Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art characterized by dynamic movement, powerful throws, strikes, joint and pinning techniques. Extremely effective as a means of self-defense, Aikido is a potent art descended from the samurai tradition. All ages men and women may benefit from the discipline of this training.
The Jones Center, Studio B
13 & up
3rd Dan Traditional Aikido
Assistant Instructor: Toni Mayhill
1. Why Aikido? Aikido’s style is generated from strategy, movement and a variety of techniques that require little physical strength to perform. Training stresses form, mutual cooperation, awareness of others, and the coordination of the body’s movement with a calm state of mind. Aside from its utility as a method of self-defense, Aikido also stresses the perfection of character and the development of positive human qualities such as compassion, courage, endurance and inner strength.
2. What should I wear?
Clean, loose, comfortable clothing is absolutely acceptable in the beginning. In time, however, students should acquire a white gi (judo or karate uniforms will work nicely).
3. What if I don't have any Aikido experience? Experience level doesn't matter at all - except that beginners with zero experience have an easier time of it, as they don’t have to “empty their cup.”
4. How often should I participate?
Come as often as possible. It can take a long time to acquire a comfortable proficiency. Extra mat time, whenever it is available, can shorten the process dramatically.
5. How long will it take to achieve black belt?
Rank is not important. Everyone should always be learning, experiencing, and achieving new things, if they are doing it right. In that sense, everyone is a beginner. It is true that the Japanese word “dan,” the designation for “black belt,” means “step” or “stage.”
6. Is it hard to learn?
It is what you make of it. While the concepts are simple, the movement can be counter-intuitive in some respects. The techniques necessary can seem complex, but in fact are simple. It is the application and coordination, which is difficult.
7. Does it hurt?
Yes. Like all physical exercise, it has its’ gentle foothills, hard ascents, high plateaus and seemingly impossible summits - all without end.
8. How does it compare to other martial arts?
The words “martial art” are often thought of as one term. In fact, and obviously - it is two. No such thing as Aikido can be complete without homage to both terms. It must be both art and a way of war. As such, it shares the planet with many other such similar pursuits and studies. To compare any two, is to both to deny the beauty and complexity and unique gifts each represents and to ignore the simple fact that they all come from the same place in the heart. All practitioners of the arts are brothers and sisters of the same spirit.
9. Is it spiritual? Are there religious aspects to it? Doesn’t Aikido mean “the spirit way?”
The meaning of Aikido is in fact “The Spirit Way.” We practice an early traditional version. Our school does not lend extensive focus to one aspect of the art, at the expense of another. We prefer a hard, practical approach. Everyone may have different religious beliefs, and all are welcome on the mat.
10. Is it a good cardio workout? Will I get fit?
Yes, but fitness of mind, body and spirit.
11. Can I defend myself with this technique?
12. How many years has this school of Aikido been in existence?
Since 1955. Founded by Kenshiro Abe Sensei as the Abe School of Budo at The Hut in Berkshire, Britain. Later as taught by Henry Ellis Shihan and Derek Eastman Shihan via the Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido in Basingstoke, Britain.
13. How long has the chief instructor been teaching?