Physical education at City Country School is holistic; we go for walks in the neighborhood and in the countryside, we climb trees and rocks, we play games, jump rope, dance, and we study a martial art called Aikido. In Elementary we begin the day, everyday, with a thirty-minute run, brisk walk or games.
All Elementary children study Aikido because, in addition to the sense of discipline, order and rigor it can help develop, its philosophy is in harmony with the education for peace that is part of the school’s ethos.
The ideal resolution in an Aikido confrontation is for both the attacker and the attacked to remain unharmed. It is often possible to defend oneself without harming the other, both literally and figuratively.
Aikido is taught by a master always an apprentice to his sensei in Japan At City Country School we want children to understand that one can spend a lifetime perfecting something: an instrument, a practice (be it Aikido or meditation), a craft (ceramics, acting, teaching), a hobby (gardening, cooking), a language.
Practicing Aikido requires that the children demonstrate their progress through yearly examination, advancing from belt to belt. It develops their physical and mental strength and their resilience. Aikido is studied in Japanese, preparing students for the study of Japanese.