Aikido is a friendly martial art that focuses on hand combat.  What makes this popular is the fact that it focuses mainly on protection of one’s self and of others instead of cultivating violence or aggressiveness.

Many parents consider enrolling their children into martial arts in order to learn self-defence and discipline.  However, there are plenty of different Aikido schools, and as parents it is important to pick the right one that will help your child grow and reach his or her full potential.

Before choosing where to enrol your child, there are a few factors that you need to consider.  Here’s a checklist that might help you decide.

  • Location

It is important to consider the proximity of the Aikido school of your child.  Choosing one near your home or your child’s school matters a lot since it will be easily accessible to you and your child.  If the location is very challenging for you, and if you have to drive for miles or walk far just to attend Aikido classes, you and your child might lose enthusiasm.

  • Facilities and equipment

Different schools offer different kinds of facilities and equipment.  Some may be more sophisticated than others.  It would depend on you and the program that you wish your child to get into.

Some parents prefer to just go for basic Aikido classes, while others want a complete package with gym training.  Of course, this comes with a price.  The more facilities and activities they offer, the higher the fees.

  • Cost

Any parent would always be concerned about the costs involving this kind of activity. Before enrolling your child, ask for their rates. It would vary depending on the facilities and activities that you wish your child to enrol, and on the frequency of training.

Consider also the cost of getting into the sport, such as the uniform, gas expenses in taking your kids to training, etc.  Remember, this is also a commitment on your part as a parent.  And it would be frustrating for the child if he/she can’t go on because you realised you can’t sustain it financially.

  • Class size

When your child has just started joining Aikido it is important to choose a small class size.  This way, the instructor would be able to focus on your child’s training and development.  When the class is small, the instructor will be able to easily spot even the smallest details.

The earliest stage of any martial arts is very crucial, as this builds the foundation of the child’s growth and performance.  In fact, some parents even hire one-on-one training for their child.

  • Class schedule and age group

Always consider getting a schedule fitting to your child. Some children go to Aikido sessions after school, so get a time slot that gives ample time for your child to prepare for his session and also enough time to go home, rest a bit and do his homework.

Consider also the age group that he is joining. It is not a good idea to mix a grade schooler with high schoolers or adults even if they are all in the same skill level. Their level of reasoning and understanding is different, and so does their progress.

Always bear in mind that your child’s progress in Aikido will always start with you.  Your child needs your support, encouragement, and your commitment in ensuring that he/she will be training in a safe and effective Aikido school.