The Kobukan offers youth classes for students aged 7 through 14. Youth classes run in ongoing sessions typically 7- or 8-weeks long. Classes are held on Saturdays at 1:00pm and are $20/session for YMCA members and $50/session for non-members. If you have additional questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-424-2156. To sign up, please visit the Blaisdell YMCA website.
Youth classes cover the same basic movements, rolls, and many of the same hand and weapon techniques as in the adult classes, but at a level appropriate for younger students. Youth classes are a great way for young students to practice focus and discipline as well as healthy aerobic exercise. As with the adult classes, youth students learn to practice harmony and cooperation through Aikido techniques.
Students should wear loose-fitting clothing that covers knees and elbows, such as sweatpants and long-sleeved shirts. Uniforms are available through the Kobukan or any martial arts supply store. See the Safety & Clothing, Etiquette, and Vocabulary pages for more information to help you get started.
Testing for rank is often a good way to measure progress and to encourage students to work toward a goal. Testing is optional – students progress at their own speeds. The Kobukan holds two youth tests each year, usually in June and December. Tests involve demonstrating various movements, rolls, and techniques, according to their level. Youth students use a different set of criteria to test for rank than for adult students although the general format of the test is the same. Upon turning 14, students must use the adult testing criteria, although those who trained as youth students before turning 14 may continue to participate in the youth classes if they are more comfortable training in that environment. When youth students move up to the adult classes, they receive an adult rank equal to their youth rank.
If they wish to test for rank, youth students must also pay a $25 annual fee to AYANA and a test fee.