Dojo Contact: Ann Reekie Sensei
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Background: Ann commenced aikido training at the North Sydney dojo with Saburo Takayasu Sensei and Michael Marelli Sensei in 1994. She was awarded her black belt in 1999. Soon after this, Ann began teaching as an assistant instructor at Ian Thomson Sensei’s Camperdown dojo.
Canberra Dojo History: When Ann moved to Canberra there was no aikido dojo teaching “Takemusu Aiki”, also known as “Iwama Style Aikido”. The philosophy of our training syllabus involves close integration of Taijutsu (empty handed body techniques) and Bukiwaza (weapons - sword & staff). This is the form of aikido as bequeathed to us by Morihei Ueshiba (O'Sensei) the Founder of Aikido after he had completed the integration of body and weapon techniques during his post-war years in Iwama.
Dojo Philosophy: Promotion of the aikido spirit and precision in execution of techniques. Japanese language development is also encouraged.
The children’s classes begin with fun physical exercises (aikido principles) and games with instructions given in Japanese. This is followed by the ‘Japanese’ part of the class which may includes activities such as origami, calligraphy, traditional stories and songs. We celebrate Japanese festivals such as the Doll’s festival - Hina Matsuri and Children’s Day - Kodomo no Hi.
The childrens’ classes are designed to be age appropriate. The younger kids focus on aikido play, playground safety, songs, stories & colouring. For the older kids, games will incorporate more aikido principles & techniques, and the ‘Japanese’ part of the class will include more complex origami, calligraphy and Japanese language skills.
The precise breakdown of age groups will be finalized early in 2010. Here is an indication of what it may look like:
For the younger childrens’ classes, parents and carers also join in the fun! For the older childrens’ classes, parents and carers are free to participate, watch or leave. The best outcome for the child drives this decision.
Please enquire regarding class times for 2010. Childrens’ classes are run during the school term.
What the Parents Say...
As a parent I want the best protection for my kids. Realistically I know that I will not be able to be with them every second of the day to ensure their safety. This is where I find the Aikido Japanese kids program to be beneficial. My children are learning to properly fall down, and move out of the way of objects. If we could all learn the basics in falls there may be less potential for bones breaking. Being passive is much harder to do then being aggressive, but because of Sensei Ann’s training program my children are much less aggressive to each other and to other children. This is the very essence of Aikido; not to be confrontational, rather, let others’ aggressive behavior work against them.
"The lineage and culture of Aikido Japanese is what separates this program from all other programs out there. The children are learning another language and traditions as most programs out there only teach strikes or kicks. This first hand approach brings children and adults together in learning and not just the children only. I am impressed with Sensei Ann's Aikido Japanese kids program and look forward to the future years of watching my children apply what they are learning now."
- Dad of L, 4yrs and G, 2 yrs
"As a parent, I’m pleased my child can attend a class that provides stimulating and interesting physical movement, and especially that provides instruction on how to move well or fall safely. I’ve noticed a number of near-falls where intuitive Aikido movements taught in class helped with a safe recovery. It’s great that the language component of classes is good for intellectual and speech development and listening, while the cultural learning promotes increased respect and awareness. It’s delightful to see how engaged the kids are learning about the Japanese characters or listening to the stories. When my child uses Japanese words or embraces something culturally unfamiliar with positive interest, I know he finds classes valuable, as well as fun. Actually, I think I enjoy the classes as much as he does!"
- Mum of P, 4yrs
"Aikido has been a great experience for my 4 year old (now 5) and for myself as well! He is learning not only practical self-defence skills but of a new culture and it's language. Ann has a great approach to teaching the kids with lots of fun hands on activities."
- Mum of J, 5yrs
Fees and Training Schedule
For information on fees and training schedule, please visit the Canberra Dojo website at: