Beginning Aikido - How to Start


For prospective beginning students, we recommend our 30-minute orientation private class:

Intro to Aikido Session

Here, you will be greeted by one of our senior members, who will introduce you to the Dojo, changing rooms etc. and go over some basic martial arts etiquette. After a discussion of the goals of the introductory period of three Fundamentals classes and any concerns you may have, your guide will introduce you to some simple warmups and stretches. You will then be helped to safely roll on your back from a sitting or kneeling position (a basic training in safety which has the added benefit of being a self-massage!).

Your host will explain how, for the next three Fundamentals sessions, for most of the one-hour session, you will work one-on-one with dedicated senior students on forward and back rolls and on one technique on each of the three days. You will be with the whole class for initial warmups and for the final cool-down technique. On your fourth day you will be well-prepared to join the whole class as a regular student.

The Intro Session will take place by appointment, usually right before the regular Fundamentals class, from 6 to 6:30 pm, on a Monday or a Friday, and has a $20 fee. (Other times may also be available if these times aren’t possible for you.) 

Should you decide to enroll the same day as the Intro session, the $20 will be deducted from the regular fee - and you will receive a free gi! Also, you will be welcome to join the Fundamentals class in progress. You will be leant a white belt with a blue stripe for the next three sessions, to identify you for  personal instruction as described above.

Joining without the Intro Session

Please note that the Intro Session is not required: it is there to give you a gentle introduction to our practice. If you would rather just jump in from day 1, you are welcome to try a Fundamentals class ($15 mat fee per day). You will be given private instruction on safe rolling and then join the whole class for regular practice with caring and responsble partners. 

You are also always welcome to watch a class for free. We recommend actually trying it out, however, as the best way to judge for yourself.

Fundamentals classes

These are on Monday and on Friday. You can come to one or more classes on a regular basis. 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. 

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After you have had eight sessions, you will be well-prepared and welcome to join the second hour of practice (called keiko class) the same day, and to attend our other practice days (currently Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays).

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. Keiko class covers skills needed for the remaining white- and black-belt ranks.

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.

More on Fundamentals and Keiko Classes

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 the 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.

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                                                                                           590 Nevada St., Suites A, B & C; Redlands, CA 92373