This approach is especially important in the children and youth work of our club. Children learn not only body awareness and coordination, but also how to deal peacefully with conflict situations. In the dojo, children with the most diverse backgrounds meet each other. Backgrounds that often enough lead to conflicts in everyday life.
We are always motivated by the fact that children make friends on the mat, regardless of religion, skin color or origin. We get to watch them become more skilled. Rolling and falling doesn't hurt on the mat! The learned sequences become automated, children act intuitively and thus protect themselves even when falling off a bike or over the famous carpet edge. The simulation of conflict situations, meeting aggression with a calm, relaxed, but decisive attitude also strengthens the children's self-confidence.
For us trainers, it is an incentive to observe how shy children gain more confidence from week to week, how children who are aggressive and restless learn to deal with a difficult situation or task in a calm and focused manner. With these skills, young people can keep calm and de-escalate in the event of an altercation, whether just verbal or physical. If a physical altercation does occur, they can use the techniques they have learned to get out of the situation without harming themselves or others.
„For us trainers it is an incentive to observe how shy children gain more self-confidence from week to week, how children who are aggressive and restless learn to deal with a difficult situation or task in a calm and concentrated way.“
In Aikido there are only defensive techniques. The goal is to lead a conflict to a peaceful, amicable outcome. No aikido technique has the goal of inflicting injury on the opponent.
We are convinced that this approach is not only the right one for physical disputes and that, learned early, it becomes a natural way of behaving and thus promotes togetherness in society.
With our commitment we make a great contribution to youth and social work. Our voluntary work allows our association to offer the trainings for children at a cost that does not create social barriers.
While looking for pictures for this article, we were able to look back many years and recognize children in the pictures who are still training with us today. Some of them have outgrown us and show us what they can do in adult training.