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Oh man... I help teach (and teach if the head instructor is gone) a small group of kids every week and this has always been major question for me. Not specifically this, but just how to get the kids to want to learn Aikido at all! Also, I just want to mention that to me (I could absolutely be wrong, but it's the way I learned it), 'ukemi' means all ...


Limbo Haven't gotten really deep into ukemi, but it seems like if you made it a game like limbo, that would be pretty fun for kids. Hold a broom-stick pretty high at first, have them forward roll underneath it. Then lower it as they progress. Then start with it low and have them roll over it. Raise the bar as they progress. This could probably be done ...


Suggest you review Patrick Parker's blog (I've linked to a post that is specific to teaching children; it references exercises & games to teach kids). Specifically he mentions How to get kids to slap when they fall and Children's falling exercises, but there is a lot there, and Parker-Shihan is probably the best aikido blogger out there.


At my taijutsu dojo, the instructors teach basic ukemi to kids as young as seven. The way they approach it is to start by showing it in action with an advanced technique -- like, they'll do a rear sweep on a guy, then point out how that would have hurt if he didn't fall on his back properly, then teach the rear hard fall. So, just like teaching anything: ...

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