Youth Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can my child begin classes in the middle of a term?

New students can start at any time. The program is ongoing, and it is designed so that beginners can be smoothly integrated into the classes.


Is there a yearly contract? 

No.


What kind of payments do you accept?

We accept cash, check and credit cards (American Express, Master Card & Visa).


What if we can only make to one of the classes each week?

The program is designed to encourage students to come as often as possible, but is flexible and attending once a week is not uncommon.


Can I practice with my child?

Yes. We encourage parents to practice with their children. There is a small additional fee required, but we have found that this is a very meaningful and helpful experience for many parents and children.Click here for more info on our Family Program.


Are there tests or competitions?

Aikido has no competitions. There are tests, given periodically, that enable the children to demonstrate their increasing skills and focus on a set of techniques. The tests, like the classes, are based on cooperative practice.


Can we try a class?

We encourage prospective students to watch classes until they have decided they want to begin the program. At that point, the usual practice is to sign up for the first month and spend that time trying Aikido. In our experience trying one class does not significantly help the decision-making process. However, exceptions are possible – please speak to the instructors.


What is the age range?

The basic guidelines for the class are aimed at ages six to thirteen. Younger children are sometimes admitted if they are able to focus sufficiently. If you want your younger child to participate, please talk to the instructors about this. At around the age of thirteen, we encourage a transition to the adult program. However we try to manage the transition with a high sensitivity to the development of each individual student, and some student stay in the Youth Program beyond age 13.


What do the students need to wear?

Students wear a practice uniform or “gi”.


Can I get a gi here? How much is a gi?

Yes, you can purchase a gi at the dojo. Inexpensive, light-weight gi are worn by most children and cost $30. Heavier judo-type gi are also available for $75. If you already have a white gi, without any insignia on it, you can use that.


How much does it cost to sign up?

When you sign up, you pay the first month’s fee as well as a one-time registration fee. After that, monthly tuition should be paid on the first of each month.  


Can my child practice during Sunday free practice?

No. The Sunday free practices are for adults only. The children’s classes are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.​

There are no competitions in Aikido: all practice is cooperative, with each partner working on the development of his or her skills while helping the partner do the same. The goal of our children’s program is to foster personal development rather than focus on technical achievement in Aikido. If the children enjoy themselves and succeed in integrating into 


AikidoYouthProgram

Class Schedule

Classes last one hour; students can practice up to four times per week. See the schedule page for days and times


Observing a class

We encourage prospective students and their parents to observe any of our classes and ask questions of the parents, students and instructors before enrolling their child.


Registration

If you decide to sign up your child, you will be asked to pay for the initial registration, a practice “Gi” (White practice uniform) and first monthly fee. (Gi can be purchased elsewhere, if preferred, as long as they are white without insignia). Fees are charged monthly, there is no contract, term or yearly commitment. We do encourage members to set up an automatic credit card payment plan and receive a $5 per month savings.  Students can join at any time of the month.


Parents

We encourage parents to ensure their children arrive on time, and are dressed and ready to practice 5 minutes before each class.


Ages

Our program is aimed at children ages 6 through 13. At around the age of 13, we encourage the student to make a transition to our adult classes. However we try to manage the transition with a high sensitivity to the development of each individual student, and some student stay in the Youth Program beyond age 13.


Practice with your children

Although it is not required, we welcome parents if they’d like to practice alongside their children; while separate fees apply, low family rates are available.


Promotions and Testing

While not required, your child will be told when they are eligible to test their proficiency and understanding of Aikido. Children are promoted at the time of testing, and receive a colored belt reflecting their rank. Testing occurs usually every third Thursday of the month, every 2 months.


Instructors

Framingham Aikikai is fortunate to have a team of instructors trained in the standards of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF), the largest Aikido organization in the United States. These instructors freely give their time to promote Aikido and teach in our children’s program. All of our instructors are students of David Halprin, Chief Instructor of Framingham Aikikai. The Director of the Youth Program is Elisa Kramer, who started her training in Aikido as an instructor's assistant in a Youth Aikido Program in 1992. In addition she is now a professional educator and practicing speech and language pathologist. 


For further information 

an electronic copy of the Framingham Aikikai Student Manual, or questions about the Framingham Aikikai’s youth’s program, please contact the Program Director via the following form.



the group and observing the rules and etiquette of the dojo, we are very satisfied. Of course children, like adults, are all different. We don't all progress in the same way. Therefore, we want to allow each child to focus on his or her personal steps in learning rather than focusing on constant competitive comparisons with others. To accomplish this, instructors make the kind of individual suggestions and corrections that can only be done by knowing the progression of that child. That having been said, we must help our students to become open to the suggestions and corrections of others. It's our belief that only by accepting other views in a humble way that interior progress and growth can be achieved. Also, we believe that our students can improve themselves through helping others. We work on this skill, with students taking the responsibility to help in a patient, non-judgmental spirit of partnership.


A typical class usually is comprised of two students taking turns as the attacker (Uke) and defender (Nage) to practice a particular technique demonstrated by the instructor.


When you see Aikido’s circular and blending movement using a partner’s energy, and the student's use of eye and hand coordination, it’s easy to see why physical strength is not essential.

Monthly Membership: $55

Ask for our multiple child discount.

There is a one time $40 registration fee.

Our Aikido program for children ages 6 to 13 promotes self-discipline, confidence, awareness, compassion and fitness in a structured, safe and fun environment. Aikido, a non-combative Japanese Martial Art, is a great way to help children learn to defend themselves, learn about cooperation and foster great social skills. Our program focuses on helping children to use their minds and bodies to neutralize conflict by developing awareness of how humans think and move and by maintaining a balanced and centered position.