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Letter to Parents of children in Aikido

Dear parents,

This Aikido class is different from any children's martial arts class you may be familiar with. The name Aikido means way of harmonizing energy or spirit. Aikido is based in strategy and philosophy rather than ways of fighting. Aikido is about control and how to defend while also protecting the life of those who would do us harm. This makes Aikido very useful in less than life threatening situations. It is also why the philosophies and strategies of Aikido have been incorporated into many of the best conflict resolution and anti-bullying systems.

All Aikido classes are focused on having fun while learning. This children’s Aikido class will focus on play as a way to learn. The goal is to teach body movement, control, honor, respect, and self defense strategies.

Some things you should know;

There will be no tests or belt ranks. -- The only person a child needs to be better than is the person they were before class. There are tests and belt ranks in the adult class. When your child moves to the adult class at age 13-14 they will be well prepared to take on the challenges of that class.

There will be no competitions-- Aikido is a non-competitive art. The job of a student is to help their fellow students learn and succeed. Students are expected to learn in a humble manner, not to try to prove that they are better than others.

There are many Japanese rituals and protocols that we follow in Aikido. The founder of Aikido was a very spiritual man. Some people like to explore those spiritual aspects of Aikido. This is not a class about, or driven by a religion or spirituality. There are many aspects of Japanese culture and Martial tradition that appear to the western viewer as religious. The rituals we choose to use in this class are secular in nature and specific to the ritualistic nature of Japanese culture as ways of showing respect for the art in which we train and the teachers who have brought it to us.

Students in this Aikido class will be required to join the American International Ki Development and Philosophical Society. Membership and Support of this organization provides our class with insurance, continued training and international legitimacy.

Parents should be aware that this is a physical class with a lot of physical contact between students. While the intent is to learn how not to hurt others. Minor injuries from falling and carelessness do happen and should be expected.

I encourage all parents to read up on the history and philosophy behind Aikido. There is a growing and varied body of information about Aikido on the internet. It is expected that all students and parents read the Wadokai Aikido Student Handbook, as well as the biography of my teacher Roy Suenaka Sensei, Complete Aikido, Aikido Kyohan

My Aikido family has been a part of my life for over 20 years, I am always happy to help people understand why Aikido is special, please feel free to ask any question.

Shihan David Bock

David Bock, C. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM
Wisconsin Certified Acupuncturist
National Board Certification in Oriental Medicine
Fellow American Board Of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Hartland Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
888 Thackeray Trail #206
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066