At Hemlock Bluffs Aikido, we don’t have kids’ classes, but we do have intergenerational classes. In 2010, our current Dojo Cho, Tammy Gordon, started training with her family, taking the same classes, learning the same techniques, and doing the same belt tests. It was a great experience for both parents and children to try something new together. The parents (now black belts) currently train at HBA, and the children are now grown. The Gordons’ experience, and that of other dojo families, helped shaped the dojo’s encouragement of family training.
Granted, it’s not always easy, for parents tend to their own training while also keeping an open eye toward the younger ones. And people in their teens are sometimes looking for activities apart from their parents. Overall though, intergenerational training has positive effects. In addition to the usual benefits of training, aikido offers families much to discuss when not on the mats. It also provides ample opportunity to help one another as living room ukes. Training together is a great way to share goals and values.
If you’re interested in training with your family at HBA, the youngest should be 13 or older. In the future, we may offer intergenerational classes for families with younger children. Let us know if this interests you.