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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the format of a typical Aikido class?
    Class starts with 10 minutes of stretching and warm-ups, followed by about 5 minutes of basic body movements (tai sabaki) and break-falls and rolling practice (ukemi). The class proper consists of the paired practice of techniques that have been demonstrated by the instructor. For more discussion of these techniques see the discussion The Outer Form, however the practice generally alternates between throwing and locking techniques with usually about 10 minutes spent on each. Classes generally end with kokyho (a kind of breathing/throwing exercise) or other breathing exercises and a back stretch.
  • What can I do to learn more about aikido?
    The easiest way to get a feel for aikido is to come and join in a practice. To encourage people to try aikido, your first class is free, though you should show up 10 minutes early for your first class to complete some necessary paperwork.
  • Can I just watch a class to see if it is for me?
    Most people start by joining a practice, however if you prefer to watch one or more classes, that's okay too. Just sit at side of the room but please respect dojo etiquette: no excessive noise, talking or other distracting activities. Please send us an email ( in case you want to attend.
  • Can new members join at any time?
    New members are welcome to join at any time of the year. Just come along to any regular class. We have a reduced rate for new members. Check the Practical Information section in the Home page for more details.
  • Do you have separate classes for beginners?
    Beginners are welcome to attend any of our regular classes. They will be assigned to work with advanced students who will help them to learn as quickly as possible.
  • What should I wear to a first class?
    Just wear loose fitting clothes such as sweat pants and a t-shirt. Don't wear shorts or jeans and please remove jewelry before class. Or, if you have a karate or judo gi just wear that (with a white belt if possible); aikido gis are interchangeable with judo and most karate gis.
  • How many classes should I attend per week?
    We recommend that you try to attend at least two classes per week in order to make good progress.
  • When should I buy a gi (Aikido uniform)? Where can I get one? How much are they?
    We recommend that you practice for a few weeks before investing in a gi. The club used to maintain a small inventory which we resold to our members at cost, but nowadays most people find it just as convenient to order off the internet. There are also one or two places around town which sometimes sell them. Ask another member if you need advice.
  • Where can I get my own weapons?
    We recommend that you practice for a while before investing in your own weapons. The club sometimes has some for resale, but we can also recommend some sites on the web. A good quality jo, bokken and tanto set will generally cost around $100. The club also has a small number of weapons available for the use of those who don't have their own.
  • Do you have kid's classes?
    Unfortunately, we don't have a kids/youth program anymore. The minimum age to join our adult classes is 15 years old.
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