On June 6 - 10th we held our first Kids' Aikido Camp of Summer 2011. Fourteen students (aged 7 - 10) came to the dojo for a full day of Aikido and Japanese cultural activities. Most of the children had never done any martial arts before so we started off with lots of stretching and conditioning exercises as well as learning how to fall safely. Over the course of the week the students learned several Aikido techniques and lots of games (animal dodge ball, shikko freeze tag, etc). Justin Coletti came one afternoon to share his knowledge of shodo with the children and they all got to try their hand at painting kanji and pictures with ink on rice paper. We took field trips to the Japanese Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Museum. A highlight of the week was our trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Japanese Arms and Armor exhibit and their impressive collection of samurai swords!
The next week of camp is set for July 18 - 22nd.