Bel Sensei and Katz Sensei with children's class Youth Aikido Photo Children's class members demonstrating kaitenage

Youth Aikido Programs at Zenshinkan Dojo:

Aikido is a non-violent martial art. We do not teach your child how to fight. We teach them how not to fight! When many martial arts teach children that anger and aggression are tools to be exploited, we teach children that love, compassion and presence will serve to protect you. When many martial arts teach children about winning and losing through competition, we teach them about cooperation. In Aikido, your child discovers their true power and capabilities as a human being and learns to protect themselves through authentic martial arts training, while learning virtues of cooperation, respect, self-discipline and many valuable lessons that will carry through their entire lives!

Aiki-Tots (4 - 6 years):

The Aiki Tots program focuses on having a fun and engaging experience for children who are not yet ready to perform full Aikido techniques with a partner. We focus on expanding the child's awareness of their body in space using lots of basic Aikido movements. Tots will develop focus, confidence, and interpersonal skills through games and group activities, as well as valuable lessons of cooperation, gratitude, respect, and compassion.

Children's Aikido (7 - 12 years):

We provide children an experience of martial arts in a cooperative, supportive and empowering environment where they will learn self-defense and virtuous behavior through Aikido. Students learn the fundamental self-defense techniques of Aikido, while at the same time developing physically, mentally, and socially. Students learn self discipline, coordination, and discover their own inner strength. Students also learn to apply the principles of focus, cooperation and social responsibility in their daily lives.

The only person a child is encouraged to challenge is him/herself. Classes in the Youth Program are designed to be stimulating and fun. Aikido teaches children how to focus their emotions, be sensitive to the energy and environment around them, and take action that is appropriate for their circumstances. Aikido techniques teach children how to blend with an attack, redirect aggressive energy and seek a decisive, yet peaceful, resolution to conflict.

Teen's Aikido (13 - 17 years):

The Teen program will provide an opportunity for teenagers to develop as mature martial artists while cultivating qualities that will help them navigate adolescence and the rest of their lives. Teens will learn skills of self-defense, develop a regular regimen of physical fitness, and build confidence, awareness, and self-control. The teen program is designed to be a place in which teens can find ways to access their own potential, to become engaged and mature young people ready to make a difference in their world. All Teen program members will be invited to attend all Teen classes as well as Adult Aikido classes.

It is necessary to speak with the instructor prior to enrollment. We look forward to your family becoming a part of Youth Aikido Program at Zenshinkan Dojo.

Children's class

Youth Aikido Photo

Youth Aikido Photo


Youth Aikido Instructors at Zenshinkan Dojo:

Aimée Bel Sensei:

Bel Sensei, is the Director of Youth Aikido Programs at Zenshinkan Dojo. She currently holds the rank of Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt) with Aikikai Hombu Dojo. She began her Aikido training at Zenshinkan Dojo under Edward Haupt Sensei in 1996. Bel Sensei has been teaching in the Zenshinkan Youth Program since 2000 and is a nationally respected Children's Aikido instructor.

Bel Sensei creates a supportive environment where children can begin to learn the values of leadership and responsibility to their peers. Her talent in fostering a fun and meaningful experience for the children in the Aikido program has brought frequent praise and support from the parents of our students. Bel Sensei's commitment and dedication to the art of Aikido is clearly expressed and evident in the high quality Aikido that her students consistently achieve.

When Bel Sensei is not teaching Aikido, she is inspiring high school students to learn history in the Wellesley Public School System. She has been teaching in secondary education since 1996 and has also worked with children in special needs populations.




Bel Sensei

Shawn Kenyon Sensei:

Kenyon Sensei teaches our Aiki-Tots classes and currently holds the rank of 2nd Kyu at Zenshinkan Dojo. He began his Aikido training in 2006 and has been trained by both Bob Caron Sensei and Aimeé Bel Sensei to be a highly effective youth Aikido instructor. Kenyon Sensei is especially skillful at providing our youngest Aikido students the balance of structure and fun that they need in order to succeed in our Aikido program.

When Kenyon Sensei is not teaching Aikido, he works as the Clinical Director at a private school serving children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Kenyon Sensei has a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education degree through Northeastern University.

Kenyon Sensei

Amy Small Sensei:

Small Sensei teaches in both our Children's and Teen's Aikido program and currently holds the rank of 2nd Kyu at Zenshinkan Dojo. She began her Aikido training at Zenshinkan in 2007 and has already made a substantial contribution to our Aikido programs. She is a committed Aikido practitioner and has worked extensively with our youth programs from an early stage in her training. Small Sensei provides a soft and compassionate energy that is sure build close bonds with students and parents, while also supporting strong Aikido development among the older and more demanding youth.

When Small Sensei is not teaching Aikido, she is serving children with significant emotional and behavioral challenges as a clinician in Swansea, MA. Small Sensei has a Master's Degree and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.


Small Sensei