Brian Sensei (left front row) and Mark Larson Sensei prepare to bow the kids in for practice on
the morning of the 2009 Mark Larson Seminar.
Aikido training for kids is fun, effective self-defense, and beneficial in many
ways both physical and emotional.  River City Aikido prides itself on providing
professional instruction, fostering a class atmosphere of trust and safety, and
keeping high expectations for behavior and social interaction.

Adult supervision is constant and vigilant, and the ratio of children to adults in
the room is typically 10:1, sometimes more if the class is smaller.  We generally
have two or more teen assistants on the mat with the smaller children as well.  
Class sizes do not generally exceed 20.  

Brian Hill is a licensed clinical social worker, and works with children
professionally.  So, a parent can be assured that the child is being treated with
dignity and respect at all times, and that the individual learning needs of the
child are being professionally evaluated and respected.
Aikido practice extends beyond the mat, and at River City Aikido, fostering positive
relationships with family members is essential.  Listening to parents expertise about their
children and involving them in their child's training is important for the child to feel

Brian Hill has pioneered an exciting new method of bringing aikido practice to children with
challenging emotional and behavioral needs.  The Therapeutic Martial Arts Program which
was piloted between 2004 and 2006 at the nationally known Virginia Treatment Center for
Children was widely lauded among the children, staff, and parents.  Brian looks forward to
bringing the program into the community for children who wouldn't typically fit into regular
martial arts classes.  Please see the link above to a more technical description of the

We do expect children to test for promotion to the next color belt, as this fosters goal
setting and an achievement oriented mindset, while also providing challenge and healthy
stress to learn coping in a safe, structured environment.  The instructors provide ample
coaching and mentoring to insure readiness and provide success experiences for children.
Aikido Kids
2006 Mark Larson Seminar
2009 Mark Larson Seminar
2007 Kids Class
We train to be serious  :-)
June 2010