April 10, 2010
Membership in Nippon Kan General Headquarter Youth Program has exploded this year. Currently we have over 70 youth program members in classes organized by Instructor Noel Camp and assisted by Mr. Jeff Legwold and Mr. Roger Failor and other adult Aikido class members. Instructor Noel Camp has a background in military rescue and Jeff Legwold is a sports writer for a major Denver newspaper. With years of experience executing risky missions and dealing with the world of journalistic deadlines you might think that the instructor staff for our youth program might be a little strict, but all of the instructors respect the individuality of each child in class and take great care to insure that the classes are up-beat and enjoyable as well as instructive.
This new team has inspired confidence in parents leading to a class growing in popularity in our community. Nippon Kan Youth Program classes never focus on teaching kids how to punch or kick but rather focus on conflict resolution and teaching balanced, coordinated movement. Tournaments we don’t have or champions like they have in karate or taewondo, just a dedicated staff that continually work on the personal human development of each young person.
Kids reading on their own before class.
Homma Kancho spoke to parents and youth program members, “Learning to kick and punch for self defense is like promoting peace by stockpiling missiles. The best defense against violence is to train in the martial arts with a spirit completely void of any violence or violent technique. If our young people do not understand this point of view, they will always need a new and better missile. It is an escalating cycle that never ends.
I believe there is something wrong if a parent watches their child compete in a tournament and rejoices if their child knocks out a young opponent and “wins”. I believe this to be a most miserable scenario. That is why traditionally, Aikido has never had tournaments. Nippon Kan youth program classes teach common sense and reinforce reality; not what kids see in the movies”.
More on our Nippon Kan Youth Program is available on our website including an online version of Homma Kancho’s book “Children and the Martial Arts; An Aikido Point of View” Link here
Nippon Kan Office Staff