Children’s Aikido (7-12 years)

Wednesdays   5 – 6 pm  and Saturdays  11 am – 12 pm

Practicing Ukemi

Aikido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on self-defense. Aikido is not about fighting, but standing one’s ground and deflecting an attack. It is a training that develops flexibility, core strength, confidence, and courage in a playful, safe environment.

In this class, the children learn the art of ukemi (falling & rolling) and nage (receiving, blending with and resolving an attack). We practice basic Aikido techniques, and we also play energetic games that reinforce the principles of aikido.

Basic Japanese language, culture and etiquette are introduced. The wooden swords, are used to show the lines and space present in the techniques. Kids have fun and are motivated by both the cooperative and competitive games while being encouraged to maintain their centre.


Children and Youth: $135 per 3 month session, two classes per week.
Family Discount: 10 per cent for off for two family members; 20 per cent off for three or more
Grading fees for Children: $15 plus belt. ($10 for new and $5 for used belt)


Family classes

Saturdays 11-12. Starting Feb 2, 2019

We have often been asked if we offer family classes where parents and children practice together. So we will.

The Saturday morning class will focus on the principles and philosophy of Aikido through games and exercises, and simple techniques suitable for people of all sizes to do together. We’ll also have fun developing ukemi (the art of falling). This is a skill that is useful in so many walks of life, at every age.


Gasshuku – Intensive Trainings

Three times a year, a special one or two day intensive training, called a gasshuku, is scheduled. During these intensive seminars, the teachers will invite students who are ready to test. The students train hard. This is when we see the fruits of all their hard work and their spirit shines! All students begin with white belt. With training and practice, the students progress through the colors back to white. In our style the colors progress from white-yellow-orange-green-red-blue-purple-white. Then there are 5 ranks of white called kyu and then the black belt ranks, called dan.

Summer Aikido Camps for Children and Youth are offered from time to time. White Pines Dojo (AKI) in the Kootenays, offers children eco-friendly camps. AKI Canada offers International Summer Camps creating opportunities for cultural exchanges with children and youth coming from other AKI dojos around the world. In the future, Aikido Kenkyukai International (AKI) will offer summer camps in other countries as well.


Philipp Gawthrop, 5th dan – Head instructor, youth and teen class lead.

Geoff Farrell, 1st dan – Children and youth, Wednesday class lead. Dues manager

Richard Leonard, 1st dan – Children and youth, Saturday class lead.


“My son had an AMAZING day! He loved the class! He was thrilled to be with the older children. He always seems so fulfilled after class…so centered. Thank you again! It was great.”


“It’s a martial art, but you don’t hurt anyone.  Instead of attacking & kicking someone down, you take them down with a pin.  You learn techniques, you cut, you block, but you don’t harm people.”

~Simon, 10 yrs

“It’s kind of like karate, but it’s not.  you do rolls and attacks.  You start as a white belt and go to yellow and orange and you get better and better! It’s very fun!”

~Ben, 8 yrs

“It is a martial art with no violence.  It is a peaceful way to be a warrior and it lightens your spirit.  And it is very, very fun!  Aikido is a martial art, but there is no kicking or punching.  We learn to roll and fall – and play lots of fun games!  They teachers are very fun.  We learn different techniques of Aikido.  The classes are not very long and we get to play games.  I like the rolling and falling.  Aikido helps my spirit along the path of life.”

~Noel, 10 yrs

“I learn how to focus myself, to have fun but still be focused.  It’s lots of fun, but it is quite a bit of work, and your dogi can get flaring hot sometimes.” 

~Tate, 9 yrs

“The best part of the gasshuku is the test.  I like the games too… Piggy Back Tag and The Gauntlet of Death!”

~Simon, 10 yrs

“I like fishy-fishy!”

  ~Rudy, 5 yrs

“Aikido is really fun and you get to learn lots of new things that you’ve never learned before.  I liked the International summer camp(2007) because we got to go around to other places and meet new people.  This summer camp(2008) I liked it because we all got along really well and I liked the play we created and performed for our teachers at the end of the seminar and I liked the tribe game we played between aikido classes and events.” 

~Lily 8 yrs