We have a number of fundamental Aikido classes spread throughout the week. You can come to one or more classes on a regular basis. If you haven't seen Aikido before, we recommend that you try out a first class (or watch - either is free!). You are welcome to start training at any time. Beginner's will find themselves in a supportive atmosphere with helpful, patient senior students as well as with other beginners. You will learn basic rolling skills from a senior student specially designated to you, after which you will be able to join in with the the rest of the class.
Aikido Fundamental classes are run according to a graded series of lesson plans. Each lesson is repeated in rotation, so that beginners can have ample preparation for the more advanced classes. After 30 days of training you will have become eligible to take your test for 6th Kyu, our first belt rank. The Fundamentals and Open classes also cover all the skills required for Kyu ranks all the way through 3rd Kyu. The Keiko class covers skills needed for 2nd and 1st kyu and all black-belt ranks.
Aikido Fundamentals class starts with instruction in conditioning, core-strength, flexibility, warming up and breathing as ways to maintain health and to manifest power. Students then practice techniques that clearly illustrate the effectiveness of balance and non-contention in Aikido. Beginners use pins and light throws, mostly from grabs: more advanced students will work at the beginner’s pace. Many classes feature basic sword and staff handling, and basic strikes are practiced in the air and sometimes on focus mitts. Class ends with a cool-down technique.
In our more advanced classes, when students are comfortable with the necessary safety skills, we introduce the more spectacular falls and sweeps as well as responses to strikes, kicks and weapons attacks, as well as sophisticated weapons work.
Your safety is paramount and the pace of Fundamentals class is tailored to you, so no prior skills will be needed when you start. You can expect a little initial soreness, as unused muscles begin to be exercised, but this will go away as you keep practicing. As these classes are self-paced, expect to develop your level of conditioning without strain. Please do your own favourite stretches immediately after class, as this can greatly enhance your flexibility.