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The Teens of Aikido Kenkyukai: Elishai Shapiro

aikido martial arts teens Dec 07, 2016

“If you do Aikido, it takes away the stress of homework.”

  • Elishai Shapiro, 12
  • Student
  • AKI Los Angeles

Elishai, who began Aikido at age 9, has been training with Suzuki Sensei for 3 years. He wanted to try martial arts and then some friends who were training at the dojo, told him to come along and try Aikido.

At his first class, he admits that he had a mix of emotions. “I was happy to be trying aikido but I was also very, very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect.”, he reported.

Not only did Elishai successfully integrate, but after displaying exemplary attendance and effort, he was nominated to the Teens Leadership Team. He has now served nearly 1 year.

With the elevated status of Leadership Team member, comes increased responsibility. He is required to attend a minimum number of youth classes and adult classes per week, volunteer at seminars and fundraisers, apprentice under a senior teacher to learn teaching technique and overall, set an example for the other youth to aspire to. (More on Leadership Team in another article.)

Asked why he continues doing Aikido, Elishai shared with us, “I continue to do aikido because I keep learning new things every time I go. Aikido also makes me stronger and it helps me keep up my stamina in other activities. After aikido I am always sweaty but happy.”

Apart from training, Elishai attends school and and is basically a normal kid. He tells us, “When I’m not doing aikido I do what a normal kid does: play video games, do chores, play outside, and do homework. Long boring homework.”

When asked what his life would be like with no Aikido, Elishai replied, “I guess if I wasn’t doing aikido I wouldn’t feel like I would be able to defend myself and maybe I would be bored.”

Those who wish to train with Elishai will find him attending classes at the organization’s Los Angeles dojo every Monday and Thursday and joining in the dojo’s international seminars, as well.

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