Sierra Aikido  

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Group Programs

Sierra Aikido is an enthusiastic supporter of homeschooling and other small-group activities. Because we share many of the core values of homeschooling, we seek out opportunities to include homeschooled children and teens in our programs. Individual homeschooled children and teens, ages 5 to 18, would be especially welcome to join our regularly scheduled public classes.

Private Homeschool Classes

We also create private classes for homeschool family groups brought together by their common parenting values and educational goals. Our curriculum and teaching approach is customized for each homeschool group in collaboration with the parents. We also ensure that the Aikido curriculum evolves with the group over time to match fully with the parents' developing objectives for each child and teen.

[Sierra Aikido is an approved vendor for Ocean Grove Charter School.]

Special Needs Children and Teens

The art of Aikido can benefit home schooled children and teens with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome and ADD, as well as those with other physical and developmental challenges. Aikido training not only builds gross motor skills, but also supports intellectual, social and emotional growth. Please see the information on both our Homeschooling and Special Needs pages:

Benefits of Aikido

The art of Aikido addresses all aspects of the self: Intellectual, social, emotional and physical, making Aikido study a solid platform for interdisciplinary education and personal development. The cooperative paired training is a concrete expression of positive social interactions. Instead of competing, Aikido partners take turns throwing and falling to build their own and their partners' skills. The structured group training etiquette is also fertile ground for practicing self-regulation and focus. Lively training reduces stress, and the empowerment of learning something new and complex at one's own pace boosts self-confidence.

Dynamic, paired Aikido training is enjoyable, all-body exercise that supports both emotional wellness and physical fitness. Physical training objectives include motor-planning and coordination, strength and stamina, balance, body awareness and alignment, placement of the body in space, and sensory integration.

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 thrives. 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. With much individual attention, every child and teen can do Aikido well and develop develop transferable skills and confidence to enjoy any sport, dance or martial art.

© 2006 - 2017 Sierra Aikido. All rights reserved

Our Teaching Approach

We strive to provide a learning environment that includes:

  • Self-paced, self-directed, non-competitive training, with opportunities to learn through discovery. We combine much individual attention with a flexible teaching approach to help each student learn in his or her own best way. Aikido win/win training is always cooperative. Each partner helps the other to do his or her best throwing and falling.

  • A warm, inclusive family feeling, with a natural mix of ages, generations and skill levels: We harness the magnetic attraction between younger and older kids, enabling each child and teen to become peer teachers, mentors and role models. At the same time. we recognize children's stages of development and balance with age-appropriate learning.

  • Guided, Aikido-related play alongside traditional Aikido training to engage kids fully, help them internalize their Aikido technique, and build their overall physical competence. Sierra's indoor environment, with soft mats and learning aids, stimulates a fun physical workout,

  • Solid structure that underlies the surface of Sierra Aikido play. Sierra has a clearly defined curriculum for Aikido learning, physical competence building and personal development for every skill level and age group, 5 and up. The older the students, the more the instructor can facilitate traditional Aikido paired practice. For younger children, though, the instructor must artfully stimulate play that includes the all the basic elements of Aikido, as well as "capture" the children's own inventive play and shape it into Aikido skill building. As per-Aikido concepts "gel", traditional paired Aikido training emerges.

  • Meaningful work and study side-by-side with adults: Everyone helps others train and shares in the life and work of our dojo ( training place and members ). This effort stimulates personal development and practical application of teamwork, leadership, initiative and creative problem solving skills. Working together reinforces our strong sense of community.

  • Encouragement and opportunities to assume social responsibility through volunteer peer teaching in our regular public classes and community outreach programs

  • Development of a global perspective through appreciation of the languages, arts and cultures reflected in our diverse dojo community and Aikido-related academic study.

Sierra Aikido works closely with each parent to:

  • Size and structure the private class according to the preferences of their family group.

  • Set clear learning objectives based on the group's overarching goals, do frequent skill gap assessments, and track progress for each participant, as well as for the group.

