Frequently (or infrequently) asked questions.
I have never trained before what but I have an interest in your classes.... What do I do?
Just come along, it's that easy. Class timetables are here, and if you feel a bit anxious feel free to get in contact, let us know you're coming and turn up 10-15 mins before the class time.
Okay, got that, so what do I wear?
Well, normally once you've completed your introductory session a keikogi (gi) is traditional training attire, you can wear one designed for karate, judo or aikido, although either of the latter 2 is advised as they have extra reinforcement in areas to help the keikogi survive the grabs and knee work practised.
For your first session just turn up in loose fitting clothing such as a tracksuit.
Right, so what does it cost, I mean nothing is free right?
Well your first lesson is! The first session for juniors or adults is free to allow yourself to try the art and decide if it is for you. Should you wish to continue training prices for classes are listed here, with the option to pay monthly (advisable if you intend to train more than once a week) or per night.
What about the class itself, what can I expect?
Well we like to be on the mat for the start time of the class and begin in seiza which is a formal Japanese sitting position (basically kneeling but with extra steps). If this is uncomfortable due to injury or bad joints please inform the instructor and allowances will be made. We bow to the front of the dojo and then to the instructor as a mark of respect before commencing with short warm-up (this will vary by instructor).
After warming up, aikido practice will generally consist of the instructor demonstrating a technique while the class watches in seiza before partnering off to practice. At our dojo we like to change partners between techniques so we can better understand how the techniques work on a variety of people. At the end of the session the class will line up as at the start in seiza and perform the same bows as in the beginning, the class remains in seiza while the instructor leaves the mat before performing one final bow to close out the session.
That was a lot to take in!?
Tell me about it, but don't worry, just show up and if you get stuck people will help wherever they can.
Are there any limits to classes I can do?
How much time do you have? Although classes are listed as Beginner, General or Advanced these do not exclude anyone from participation. The class 'level' is merely an indicator of what points the instructor would like to convey. We have had students join as fresh beginners and only participate in the advanced classes because that is the only time they can make it.... And that's fine, both instructors and students will be respectful of your level of training working with you rather than trying to outperform you.
But I have preexisting injuries, does that mean I cannot train?
Absolutely not we have people aged 7 all the way up to 70 and above that practice aikido and a few students that carry injuries from previous activities and life in general. It is all about making aikido work for you.