Sierra training includes other basics for school Physical Education (P.E.):
With one-on-one attention from older kids and instructors, every single child at Sierra Aikido can begin building the skills and confidence to do any sport or martial art well.
Because Aikido is innately non-combative and cooperative, the win / win paired training is physical practice of the positive interactions that support one's training partners and meet personal needs at the same time.
Martial arts etiquette and safety teach them focus, awareness, self-control and responsibility to the group. With practice children learn to communicate clearly, negotiate with each other and solve problems as a group. Our goal is to build a strong sense of community in which each child is a confident, valued individual with a sense of responsibility for the others.
Our children are more over-scheduled than ever and under tremendous pressure to excel in school. Kids suffer, just as adults do, from the stresses of poor life balance. We believe that a sense of belonging, combined with active, self-paced training, creates a stress-free and productive learning environment.
Even the youngest children have opportunities take charge of their own learning. Calm focus emerges as the children assume the empowerment of self-directed learning, plus time and space to use their initiative every week. Over time, learning to move well builds a healthy body image and self-confidence.
Sierra children of all ages also have opportunities to teach less-experienced students. Helping another brings even the shyest children out of themselves. They focus on improving their own skills, not only for themselves, but also to mentor others better. Children of all ages are motivated by making meaningful contributions to the group in this way.
The study of Aikido forms, effective technique, and awareness of space and a partner's movements requires total integration of physical and cognitive learning. Development of mind/body integration is ongoing and essential to Aikido and starts from the very beginning of the children's training.
Over time students also absorb abstract Aikido concepts as they are able, depending on age and level of experience. Each learns these concepts through the body during practice, as well as in one-on-one and group discussions. Over time students learn to:
As children learn the English and Japanese Aikido terms for movement and training etiquette, there is an opening to introduce Japanese culture. We incorporate relevant aspects of all cultures into the training, especially those represented in our diverse membership.
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