2010, Volume 6, Issue 2

The use of biomechanics in the methodology of teaching aikido to children

Andrzej Mroczkowski1

1Faculty of Physical Education, University of Zielona Góra, Poland

Author for correspondence: Andrzej Mroczkowski; Faculty of Physical Education, University of Zielona Góra, Poland; email: a.mroczkowski[at]wnps.uz.zgora.pl

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Background and Study Aim: This study’s purpose was to test the effectiveness of various methods of teaching aikido to children. Another goal was to see how the knowledge of biomechanics with regard to the principles of mechanics used in aikido techniques affects their execution.
Material and Methods: The research involved a population of fourth-form pupils aged 10-11, divided into two 25-strong training groups (‘A’ and ‘B’), who practised aikido at extra-curricular PE classes. Group A were taught using the ‘general-to-specific’ method, with the prevalence of the synthetic method. The explanation of the execution of aikido techniques relied on the principles of biomechanics. Group B were taught using the ‘specific-to-general’ method, with the analytical approach prevailing. After a month’s practice both groups were tested for their performance. Additionally, Group A were asked questions to make sure that they understood the principles of mechanics applied to the execution of the techniques.
Results: On average, the children in Group A got higher scores for the execution of aikido techniques, compared with their counterparts in Group B. High correlation was found between the scores and the answers to the questions about the biomechanics of aikido techniques.
Conclusions: The children taught aikido using the ‘general-to-specific’ method mastered the techniques better than the children taught the analytical way. The application of the theoretical explanation of mechanics principles at work in aikido improves the execution of the techniques. Teaching aikido to children allows one to familiarise them with the laws of mechanics, i.e. the forces acting on a person while in translatory or rotary motion.

Key words: aikido, biomechanics , martial arts, teaching methodology