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Japanese + Aikido Program

Japanese culture and language learning combine with Aikido training for ages 8 and up. Our program comprises:
  • Immersion in Japanese speaking and introduction to reading and writing

  • Aikido training, also in Japanese, and fully coordinated with the Japanese language curriculum.

About Active Language Learning

Learning through the body is a powerful way to build language comprehension and fluency--for all ages. Repetition and recombination of grammar and vocabulary in motion is far more effective, and certainly more motivating, than memorizing rules and lists.

Enjoyable Aikido training in a small, friendly group provides a meaningful way to use, and retain, Japanese over the long term. At the same time students build physical competence, self-confidence and positive social skills. The Aikido win/win mindset supports self-paced, non-competitive learning throughout the program.

Our Approach:

Active, holistic teaching for natural language learning and long-term retention, through:
  • Immersion in Japanese for both language and Aikido study. We begin with bilingual study for those who need it and move everyone toward 100% immersion as their comfort level and language skills improve.
  • A comprehensive curriculum, across language, culture and Aikido study.
  • Real, memorable contexts for vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation:

    • Practical, day-to-day conversation
    • Meaningful social interactions
    • Cultural studies and arts
    • Traditional games, crafts and songs
    • Aikido class interactions, as well as Aikido concepts and technique

  • Physical movement, both fine- and large-motor activities, for comprehension, practice and longterm retention:

    • Active Learning through physical and verbal role playing
    • Aikido training and Aikido-related physical activities
    • Japanese arts & crafts: Origami, Harie, Sumie and calligraphy ( Shodo )
    • Japanese reading and writing

  • Class sizes limited to 3 to 6 students for optimal individual attention and practice, with instruction tailored to each student's best learning avenues.
  • Open enrollment throughout the year.
  • Age-appropriate grouping, with lessons adapted to the students' levels of language, social and physical development.

Class Information

Japanese + Aikido1 Day 1 Time Monthly Tuition for Non-Members
Beginning Wednesdays: * 4:30 - 5:15: Aikido
* 5:15 - 6:00: Japanese
$ 400 per class
Intermediate Saturdays: * 1:15 - 2:00 pm: Aikido
* 2:00 - 3:00 pm: Japanese
  1. Classes started on January 23, 2013, but enroll at any time. Each applicant will be evaluated and placed in the appropriate class for age group, language experience, etc.
  2. Members of Sierra Aikido are eligible for a 'credit' discount for participating in multiple Sierra programs.
  • Class Location: Sierra Aikido, Suites A & B, 2134 Old Middlefield Road, Mountain View 94043

  • Contact Info:
    • Email: Sensei
    • Telephone: 650.493-1074

Teaching Staff

The teaching staff coordinates the entire program closely. Each individual portion is handled by:
  • Reiko Takahashi

    Reiko studied Japanese and Linguistics at Foothill College, and majored in Japanese and minored in Linguistics at San Jose State University. She served as a professor's assistant in various Japanese courses during her schooling. She has experience in tutoring college students, both individually and in groups, for more than four years. She also tutors adults and elementary, middle and high school students privately.

  • Julie Bennett

    Julie has practiced Aikido since 1993 and has taught both children and adults since 1996. She is Chief Instructor for Sierra Aikido, with particular focus on children and teens ages 5 and up, including those with special needs.

    Julie graduated from Stanford University and is certified in teaching classroom and individual E.S.L. She taught English conversation and writing in the Peace Corps and at the San Mateo Adult School for 20 years. She also tutors Middle and High School students in writing and composition.

    Her Aikido specialty is adapting training as a vehicle for personal development, physical skill building, reduction of bullying, language learning ( and other objectives by arrangement ). Close collaboration with parents, other educators, therapists and community partners is key to this endeavor.

Other Options

  1. Japanese Language Tutoring ( by arrangement ): Lessons, tailored to individual need, for:
    • Middle/High School and University students
    • Adults wishing to polish or expand their skills in Japanese
    Email Reiko Sensei to discuss your requirements.

  2. Aikido Training, public or private classes, or both.
Note: Individual family fees for class options can be discussed case-by-case according on circumstance, such as multiple Sierra activities per child, multiple siblings per class, etc.
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