Posted by: dougis | February 11, 2008

What a difference a year makes

I am an Aikidoka and train in Kokiakai Aikido.

I also have 2 daughters current ages 7 (Nana) and 3 (Teeny).

About a year ago I tried to combine the two and Nana started to train with me as a part of our kids class. I never got the feeling she was having fun and she didn’t really seem engaged when we were at the dojo, thus I wasn’t too surprised when she told me she didn’t want to continue with her training. She had stuck with things for about 5 or 6 weeks (which is a good start for a 6 year old) and she didn’t like being sweaty (her reason for not wanting to train).

I tried to do all the supportive things when she chose to stop and definitely did NOT want her training just because “Daddy does Aikido”, nevertheless I was a little disappointed that she didn’t enjoy her training because Aikido has become a very important part of my life and I wanted to share that with her.

Since then she has spent some time with gymnastics (which she would still be doing if we could find a gym that didn’t think a 7 year old should already be shooting for the summer games) and dance (which she did not enjoy).

When she stopped dance, my wife and I told her she had to pick an activity to stay active with. To my surprise she said she wanted to do Aikido again. I must have asked her at least a dozen times if she was sure (I don’t want to be one of those parents who force their kids to adopt their own tastes) just to gauge if this was something she wanted or all she could think of.

She assured me that she wanted to train, so when February rolled around we signed her up and she and I now train on Saturdays together (after which she stays and plays while I train for a couple more hours).

She is LOVING it. When my wife met us after her first session on the mat Nana’s first words were that she made two new friends. She keeps talking about how much fun she is having and asking me to go through some of the warm up routine with her at home. This is a kid who can’t get out of bed for anything, yet I have not yet had an issue getting her up on a Saturday morning to go and train.

Had I tried to force Aikido on her she would never have gone back to training but now she has and hopefully will find something as meaningful as I have. Even if she decides down the road not to continue I have a great training partner for Saturday mornings for a while and we get a little more together time.



  1. […] first thought is to answer in terms of the things I associate with Kokikai: friends, family, physical challenges and changes to how I react to stressful situations. Those items don’t go […]

  2. […] however it WAS unusual for me in that it was Nana’s first test as an Aikidoka. She has been training again for a while now and was very ready for her test. Ready for her […]

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