Mentorship at AKT


Mentorship Program Overview


A dojo as a multi age, multi level, multi dimensional learning environment comes to life in our mentorship program. This program gives youth an opportunity to ripen their training through teaching, to deepen their compassion for others through caring, and to play responsibly with younger kids and to be a hero to those coming up in ranks.

Our mentorship program has five components:

1) Teacher Aids - Ages 8 and up

As a teacher aid students participate in classes with younger students, learning how to teach fundamental aikido moves, comforting students in their struggles while learning, playing with them during play time, learning how to roll up their sleeves to clean up and keep the dojo organized as well as doing basic administrative tasks. Prerequisite: Sensei invitation or approval

2) Sempai in Training (SIT) - Ages 11 and up

As a SIT students participate in Samurai Summer Camp under the tutelage of a Sempai and supporting Sempai in their responsibilities by taking on leadership roles and teaching Aikido to the younger students as well as leading games, activities and cleaning up, with the motto of many hands make for light work and fun times for all. Prerequisite: TA position during the school year.

3) Advanced Training and Day Camps 

Advanced Training and Camps are an integral part of our Mentorship Program and a requirement for those participating in our Mentorship program. Advanced Training Camps help to bring our mentors together as a group in team building activities as well as training at an advanced level of aikido. Students learn basic teaching skills, comforting a sad or hurt child, dojo cleaning and basic administrative tasks to get a sense of ownership of the dojo, as well as bringing them into leadership roles where they learn to balance kindness and clarity. Prerequisite: Mentorship Student or ages 13 and up.

4) Internship Program - Ages 15 and up

This program brings in youth from outside the dojo, immersing youth that are interested in our art while participating in the dojo on an administrative basis outside of the dojo as well.  

Prerequisite: Sensei invitation or approval

5) Sempai - Ages 15 and up

This is the highest level in our mentorship program and is awarded to students through years of dedicated training and immersion into our mentorship program. These are our leaders in the kids program and carry full responsibilities by committing their time, knowledge and skill they have acquired over their years at Aikido Kids of Tamalpais. Sempai participate in teen classes at a minimum of two times per week. Sempai train SIT's and TA's, support interns and get to train in adult classes for free whenever adult classes are happening throughout the year, excluding summer breaks where they can take part in the adult program on a drop in fee basis. 

—Designed and written by Dolano Arthur Sensei