Frequently asked Questions
What is Aikido?
Aikido is a martial art that focuses on using flowing circular movements to redirect incoming attacks into throws or pins that minimize harm to the attacker. It was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to as O Sensei). He trained extensively in traditional Japanese martial arts and based the movements of the art he developed on the movements of Jujutsu and Kenjutsu (empty handed and sword techniques). He developed Aikido as an art that would allow students to gain the physical power and self defense benefits of traditional martial arts training while allowing them to engage with an opponent, and the world at large, with harmony and compassion instead of responding to adversity by seeking to dominate and destroy.
What can students expect from training at our school?
At our school, we are dedicated to maintaining Ueshiba’s vision of training that teaches us to defend ourselves while fostering a cooperative training environment and improving the health and well-being of ourselves and our training partners. Classes consist primarily of partnered training where we practice leading and being led by our fellow students in a variety of techniques and exercises (some quite dynamic) while maintaining the balance and healthy posture of all participants.
What are the benefits of training?
At our school we practice Aikido not only for self defense but for personal improvement. Aikido is an excellent way to practice healthy balanced movement, awareness of ourselves and our surroundings, and cooperative resolutions to conflict. Also, Aikido’s cooperative training environment and flowing movements are great ways to get some low impact exercise, share playful movement with other students, and relax and re-center the mind.
Who can train?
Aikido techniques do not rely on the strength or speed of the student, but rather on timing and flowing movements, and as such can be effectively learned and applied by anyone, regardless of physical strength or stature. We are happy to have students from all backgrounds who wish to pursue Aikido training at our school. We currently offer only adult classes, but minors of age 14 or older may participate with the permission of a parent or guardian. Some Aikido training does require dynamic movement and falling to and getting up from the mat; however, our school is very safety conscious and we train our students in proper falling techniques, allowing everyone to train at a speed and intensity to maintain their safety. If you have any concerns about being able to participate in training, please contact us or stop by during class times and discuss it with us.
How do I get started?
The best way to get started is to come in and observe a class to see if training at our school is a good fit for you. You are welcome to stop by and watch any of the classes on our schedule (see bottom of the home page or our Facebook page). If you like what you see, you are welcome to come in and join us for a class. Your first class with us is complementary and we are happy to provide you with a loaner gi (training outfit).
How much does it cost?
New students can participate in a class free of charge to see if our Aikido is a good fit for them. After the initial class, we charge a monthly training free of $80, payable by cash or check. There are no startup fees or contracts. If you are passionate about pursuing Aikido training but our dues are prohibitive, please contact us and discuss it with us.
How do I prepare for training?
Please arrive to training with enough time to be dressed, on the mat, and ready to train by the start time of class. Since we often train at close quarters with our partners, proper personal hygiene is important. To protect our mat, please ensure that your feet are clean. Please do not wear strongly scented products or jewelry during training.
What do I wear to training?
For training, we wear a plain white gi (Japanese training uniforms) like those used for karate or judo training. Senior students also wear hakama, a type of traditional Japanese trousers over their gi. If you do not have your own gi, we are happy to loan a gi to new or short term students. If you become a regular member, we can provide you with a used gi, or you may purchase a new one through us or another seller.
I’m a visiting student from another Aikido dojo, can I come drop into a class?
Absolutely! We welcome visitors from other dojos to join us for class. Contacting us ahead of time to introduce yourself is appreciated but not required. If you have a gi already, you are welcome to wear it, or we can provide a loaner for the class. A donation of $10 is appreciated from drop in students.
When is training?
For class times, see our schedule on the bottom of the home page or on our Facebook page