The Aikido Special Program: a course for "at risk" and disadvantaged children

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: January 2014 - Project end date: December 2014
Project number: 2013-064
Beneficiary: SMOM

 

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, through the volunteer work of Knights and Dames of the delegation of Rome, started ​​two care facilities in the twelfth Municipality of Rome, thanks to the valued funding by the Nando Peretti Foundation: the “Centro Nando Peretti Fonte Meravigliosa” and the “Centro Nando Peretti Laurentino 38. This was done following its guiding principles , which are the defense of the faith and service to the poor and the suffering.

The activities take place by implementing the principle of charity, not only with the distribution of food parcels and clothing but also trying to find solutions to everyday problems of the needy. Among the objectives of the Dames and Knights of the Order there is also to engage young people in cultural, sports and recreational activities in order to remove them from the dangers of the street, reducing exposure to risks related to crime, violence, use of drugs and other destructive behavior.

Aikido performs admirably in this respect: it is immediately perceived by children as a fun and interesting activitiy, and at the same time is a vehicle of moral and ethical values ​​very much in line with those of the Order.

 

What is Aikido?

 

From the outside, Aikido looks like a beautifully harmonious and effective martial art, with its characteristic powerful and dynamic spherical movements, which seek to neutralize attacks without useless opposition or violence. However, Aikido is not just a martial technique or a mere sport. It is a discipline that allows us to train our body and mind, and that transcends the antagonisms and oppositions in order to live life in a state of mindfulness without being tense, developing strength not violence, so as to gradually learn to free ourselves from behavioral patterns dictated by bad habits, towards the attainment of a state of physical fitness coupled by mental and emotional stability.

The special project "Aikido for kids" proposed by the Associazione Culturale Aikido Banyuaiki Dojo Roma, consists of an Aikido course for 15 boys and girls in high-school. The use of Aikido as a means of prevention of social problems in young people has been widely documented, including in the book edited by Roberto Travaglini "The processes of Aikido training - Glimpses on its dynamics and potentialities " ed. ETS.

The course will last for one year, and is currently at the Parish of Santa Giovanna Antida Thouret. It is completely free for the kids, and is held on Wednesdays from 17.00 to 18.00. The children receive clothing for practice, membership to the Italian Aikikai Organization which includes insurance, and will be followed by the chief instructor  and an assistant instructor.

This project has been fully funded by the Nando Peretti Foundation.

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