as it happens in martial arts most of the time, provide people with a more profound sense of non-verbal communication.

As non-verbal communication is a tool to move forward with ease in society, Aikido can give the kids the feeling of being sharply observant of non-verbal cues and communication.

Kids also learn how to respond amicably in times of conflict and look out for opponents even when they are fighting.

It makes kids realize that they always have to take care of any person they get into a battle with, no matter what the situation is.

Discipline

Any person who learns the value and practice of discipline as early as they can have a competitive edge in this world. They get to understand how discipline and hard work paves the way for dreams to come true.

Aikido makes kids learn the self-discipline that they need to ace in life. Regular practice of Aikido also helps kids gain practice of emotional regulation, thinking before acting, regulating movements, and so on.

When they learn these fundamental lessons, this becomes a way of life for them.

Aikido practitioners often take challenges head-on and consider those challenges as opportunities. Morihei Ueshiba believed that failure and setbacks are the building blocks of success for any individual as every failure teaches important lessons.

As it is famously said, “it is not how many times you fall down rather how many times you get up that predicts the success for you.”

When kids learn this through the practice of Aikido early on, they are trained in this trait for life, and they always know they can get up after any setback comes in life. 

When kids come to see challenges as opportunities, they learn to positively cope with difficulties that uncertainty and setbacks pose to reduce stress.

Optimism

When you are optimistic and focus on positivity, it becomes a crucial way of life to turn any situation into positivity. A focus on optimism also comes with a lot of mental and physical health benefits.

Kids trained to have positive regard for themselves and others suffer less from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. They tend to be more resilient and tend to bounce back from life-crises sooner.

Aikido is in itself a very positive practice. It teaches kids self-defense, but its core focus of caring for the opponent instills feelings of positivity amongst children, and they tend to see the positive in every conflict.

They also learn respect for others, balance, spirituality, and harmony in this practice. The celebration of kids reaching higher belt levels also fosters a sense of reward and positivity without being arrogant.

In essence, all of these lessons also teach the lesson of humility. 

Self Confidence

Often, when children are only trained in theory and go through rigorous marking methods of education, they begin to lack confidence in themselves and others.

When kids become adults and grow with a lack of self-confidence, it jeopardizes their social interaction.

It also leads to poor performance in studies, jobs, irrational fears, weak relationships, and sometimes if self-confidence is never developed, it leads to depression and substance abuse.

However, the practice of Aikido provides children with a strong sense of self-confidence and healthy self-esteem. With the principles being philosophical and the practical guide of fighting and defending, children develop confidence in themselves and others.

Aikido excels at promoting healthy self-esteem, high self-regard, and confidence amongst its practitioners. It also provides a healthy balance of self-confidence with enough humility.

When kids develop these rare qualities, they quickly achieve all of their goals without much hustle. Discipline, self-confidence, and humility can together be a recipe for anyone achieving their most genuine potential in life. 

Goal Setting

GOAL SETTING

Everyone sets goals in life and strives to achieve them one by one. It helps kids be determined in their vision of what they want to achieve and how to achieve it.

The practice of Aikido promotes the creation of goals and their achievement. Learning Aikido is a journey that includes challenges at every step. For any learner to advance in practice, they need to set small goals, achieve them and then move forward.

There are also many levels of earning belts and recognition. Whenever students become more skilled and earn a higher belt in their fights, they move closer to their goal of acing the practice.

Students aim to win a higher level belt, obtain a black belt, surpass their personal best for several strength exercises, or stretch further than they have ever stretched.

The number and range of objectives are infinite. The passion, inspiration, and sense of achievement gained in Aikido are awe-inspiring and can be easily extended to other areas of a person’s life.

Flexibility

For several reasons, including increased blood circulation and energy levels’, retaining physical flexibility is essential.

The risk of injury and back pain is decreased by greater physical coordination, less muscle tension, and increased freedom of movement. Similarly, in stress, depression, and frustration, being flexible in your thought decreases psychological injury risk.

For success in the workplace, accepting change is essential. Flexibility fuels creativity and generates boundless possibilities with the introduction of emerging innovations and changing markets.

We must remain versatile in relationships at home, at work, at school, play, and accept the complexities of any situation to understand and benefit from the inevitable new consequences ultimately.

The practice of Aikido also fosters physical and mental flexibility that helps kids navigate through life with a relatively easy way and positive outlook. 

Balance

Balance training improves joint stability, prevents fractures and falls, improves body position control and awareness, improves overall sports ability, response time, stamina, power, agility, and improves cognitive memory skills.

As we work for a single oriented purpose, we can become off balance. The ability to understand this and make appropriate changes is essential.

The physical attributes of balance training and the emotional, psychosocial aspects are the subjects of the Aikido. When you’re too focused on going forward physically, you have to deflect the energy and move sideways to help you maintain balance.

Similarly, when you’re too emotionally interested in moving ahead in an argument, you cannot be receptive to new evidence, feel contempt towards other people, and harm conflict resolution chances.

Aikido makes kids learn these critical balance lessons. They end up retaining greater physical, emotional and mental balance in their lives, helping them with social interaction and being a part of the community. 

Work ethics

It takes effort to succeed; physical work, mental work, readiness, and also spiritual work. Fortitude, action & sweat are required for real accomplishment. The fundamental basis for developing a strong work ethic is in the training of Aikido.

After a person becomes an Aikido practitioner, they can credit the work ethic they learned through Aikido to their achievements. We aim for perfection by not being content with getting by.

As Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Hence, Aikido’s strong sense of work ethics can help kids achieve many great things that they want to accomplish in life.

Aikido as a Pseudo-Martial Art with Drawbacks

The critics of Aikido often exasperate the fact that Aikido is not an influential martial art. It also has a few drawbacks that make people not opt for this sport. 

Time Consuming

Training of Aikido is time-consuming, and it can take years for a person to master and use the skills of Aikido. 

Zero Resistance

When one practices Aikido, the other partner does not usually resist, instead wait for their turn to make a move. It brings the practice to be a zero resistance practice. As a result, it can be said that Aikido is not a realistic martial art. 

No Knowledge of Fighting Effectively

Many people who criticize Aikido suggest that it does not make one learn the knowledge of fighting effectively. It is only useful as a defense mechanism but not as a fighting sport. 

In the end, we can safely conclude that the practice of Aikido can ensure the complete development of kids that make them a better human being, better at work, in relationships getting all the skills that they require to drive through this world.

Once kids gain worldly skills, it fosters a sense of happiness, contentment, well-being, and pride.

Wrapping Up

The philosophy of Aikido also emphasizes the understanding that we are part of the whole.

It is essential to realize that the world does not revolve around us and that we are

all dependent on each other. It helps us learn to take up responsibility, encourage empathy, and better understand where others come from.

Aikido has its place in this world. It just needs to become clear on what it is and what it offers.

Each Aikido practitioner should appreciate their practice for what it gives them and

not be afraid to look elsewhere if the answer they are seeking is not within

their practice. As long as we can do that and train the right practice for the right reasons, many martial arts may positively impact our lives.

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