Change into your dogi. Step through the doors of the dojo and on to the mats. Shed the cares and happenings of your day. A few moments of meditation, followed by a bow, and then you are led through warm-up exercises to relax the joints, stretch, lengthen and align, breathe into your hara, settle and expand into the dojo space. Then the paired practice begins. A collaboration in learning. You study the classic repertoire of Aikido throws and pins, with a focus on the underlying principles of timing and positioning and non-resistance. With your partner, you create just enough challenge for each other to explore a more and more refined and effective way to execute the techniques. As you advance, your training becomes ever more spontaneous.
Our AKI way of training emphasizes spontaneity, the capacity to respond quickly and intelligently to changes in the interaction. This requires us to be relaxed and sensitive to our partner’s movement, flexible of mind, generous of spirit. We take an exploratory and creative approach to Aikido study – expanding our awareness of space and lines and energy. Hence our name: “kenkyukai” means study or research group. This way of training is challenging and uplifting.
Once or twice a year, you will be given the opportunity to grade. You will progress through 5 levels of kyu or white belt grades and then black belt or shodan. We follow Aikikai world headquarters grading guidelines. Grading is a chance to challenge yourself to perform, and to test your skill and understanding. It can be a little nerve-wracking for some, yet immensely satisfying experience. But your Aikido journey is your own, and it is ultimately your choice.
Adults: per 3 month session – $60 membership and $130 training fee.
Students: half price
Getting started: First class free. $30 monthly for first three months
Drop-in from other dojos: $10/class