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Tacoma Aikikai offers classes to youth age 7 and up. Classes provide a healthy dose of physical activity, with movement that cultivates physical fitness and cooperation. Physical contact with the mat, the teacher, and other youth helps students feel comfortable in their bodies and their environment, increasing confidence and spatial awareness. Stripe and belt testing give benchmarks for achievement and foster a focus and self-discipline for youth. Junior and teen mentorship programs develop leadership skills.
Our youth program is structured to give every student age-specific opportunities to learn and progress. A tiered approach by age also provides a continuity of training as youth grow into teen and adult practitioners.
Youth program classes are split by age, with one weekly Saturday class for all ages. Students progress with age from classes focused on games and basic movements, to drills and advanced falling, to execution and development of techniques. Youth between age brackets can pick the program that best fits their schedule and needs. Youth may attend any class offered for the age group program in which they are enrolled.
New members can take advantage of the New Student Special special, which includes one month of training and a uniform.
|Youth Program||Monthly Fees||Sliding Scale|
|Teen Aikido Monthly Membership (14+ years old)||$80||$60|
|Teen New Student Special (one month + uniform)||$100||$80|
|Youth Aikido Monthly Membership (7-14 years old)||$80||$60|
|Youth New Student Special (one month + uniform)||$100||$80|
Family 2 members – 10%
Family 3 members – 20%
Family 4+ members – 30%
Automatic EFT (electronic check) payment discount – 5%
*Membership fees are prorated for students joining in the middle of the month
*Payments can be made in person or online via the Zen Planner student portal. After registration, you will receive an email with access the online system. Family and automatic payment discounts are applied by the school after initial registration.
Learning Objectives and Age Groups
Kids (ages 7-11)
Kids programs focus on getting comfortable with physical contact and hitting the mat. A heavy emphasis is placed on exercise, movement, and losing/taking balance. Fun games and drills are used to introduce and train basic aikido footwork, ukemi (falling/rolling), and techniques. Partner practice builds concentration and coordination as youth execute techniques from start to finish.
· Tuesdays 430-520 pm
· Thursdays 430-520 pm
· Saturdays 1030 am (park class)
· Consideration for others
· Cooperation (training with everyone)
· Good effort and attention
· Developing self-control and confidence
· Activity and exercise
· Focus and concentration
· Basic tumbling and safe falling
· Start to finish execution of techniques
· Hand and foot coordination
· Japanese culture and phrases
· Yellow (30 hours)
· Orange (+40 hours)
· Green (+50 hours)
· Green Stripe (+50 hours)
· Blue (+50 hours)
· Blue Stripe (+60 hours)
· Purple (+60 hours)
Juniors and Teens (age 11+)
The junior and teen programs bridge the youth and adults programs, having elements of both. Drills, partner practices, and conditioning elevate technical competence and precision of executing and receiving techniques. Self-defense is emphasized through techniques, as well as through concepts of self-development and self-improvement. Randori (multiple attackers) and jiu-waza (free-form techniques) provide students with the opportunity respond naturally and freely in higher pressure situations. Weapons work and weapons disarming techniques are gradually introduced to more advanced students.
Juniors are encouraged to focus on age-specific classes, but may attend some adults classes with instructor permission. Teens are welcomed in any adult or youth class.
At the level of green belt, juniors and teens can also apply to become junior instructors in the kids and youth programs, earning hours to work towards their rank promotion. Dedication, integrity, and leadership are some of the expectations of junior instructors.
Juniors (age 11-13)
Teens (age 13+)
· Adult Classes with permission
· All Adult Classes
· Integrity and character
· Maturity and independence
· Red (40 hours)
· Green (+50 hours)
· Green Stripe (+60 hours)
· Blue (+60 hours)
· Blue Stripe (+60 hours)
|· Purple (+70 hours)
· Purple Stripe (+70 hours) – 5th kyu
· Brown (+100 hrs) – 4rd kyu
· Brown stripe (+100 hours) – 3nd kyu
· Junior Black Belt (+150 hours) – 2nd kyu