Transitioning From Child to Adult in Aikido

by Sensei Robin Wilden
(Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK)

Robin Wilden (left) Natasha Hadwick (right)

Robin Wilden (left) Natasha Hadwick (right)

The reason I found myself writing about this is because the transition from junior to adult classes (particularly in Aikido) is not so much a step, but more of a significant leap.

When you are young, your bones are still developing so there are certain locks and techniques that you can't experience at that age. The classes are largely designed for learning discipline, control, concentration and how to perform your techniques well.

The transition period between 16-18 years old faces lots of challenges. Its not just about the size difference training with adults but the difference in strength is a lot to adjust to.

Its quite hard to go from experiencing your techniques working well, to suddenly having to try and put everything into your throws, only to watch them smile at you, then just roll in their own time. This can make your training experience less enjoyable, and quite often, a lot to overcome.

Having seen some highly skilled children try adult classes and stop training shortly after, the transition to adult classes is one that I believe requires close attention and guidance from Instructors and also for adults to demonstrate full control and care with their technique.

I personally plan to put a transition training program in place to help with the crossover between classes.

This is something I have experienced first hand myself but whilst my memories of some of the struggles I faced are still clear in my mind, looking back, I have a slightly different view and wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I am so grateful that I couldn't throw adults easily when I was younger, that was one of the most valuable experiences of my entire Aikido career. It taught me to be humble.

It was during that time that my technique started to really come together. I could not use power, I could not use weight, all that was left in front of me was to learn to use correct technique or to fail.

Aikido in its essence doesn't require power. With correct understanding and timing, every technique is achievable with as little as 14lbs of pressure. It was through this struggle that I gained a deeper understanding of the principles and body mechanics, rather than just trying to learn movements.

We need to look after our young Aikidoka and guide them well, for they are the future Instructors of this Martial Art we have grown to love.

Sensei Robin Wilden
Arun Aikido Club

Comments for Transitioning From Child to Adult in Aikido

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 15, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Transition Programme
by: Tony Wilden

A very useful article Robin. Some great insights for juniors and adults regarding working with students who are smaller and have less muscle power.

I will be most interested to see how your transition programme idea works out. With some consultation between junior instructors and adult instructors... it could be done. And the Arun Aikido Club would certainly want to implement it!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Sensei Robin Wilden - Articles.

Aikido Success Blueprint

 Want to develop powerful aikido skills?

 O'Sensei's two secrets of aikido

 Feel incredible energy and see results

 Key action steps to reach your goals fast

 How to avoid, prevent, and treat injuries

 7 ebooks, 2 videos, 1 audio...Full Details!

Self Defence Secrets

 Double your striking power in 3 hours

 Learn the #1 most effective move

 How to protect your personal space

 Exactly when to take action to win

 Deal with fear and turn it back on attacker

 Best angle to hit pressure points for results

 6 ebooks, 1 hour video...Full Details!

Optimum Health Secrets

 Discover 7 powerful health secrets

 You can experience incredible health

 Completely relax and release stress

 You'll feel great and see results fast

 Key action steps to reach your goals 

 Plus #1 Health Secret - Full Details!