by Falon Webb, parent

Our experience with Aikido Shugyo Dojo has been nothing short of wonderful.

With such a limited amount of time available to families nowadays, how we choose to spend that time is becoming increasingly important.  When our children embark on new classes we consider: are they enjoying themselves;  does the activity provide the opportunity to learn new and valuable skills; by spending our time engaging in this activity are we helping our children learn the value of today’s most fleeting resource—time?

We can, without a doubt, say that Shugyo has shone far above our hopes and expectations.

Upon leaving after his first class, our son Jack, a cautious fellow, announced for the first time in his history of first classes, “That was awesome! Can we come back tomorrow?”

It took only the first class to convince us we had found what we were looking for.  It was beautiful to see the true nature of the children come flooding out. The older ones proudly take the younger ones under their wing (and put them in place if need be), and the less skilled watch and learn from the old hands.

It isn’t just the children who make this place special. Each adult teacher brings a uniqueness to the class that keeps even the youngest children actively engaged whilst repeating over and over again the basic movements of Aikido. These basic movements build a solid foundation for their practice to grow and allow the children to experience the confidence that comes from mastery.

The classes are presented with the understanding that children are capable and intelligent beings.  The children know there are things expected of them—this reflects to them a sense of their importance.

During Jack’s first class his teacher Abbey advised the students, “Anyone can hurt someone—it takes skill not to!”  It was fascinating to see the children’s reactions.  You could almost see the wheels turning; they got it!

What I find brilliant about Aikido Shugyo Dojo is the abundance of strong female role models.  It is a place where the strength of the male character is met by the strength of the female—empowering for both young girls and boys.

As a family who puts great thought into how we spend our time, we are very grateful to have found this special gem. It has us as parents asking as well, “Can we come back tomorrow?”