Development of Children

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this article is to apply the Ki principle (mind moves the body) which is the fundamental of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido to our daily life.

It is not enough just to read, but it is important to positively practice the subject given each month. Learning through practice will be your lifelong asset.

Development of Children

I play the role of the president of Ki Society. One of the main goals of Ki Society is to contribute to the society by using Shinshin Toitsu Aikido. In addition, we concentrate on resource development. Among our various activities, an especially important activity is the “Development of Children”.

Recently in Japan, it was reported in the newspaper and television news that there has been a decrease in the ability to exercise in children. It was noted that this is because of not only the lack of physical activity, but also bad posture.

In general, many people think that the good posture is a posture that is tense, the spine being forced upright and the chest tightened. In fact this is not a correct posture. If you tense your body, you will quickly become tired, making this posture difficult to sustain. On the other hand, one may become utterly absent-minded with the spine collapsed and curved unnaturally. One may establish a pattern of repeating both the tense posture and collapsed posture.

Essentially, a good posture is actually a “Natural Posture”. In Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, it is called “Toitsu-tai (a posture with mind and body coordinated)”. The posture that satisfies the below three conditions is “Natural Posture”.
1) The most comfortable posture
2) The most sustainable posture
3) The most stable posture

For example, if you make your posture limp and collapsed, for the moment you feel comfortable. However, soon you will feel discomfort and be unable to maintain this physical attitude for long. In other words, this cannot be said to be a “Natural Posture”.

Natural Posture has natural stability. In Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, we use “Ki Test” to make sure the stability of the posture:

In various poses such as the standing posture, the sitting posture while in a chair, the sitting posture in Seiza and lying down posture, you can check the stability of the posture. Also you can check the stability during a motion, such as walking. Through these training practices, you will be able to master the “Natural Posture”.

Let me go back to the original point.
A bad posture means an unnatural posture and an unnatural posture means an unstable posture. To improve the ability to exercise, it is important to check and maintain the basic posture.

Some time ago, I was teaching a child who was reluctant to attend the physical education class in school, because he was unable to walk across a balance beam. The child’s posture was unnatural with the weight on the heels. He was even wobbly when standing. However, very soon after I taught the basic posture and trained him to maintain stability, he was able to walk across on the beam.

Now, it seems that he has become in favor of all sorts of physical exercises. As for the child’s inability to walk across the beam, the cause was not a lack of ability to exercise, but his posture was simply not good. There are many children who are in this same condition.

Bad posture also affects a child’s physical growth. Recently it has also been learned that bad posture affects a child’s brain development.
Stiff neck and back pain are also very common among elementary school children.  This caused by bad posture as well.

This basic posture is important not only in Aikido, but also in other sports and in everyday life. Therefore, one of the priorities of Ki Society is to spread awareness and practice of good posture to elementary schools and junior high schools.

In reponse to requests from schools, instructors are sent to schools to teach teachers, parents and children on a voluntary basis.
Many people have commented that they have been able to learn the basic posture and improve their ability to exercise.  Also, they have stated that they improved in concentration and motivation thereby making a better impression.

For school officials that may be interested in this, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Also from my book “Kokoro wo Shizumeru (Calm your mind)”, more can be read about the basic posture.

I have lately been teaching the players and coaches of a major league baseball team, LA Dodgers.  The first thing I teach them is the basic posture.  As a result, many players have improved their performance by learning this basic posture.

Whatever you do, correct posture is essential.