Little House In Ise


Aikido with my Kids
June 29, 2008, 21:57
Filed under: Aikido, Family, Japan | Tags: , , , , ,

Kokoro has been complaining about not being able to do rolls properly. She has been doing what we used to call “egg rolls” — going over from side to side rather than shoulder to opposite butt-cheek. I was proud that she knew it was wrong and even more pleased that in her frustration she came to me for help. As an aiki-geek papa, any opportunity to share my geekiness with the kids makes me super happy. They can sense my enthusiasm and we have a lot of fun.

My plan was to go to Cosmic Center (a public gym) and use their mats but heavy rain dampened that idea… So, when Kokoro brought up rolling again we went up to her room and arranged the interlinking, soft, ABC pads on her floor and did very small rolls. The Squirt favors one side but other than that was actually looking pretty good. I decided that we needed to do a bit more so we tried some forward flat falls. I emphasized the forearm to floor contact for preventing wrist injuries since it seems to be a detail often skipped in kids ukemi training. She caught on quickly and soon we were both making horrible thumping noises banging on the floor.

The noise brought Ray in and he immediately said, “Papa, do yokomen uchi!” Silly me, I did. It turns out that yokomen uchi shihonage is his favorite technique and he has really been wanting to show it off. So he did it hard — it’s a small room and if there had not been a nice friendly wall to keep me up I would have gone down for real. Training at Honbu has really added some oomph to my little boy’s Aikido!

Fourth graders are the youngest kids in that class and so there are a lot of bigger kids. Given his almost five years of Aikido, Ray outranks a lot of them and is the only fourth grader that lines up with the junior-high and high-school kids. That seems to bother some of them — so they resist. Resistance training isn’t always bad for the partner with more advanced skills. For the bigger, less skilled partner, their own resistance may cause trouble but I haven’t heard any complaints if it has. Anyway, Ray has learned how to move and has picked up a trick or two. When I resisted (lightly) his second attempt at shihonage, The Big Guy stuck his foot behind my heel and downed me AGAIN! 🙂

Kokoro of course wanted to show off too and she requested that I strike shomen. She did a lovely little ikyo omote. Since she chose that one, I assumed it was her favorite but she corrected me. Her favorite technique is irimi nage and the variation she is comfortable with is a very Steven Segal-esque direct entry irimi nage that just does not match the image of a pretty-in-pink, gap-toothed, six-year-old having trouble with rolls.

I am definitely going to be more careful the next time I give these kids a time-out…

LOVE and PRIDE!

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2 Comments so far
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My daughter (now 7) and I have been practicing a little over a year. Our dojo currently only has family class once a week, so progress has been slow, but once or twice she has turned a technique on just right and actually taken my balance (she’s pretty good at shomen uchi kotagaeshi). We recently had a nidan move to town and join us who is interested in possibly teaching kids more regularly, so I’m hopeful that that comes to pass soon.

Training with your kid is the best!

Comment by executivepagan

ExecutivePagan-san,

Any time I see that my kids have made progress in anything it thrills me — though it was a bit galling when Ray started beating me at chess. My daughter has had some fun with kotegaeshi too!

I hope your new teacher works out!

Take care,
e.

Comment by Eric Holcomb




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