No. Contracts are not used. However we do require an Auto Pay billing feature for monthly class dues that can be utilized with either your credit card or debit card.
You will sign an Authorization Form permitting the Dojo to automatically charge or debit your designated account on a specific date each month. You may cancel the authorization only by giving the Dojo at least thirty (30) days written notice (by letter or email) of cancellation prior to your next monthly billing date. For example, if your recurring billing date is the 5th of the month, and termination is sought for July 5, notice of cancellation must be given and received no later than June 5. Using the same example, notice received after June 5 would be effective for August. We regret that we are compelled to strictly enforce this cancellation policy.
Usually you can wear your belt if it is from another Aikido organization. Please ask the instructor if the rank or belt is accepted in our dojo. You will not be able to wear your belt from another martial art like Karate, Judo or Tae Kwon Do
The instructor is addressed as “Sensei.”
A gi is preferred. It may be purchased from our dojo.
Generally, the first hour of a two hour class concentrates on basics. You are welcome to stay for the second hour and try some more advanced techniques if you feel comfortable. It is helpful to train at least twice a week.
We generally encourage you to train in class. Private lessons can be arranged on a case by case situation.
It depends on a combination of several things. If you train on a regular basis, show readiness for each test after the required minimum time and training period, and test for each rank successfully, you will likely be able to test for shodan (black belt) after four to five years of training. Your advancement will depend on your skill, time, commitment, determination and testing success. Learning Aikido is a process, not a race. Some students may take 10 or 20 years before testing for shodan.
Testing is held quarterly. Refer to the AWA test requirement form. This form describes the minimum time between tests, required training hours, test techniques, and any service requirements. All tests are cumulative. You will note that as one progresses in rank, a longer waiting period between tests is required.
If you train on a regular basis, fulfill the requirement of two months and 20 hours of training and demonstrate readiness in class, you will probably be able to test for your first promotion test after two months of training.
Dues and class schedules are noted on our website and posted at the dojo. Your Aikido dues entitle you to train any time an Aikido class is offered, which is everyday.
The philosophy of aikido is to use the energy of an attack to neutralize an attacker. We work against strikes and grabs by blending with an attack and then controlling the attacker by taking her balance. Once balance is taken, it is easier to resolve the conflict by a throw or immobilizing pin.
Aikido students practice in pairs or small groups, taking turns being the attacker (called uke) and the defender (called nage). Since you will spend a good bit of time learning to fall properly and roll out of techniques, there is an aerobic exercise component to aikido practice. The intensity of practice can be adjusted depending upon your current level of fitness and ability to fall. At advanced levels, aikido is very dynamic; at early levels, we take great care in making sure students concentrate on the basics.
Classes begin with about 15 minutes of stretches, aikido specific movements, and rolling practice. Instructors will demonstrate a technique and then pair students off into practice groups. You may be paired off with other beginners, but more likely will be paired with a more experienced student who can help guide your technique. It is a very hands-on type of practice. We also utilize wooden weapons as part of aikido practice. The sword and staff are used to perform kata and paired exercises that are designed to teach principles that are equally applicable to empty handed techniques.
Aikido is taught as a traditional Japanese martial art. We place considerable emphasis on etiquette, both as a way of ensuring student safety and fostering self-discipline. We emphasize aikido’s philosophy of compassionate use of force and self-improvement through rigorous training in a non-competitive environment. Although our dojo comes from a lineage that included zen meditation in its practice, we do not have a formal meditation program. However, several of our members do sit informally. In our aikido practice we do emphasize awareness (“mushin”) and proper breathing (“kokyuho”).