What is Aikido?
Aikido is often called “The Art of Peace”. It is a non-violent martial art that originated in Japan in the early 1900’s. The founder of Aikido is Morihei Ueshiba or O’Sensei (Great Teacher). Ai means harmony or love, Ki means energy or spirit, and Do means the way or the path. Aikido translates into “the way of harmonizing your spirit with that of the universe”. Practitioners learn to blend with the energy of an attack and effortlessly redirect it in a way that protects both parties. Because it is non-competitive in nature it is ideally suited for people of all ages, sizes, and athletic ability.
Are weapons taught?
Yes. In some of the general classes basic jo (staff) and bokken (sword) are taught - both from how to use as well as how to apply Aikido techniques as part of to disarm someone with a weapon.
Additionally, we also teach Toyama Ryu Iaido as part of the curriculum. For more information see (About) tab.
How do I get started in Aikido?
Classes are ongoing and may be begun at any time. A Basics class is offered twice a week. This class is open to all students, however it’s emphasis is on basic movement and is therefore ideal for new students.
What do I wear during class?
Students wear a white martial arts Gi. These may be purchased at the dojo or through any other organization. It is quite acceptable to take your first few classes in sweats or other workout clothing however long pants and a shirt with sleeves are required. If you are serious about your training, we recommend that you get your Gi sooner rather than later.
Don’t people prefer to practice with advanced students instead of beginners?
Aikido is very difficult to master and it is important that all students maintain a “beginners mind”. It is important to remember that every person in Aikido was at some point a beginner. Senior students hold a sincere desire to help beginners in large part because we have all been there and know how it feels. Part of the tradition of Aikido involves being generous and helping others in their training!
How long does it take to learn Aikido?
There are a couple of ways that people approach their practice. Aikido is for some people a life long study. It is a very difficult art to learn and is full of many layers of complexity. In order to gain significant accomplishment, one needs to practice several times a week on a regular basis. Other people are simply interested in learning the principles of Aikido and are less interested in advancing in rank or putting in such a significant investment of time and energy. In this case, there will be many benefits from training however progress will be somewhat slower.
Is Aikido Self Defense?
Yes it is. Aikido techniques are definitely useful when self defense is required. Aikido principles of awareness, presence, and conflict resolution are also useful tools of protection. Many people report that they were able to get out of dangerous situations before they became physically dangerous by paying attention to their environment and trusting their intuition. It is also a powerful practice for dealing with one’s own “inner critic” so that a feeling of internal harmony becomes a possibility.