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a little girl practising aikido dressed in her martial arts robe

Fun Aikido Training Games for Kids

May 25, 2019

Setting your kids up for life

Martial arts, specifically aikido, is a rite of passage for kids. So much more than self-defence training, aikido teaches your children discipline, respect and gives them an outlet for pent-up energy.

But what is the best way to introduce them to everything aikido has to offer? Through these exciting training games, of course.


Build a tower

This is a simple cooperation exercise for kids who are new to aikido. Match the kids in pairs (according to size), and ask them to sit on the floor with their legs in front of them, facing back to back.

Then, ask them to link arms at the elbow and try to stand up. At first, this is quite difficult, until they realise they need to use teamwork, combining their effort and movement to succeed.


Seiza sumo

Using a 2m x 2m square, select two students of a similar build to kneel in a seiza opposite each other, while holding onto each other’s forearms.

When you call “go!” the students have to get any part of their partner’s body outside of the square. If a student breaks their grip, they forfeit the match. This game is a fantastic way to teach kids about the importance of balance and control.


Over and under

This rolling drill is performed with a skipping rope swung in a large circle by two senior students. The kids can either choose to wait for the skipping rope to “upturn” and follow underneath it, or leap and roll over the rope on the “downturn”. This game is designed to help students accurately judge distance and timing.


Dragon’s tail

A vital aspect of aikido training is the ability to judge where your centre line is, in relation to your partner. Select one student to hang a folded handkerchief (obi) off the back of their belt, while other students try to grab it using one hand.

No grabbing or grappling is allowed in this game. So, if the “Dragon” can keep their centre facing the student trying to grab his “tail”, it is very difficult to steal.

For more information on these training games, or other aikido training exercises for kids, call or email our friendly team today.

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