Children’s Program

Aikikai of Philadelphia's  children’s program offers younger members of your family an excellent introduction to aikido (ages 4 to 12).  Students in the program will learn:

  • Basic Aikido Techniques
  • Discipline
  • Control
  • Focus
  • Etiquette
  • Respect for Tradition
  • Empathy towards others

The training will be fun but noncompetitive. Students will learn to control themselves by focusing on Aikido drills and techniques that seek to development internal discipline.

The system of ranks, marked by colored belts (from 10th to 6th Kyu), will also help the student develop a sense of self-confidence as they advance through testing, offered every 3 months at the instructor's discretion.

Photographed by Ken Harris


Membership dues for each student are collected every month via automatic payment system operated by Affiliated Acceptance Corporation, through a bank account or credit card (please have a voided check or credit card information ready. ATM cards are not accepted). Non-refundable cash payments are also available on a 3 month advance basis. There are no long term contracts, but 30 days notice to the Aikikai of Philadelphia is required for cancellation of membership, or to temporarily freeze payments for a leave of absence.

Photographed by Ken Harris

Photographed by Barbara Craig

Training Days

Aiki-Cubs (ages 4 to 7)
Saturdays 9:30am - 10:15am
Sundays 9:30am - 10:15am

Aiki-Bears (ages 8 to 12)
Saturdays 10:15am - 11:00am
Sundays 10:15am - 11:00am

Children’s Test Requirements

YELLOW BELT (10th kyu)
Answer these questions:

  1. What is Aikido?
  2. Who founded Aikido?
  3. What is a dojo?
  4. Where do we practice Aikido at?
  5. Who is our head instructor?
  6. What is dojo etiquette?
  7. What is Ukemi?
Demonstrate understanding of basic footwork including:
  1. Left / Right Hanmi
  2. Irimi
  3. Ushiro
  4. Tenkan
  5. Kaiten
  6. Irimi-tenkan
Demonstrate understanding basic Ukemi / falling including:
  1. Front Rolls
  2. Partial Back Roll / Back Fall        

ORANGE BELT (9th kyu)
Demonstrate basic Aikido exercises:

  1. Wrist techniques (solo practice)
    • Ikkyo
    • Nikkyo
    • Sankyo
    • Kotegaeshi
  2. Rowing Exercise
  3. Ikkyo Exercise
Demonstrate these techniques:
  1. Ai Hanmi Katatetori (cross hand) Ikkyo (omote & ura) (Form and Partner)
  2. Shiko
  3. Front Rolls and Full Back Rolls

RED BELT (8th kyu)
Answer these questions:
  1. What is the role of the Nage?
  2. What is the role of Uke?
Demonstrate control of Ukemi:
  1. Small front rolls
  2. Large front rolls
Demonstrate these techniques:
  1. Tai No Henka (Tenkan exercise with partner)
  2. Gyaku Hanmi Katatetori Kokyuho 3 ways (Form and Partner)
  3. Kokyudosa
Demonstrate Tsuki with Jo staff
Demonstate Shomenuchi with Jo Staff

BLUE BELT (7th kyu)
All Requirements from 8th Kyu

  1. Ukemi
    • Roll slapping out/Break falls
  2. Gyaku Hanmi Katatetori Shihonage (omote and ura)
  3. Ai Hanmi Katatetori Kotegaeshi
  4. Katatetori Kaitenage (uchi and soto)
  5. Jo Kata

BROWN BELT (6th kyu)

All Requirements from 7th Kyu
Instructor’s discretion (a combination of the adult class 6th Kyu and 5th Kyu techniques)

Katatetori - One hand grab to wrist
Morotetori - Two hands on one
Ryotetori - Both wrists held from the front
Shomenuchi - Strike to forehead
Tsuki - Thrust or punch
Ushiro Tekubitori - Both wrists held from behind

Photographed by Clare Din

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