Aikijuku Dojo specializes in offering instruction in Aikido to adults (women and men ages 14 and older). We do not have separate classes or regular signup periods for new beginners; instead we prefer our new members to mix in right away with our full community, and benefit from training with the full range of experience and skill of our other members. Don’t worry – you will feel very welcomed and fit right in; we don’t judge new members based on their inexperience, and our classes are structured so that everybody gets to train at their own level with personal attention from the teachers. However, we do have a special fundamentals classes offered each Monday and Wednesday.
Getting A Good Feel For Our Dojo
It’s a long-standing point of humor among our teachers that sometimes we will have visitors watch a fundamentals class, and say “well, that’s just not realistic! I can’t see how that will be useful for self defense!” On other nights, we will have visitors watch an advanced class, and say “well, that’s amazing, but I can’t see myself ever being able to do any of that!” It’s important to experience a full range of classes to get a sense of how we ease new members into building basic skills all the way through performing at spontaneous and advanced levels.
How to Get Started
Getting started is easy! We understand it can be a little scary making that first step, but all great adventures start with a sense of anticipation. Simply call or e-mail us using the information on the “contact” page, and our Dojo administrator will contact you and talk to you about your questions and interests. Alternately, you can simply visit Aikijuku Dojo during (or preferably up to 15 minutes before) any regularly scheduled Aikido class. You will be welcomed and invited to either watch or participate in training (please wear loose-fitting, comfortable workout clothes, or a Karate or Judo uniform). If you want to get a “jump start,” simply click here!
What To Expect on Your First Day
On your first day, you will be shown how to wear your uniform and tie your belt. An instructor or senior student will show you some basics of how to protect yourself by falling safely and under control – an important life skill! You will be introduced to our customs, etiquette and exercises— we observe traditional Japanese etiquette in our Dojo. You will not be expected to learn Japanese right away, and you will be able to follow along quite easily. After warmup, the instructor will show a technique, and you will be paired with a friendly partner who will help you explore and learn the technique together. Instruction generally builds to more advanced principles throughout the class, and you will take turns performing and receiving techniques with a partner.
What You Can Expect to Achieve
What you will achieve will depend on what you invest into your training. One of the beautiful aspects of Aikido is that you can depart every class with some new insight or improvement. No matter how you feel before training, most people feel more energetic following training. Over time, you will grow more and more confident and relaxed in difficult situations, more comfortable managing attackers, and more perceptive of human emotions and ego. You will quickly appreciate how those insights apply in your daily life, your work and your relationships. How quickly and how far down the path to mastery you travel, and what your particular path looks like, is up to you! Mostly, what you can expect to achieve is the discovery and appreciation of your own path, and the manifestation of your own personal strengths.
Training With Injuries and Physical Limitations
“Aikido really interests me, but I’m just not physically in shape enough to be a martial artist.” Aikido is not a martial sport, where you are pitted in physical contests against matched opponents. The is no opponent and no winner and loser. It is a life art, which means it is a practice and philosophy for your life, your entire life. The Aikido you discover will look different than anyone else’s and as an expression of your own body and life, it will provide a path that will provide results and challenges that fit your unique situation. If you have the mindset and will to embrace Aikido, it will reward you no matter your physical situation.