Girls, Boys & Teens Programs - Ages 5 to 18
© 2006 - 2014 Sierra
Aikido. All rights reserved
Sierra Aikido has a friendly, supportive and enjoyable training
environment for children and teens, kindergarten through high
school. The bell curve does not apply at Sierra! Every student can do
Aikido well with our consistent individual support in inclusive
Sierra offers a variety of programs adapted to children, teens
and adults, depending on their ages, interests and needs.
This page provides an overview of information common to all of
our children and teen programs, as well as detail about our classes
for 2nd through 12th graders. After reviewing this page, please follow
the links below to see pages with detail specific to our other kids
The common goal across these programs is to help all our
children and teens reach high yet achievable standards in both Aikido and
their personal development. We are committed to working one-on-one
with our students and track their progress against clear group and
Who Can Participate
Kids of all physical abilities are welcome! No previous experience is
needed. In fact, we especially encourage children and teens who have
had less physical training than others to join us. Sierra training is
always self-paced, so everyone fits in. Aikido has broad appeal.
Athletic children and teens enjoy Aikido training, but we've found that
kids who are not motivated by sports are especially drawn to the art.
Aikido is also well-suited to girls because it relies on leverage
through agility and positioning, rather than on upper-body strength.
For Homeschoolers:: Sierra Aikido is whole-heartedly
Our Teaching Approach
To engage kids fully and help them internalize their Aikido skills, we
incorporate guided Aikido-related play alongside the traditional
structured training. Both the play and the Aikido training build the
confidence and transferable skills to learn any sport or martial art
well. Our indoor environment, with soft mats and learning aids,
stimulates a fun physical workout.
We harness the magnetic attraction drawing younger children to older
ones to copy and learn from them. Older child and teen volunteers join
instructors, creating Aikido games, exercises and a variety of training
formats for the younger children. With mixed skill levels on the mat
together, everyone gets one-on-one training with experienced partners,
as well as with peers.
Kids of all ages gradually learn to manage a significant part of their
own training. Frequent opportunities for self-discovery motivate the
children and lay the foundation for lifelong self-directed learning.
The combination of structured training, self-directed study and play
makes the training stress-free and productive.
Visitors and Newcomers always welcome!
Newcomers may join their age group at any time because training is
self-paced, with mixed skill levels training together. Visitors are
always welcome to come observe or try out a class without obligation. Some
like to try a class right away, while others prefer to observe one or
two classes first. To participate students can wear loose, comfortable
clothing. If desired, we have Aikido uniforms available at cost.
How We Support and Integrate Beginners
Our senpai system always pairs new children and teens with
peers so they can make friends from the start. Instructors and experienced
teens work one-on-one with beginners within the regular class in a sheltered
and safe corner of the mat. With experienced partners, new students make tangible
progress in the first session. We help all newcomers make a smooth,
comfortable transition to regular training with the rest of the class.
Beginners learn the Aikido falls gradually and safely, starting in a low
position on a very soft surface. No one ever has to do any part of the
training that he or she is not comfortable attempting. Because we adapt
the training to each student's needs, we can always find alternative
ways for our members to learn and train. In fact, all our members,
adults and children, learn Aikido at their own pace, developing skills
and stamina gradually and comfortably.
Training by Age Group
Sierra divides children and teens into four overlapping age groups: K
to 3rd grade, 2nd to 6th grade, 6th to 12th grade, and high school teens
with adults. Sierra's age-appropriate classes have porous boundaries so
that everyone benefits from training with members of different ages and
abilities. The mix creates a warm family feeling and a secure learning
- Requirement for K-3rd Grade Children:
To ensure the success of the program for our youngest children, we
require one of the parents of each child to participate in the class.
Parents need not do Aikido training unless they wish to. Instead,
parents contribute to the class in ways they find enjoyable. With
parents on hand to assist, the instructors and volunteer teens can give
consistent, one-on-one attention to every child in a calm, productive
environment. The K to 3rd grade Program,
page provides more information, including details about parent participation.
- Parent-Child Training ( Oyako ):
Parents with children 5 to 18 train with their kids, as well as with
other adults. Some of our current families have enjoyed Aikido training
together for years. Fitness is a family affair! Children and teens are
more likely to remain physically active if their parents join them on
the mat for Parent-Child classes.
Our holistic approach integrates physical, social, emotional and
cognitive learning experiences for each student.