Why You Should Let Your Child Learn Aikido

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In the midst of the rise of many different martial arts as a fun after-school activity for kids, many parents are looking for the safest and most practical martial arts to invest in. Many moms are apprehensive about the hurt-factor in some rougher training regiments like those of Judo or Wushu, and they are on the lookout of those that can be fun for their children while giving them peace of mind. Perhaps it is time to take a look at one Japanese martial art that can serve many benefits for all concerned, aikido.

Aikido may have been popularized by action star Steven Seagal, which may cause many moms to raise their eyebrows at the violence in his movies. But this Japanese martial art is actually an art form focused on learning how to leverage strengths and finding an opponent’s weaknesses, a strategy popularized by the book “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu. In a sense, the different martial arts may share these basic tenets, but the main reasons why you can let out your breath and let your child learn aikido are outlined below:

1. For a child who is constantly on the go, aikido is a good way to release all his pent-up energy while learning safety measures. The safety measures come in the form of rolling and falling techniques. Aikido makes use of throws in order to win over an opponent, and everyone who trains in it is also trained to “fall” correctly. This means that should your child ever fall or be thrown by somebody, he would know how to somersault or roll safely without getting hurt. Besides, these gymnastics-related skills will certainly be appreciated by your child, and they can be taught safely to children as young as 7 years of age.

2. Aikido is a safe form of unarmed self-defense. The definition of safe in this context is that it does not rely on any deadly weapons, but can still succeed in disabling one’s opponent. The defensive nature of the sport is part of the reason why children are trained to twist certain joints instead of learning to be aggressive and strike. These twisting strategies can cause extreme pain and even immobilize the aggressor, which then gives your child the chance to escape.

3. Training in aikido includes many stretching exercises, which will improve your child’s overall flexibility and agility. Warm-up exercises will normally take up many minutes of stretching all the muscles in one’s body, from the fingers to the bigger limbs. This is crucial because his hands are the main weapons that your child can use in the event when he needs to defend himself. Also, the stretching and dance-like exercises tend to make your child much more graceful in the long run.

Now that you understand the basic principles in aikido training, you will certainly have no more qualms of enrolling your child in these classes. After all, its benefits will certainly be felt in the long run and in every aspect of life, as it is one of the most practical martial arts to use even in daily life.

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