Frequently Asked Questions
Can I come by the dojo to check it out?
Of course! We want you to come visit!
You can fill out a form on our Join page with your contact information and the date you wish to visit. That way you can meet the teacher, we’ll show you around, and answer your questions.
You can also come by the dojo ten or fifteen minutes before one of our classes. Anyone is always welcome to come by.
If you want to come for your free first class, then please go to the Join page and fill out our form.
What are the benefits of Aikido?
*Teaches you to be centered and grounded
*Teaches you to be calm in the midst of uncertainty
*A positive world-view. If your mind is calm and positive, you can create something good out of whatever the universe hands you.
*Anyone can be good at aikido. The key to making progress is perseverance, discipline, and a positive attitude.
*Aikido works for small people. It does not rely on strength, speed, weight, reach, or youth.
How old does my child need to be to attend the kids classes?
Our minimum age is six years old. Attendance in an AikidoKids! class also depends on the child’s ability to listen to our instructors. We do not expect children as young as six to be able to sit perfectly still or have unbreakable attention; that is, after all, some of what we teach in our Aikido program. We do expect a minimum of being able to listen to rules. Following the etiquette of the dojo is how we keep each other safe. It is also how we have a fun time.
You are welcome to bring your young child in to see how it goes.
What is the testing process?
How often you test depends on how often you train. It is determined by the number of classes you attend. Once you are deemed ready, the chief instructor will set a date for testing.
Since Aikido stresses harmony and non-violence, there are no competitions or full-contact sparring. Students marks their progress by passing formal tests in which they demonstrate Aikido techniques. They must exhibit skill in technique, as well as calmness under pressure, seriousness and diligence, and an open attitude to learning.
Do you have to attend all of the classes?
No. While it is encouraged to attend as many classes as possible, it is not a requirement. Attendance is up to you. You do get more benefit from attending regularly. Aikido techniques take time and discipline to master, so the more regularly you can train, the better it will be. Plus, the more you practice the more ‘ki’ you build up in your body. That helps not only with your training, but carries out into your life as well.
What do I wear if I don't have a gi?
Wear something comfortable and loose fitting like sweats or a t-shirt. You want to have freedom of motion. Also, wear long pants since we kneel and have many techniques where you end up on the mat.
What are those skirts you wear?
The skirt-like garment we wear is called a hakama. It is a piece of clothing from the days of the samurai. They were designed to protect the samurai’s legs from brush and dirt, similar to a Western cowboy’s chaps.
Who wears a hakama is different depending on the dojo and style. In some, only the black belts wear them; in others, everyone wears them.
In our dojo the black belts have to wear a hakama. A hakama can be expensive and we do not require that everyone obtain one until black belt level.
How long does it take to get a black belt?
Like with regular testing, how long it takes to earn a black belt depends on how regularly you train. The average is about four years, if you are diligent in your training.