Youth Classes

Welcome to the Florida Aikido Center – Kid’s Program

A Little About Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Sensei Morihei Ueshiba (also known as O-Sensei) as a reflection of his martial studies, life philosophy and spiritual beliefs.  

The word Aikido (made up of the kanji 合気道) best translates as “the Way of the harmonious spirit.” This reflects O-Sensei’s goal of creating a martial art whose techniques allow a practitioner to defend him/herself, while also protecting the attacker from serious harm.

That said, Aikido is primarily a defensive system that focuses on technique and balance, not physical strength, size or power. There is no canonical punching, kicking or blocking system in Aikido. 

In Aikido, there is less of an emphasis on strength training and conditioning, and more placed on speed, timing, breathing, proper technique and being “relaxed” in virtually any situation.   

The Aikido practitioner’s strength comes from his/her ability to maintain control and not only find a way to control the opponent, but will also be able to control the situation before drastic action is necessary. There is no winning or losing, since there is no need for contest. 

Aikido is perfect for men, women, teens & children regardless of physical condition or experience. Sensei Gina, chief instructor at the Florida Aikido Center, invites anybody interested in learning more about Aikido to visit the dojo and watch any class session. 


Why We Teach Kids

We offer youth classes with a focus on self-defense using aikido techniques and falling skills.

An individual’s early years can be a very challenging time.  There are countless pressures:  grades, social circles, dating, drugs, homework, parents, FCATs, SATs…the list goes on and on.  But, these same challenging years are also very formative, and experiences gained in the early years do a great deal to build one into the person he or she will be for the rest of their life.

So, with all of this in mind, one of the best things a youth can learn — a lesson he or she can live and grow on — is how to be centered and overcome obstacles in a calm, controlled way.  And, that is exactly what Aikido does…

Aikido is a defensive martial art from Japan that was founded on the premises of balance, control and measured conflict resolution.  Aikido develops the mind, body and soul, and — if asked — students will say it fosters confidence, self-control, physical fitness, well being, stress reduction and mental sharpness.

For example, being a purely “defensive” art, an Aikido practitioner can’t walk up to a person and do aikido to him or her.  An aikido practitioner would have to first be grabbed or struck, and even then, aikido doesn’t teach how to strike back.  An aikido practitioner will first get out of the way of an attack and then redirect the attack to control the situation without destroying the person attacking.

By enrolling in Aikido, your son or daughter can learn to:
     –  Remain relaxed in stressful situations
     –  Increase self-awareness and confidence
     –  Defend him/her-self in a real-world situation
     –  Resolve conflicts quickly and without undue aggression
     –  Stick to a physical fitness routine
     –  Exercise discipline and restraint

But, there’s another major factor that makes Aikido a great fit for youths besides preparing them for future life.  Aikido is, by its nature, an inclusive martial art that does not require a significant amount of physical power and it is designed to work against any opponent.  Regardless of size, weight, strength or gender, all are equal in Aikido so it is perfect for both boys and girls with any physical makeup.  This also makes Aikido perfect for youths that have never played a sport or even athletes on a varsity team.

Goals and Objectives

*  Self Defense:  Our unique curriculum focuses on realistic and immediately useful self defense options for handling a physical conflict from one to multiple attackers.*  Empowerment:  Our program helps develop confidence and mental centeredness to remain clam and in control when dealing with a conflict.

*  Preparedness:  Through our program, a student learns how to be aware of potentially dangerous situations with no dangerous hesitation in responding.

*  Fitness:  Students will have a full class of exercises, drills, movements and rolls.

*  Discipline:  This program encourages proper etiquette and behavior which is emphasized and practiced in line with martial arts training.

*  Fun:  All work and no play makes for a dull day.  We use games and challenges to make aikido classes educational, exciting, and fun!

Why Aikido

Aikido teaches effective self defense skills by using the proper execution of techniques for effectiveness, *not* physical strength, size or fitness level.

Aikido is based on blending, redirecting and diffusing an attack, *not* kata, punching, kicking, blocking or yelling.

Aikido offers specific lessons on how a child can protect him/her-self while having fun and getting fit.  We are not going to teach how to fight, we are going to teach how to defend.

Getting started is easy, just visit the dojo to watch or participate in any scheduled class.