  • Assess and adjust our teaching approach over time to match the emerging needs of the group and individual students.

  • Integrate Aikido training with the students' academic work, other physical activities, fine arts studies, and ongoing personal development.

Combining Aikido with a Homeschool Curriculum

For those who would like to weave the training into their overall curriculum, Aikido provides fertile ground to enhance the study of both academics and fine arts. The possibilities are boundless, with connections easily tailored to age groups and learning needs. For example:
  • Children and teens experience the physics of Aikido: Leverage, centrifugal force, and gravity (taking advantage of it and minimizing it as needed).

  • Life science study springs out of the physiology of Aikido: How the body works, develops and "remembers", and how one builds mind/body integration.

  • Win/win, cooperative Aikido training leads to the behavioral sciences and sociology: Aikido training is a physical expression of positive personal interactions that we can apply to the larger community for creative problem solving and negotiating.

  • The Japanese language and culture at the roots of Aikido are a springboard for exploration of all cultures, including those represented in our diverse Sierra dojo membership.

  • Key historical events throughout the 1900's drove the founder to invent Aikido and spread it worldwide.

  • For music students, effective Aikido movement, beautiful sound production and ensemble are all based on the same principles. Fine arts students can draw, paint and film Aikido, to capture the beauty of the flowing movements, enhance their own understanding of Aikido, and even create effective teaching materials for the other students.

Homeschool Class Location

All private homeschool classes are taught at our Sierra Aikido location at 2134 Old Middlefield Way, Suite A, Mountain View, CA 94043

Scheduling Private Homeschool Classes

Parents can arrange private classes with the instructor. Time slots are available from Tuesday through Friday, as early as 1:15 pm. Contact Sierra Aikido.

Individual homeschoolers are also welcome to participate in our public classes. Please visit our home page to view our schedule and other information.

Membership Tuition Structure

[Sierra Aikido is an approved vendor for Ocean Grove Charter School. Prospective parents with other affiliations, including Connecting Waters, South Utter and Sky Mountain Charter Schools can also work with Sierra Aikido to apply for approved vendor status.]

We encourage homeschool families to form small- to moderate-sized private classes and share the cost of the tuition. Tuition can be adjusted somewhat to fit a particular homeschooling group. Typically the monthly fee for one class hour per week is:

One Student: $100 per month

Each Additional Sibling: $75 per month

Because Sierra has long-term relationships with all of our participating families, the membership is an annual tuition. Most parents choose to make monthly payments to meet the tuition, but can opt out at time if they decide to leave the program.

Tuition for private classes is higher than for our regular classes. The head instructor actively trains with each pair, giving more individual attention than is possible in the larger regular classes. The instructor also devotes more time off the mat to customize the training for each group, track each student's progress and partner more closely with each parent.

Learning Objectives

The overall curriculum and teaching approach is customized for each homeschool group. As a starting point, however, these are the general learning objectives by age group for all Sierra Aikido children and teens. Our holistic approach integrates physical, social, emotional and cognitive learning experiences for each student, according to his or her age group and stage of development:

Children and Teens - 2nd to 12th Grade

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade

More Information

Please feel free to email your questions and discuss your interests and specific needs for homeschooling your children and teens. Contact Sierra Aikido.

Parents are always welcome make an appointment to talk with us about our programs. Children are welcome to come with the parents to explore the facility and meet the instructor. They can try out some Aikido with the instructor and, for younger children, some Aikido-related play. There is no charge for a tryout.

Please visit Sierra Aikido's home page, which links to more information about our teaching approach for each age group, a schedule of our public classes, information for newcomers, a list of our other private class offerings, and our community outreach mission.

Sierra Aikido is a 501(c)3 Public Benefit Corporation. In parallel with our tuition-based programs in our Mt. View dodo, we partner with other organizations and provide training at their facilities. Our outreach efforts currently serve low-income, college-bound teens in East Palo Alto, and at-risk children and transition-age youth in San Mateo County family support programs.

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