Joining a Club
Beginners to aikido are welcome to try a class before committing to joining a club.
All members were once beginners and remember what their first session was like. The instructors and other members are there to walk with you and support you on your aikido journey.
Learning aikido is a life-long journey and when you join a club you are committing yourself to the “way of harmony” which is a pathway towards self-improvement and respectful relationships.
When you decide to join a club, please speak with the Sensei (Instructor) about purchasing a Gi (uniform). Once you have a Gi, it is important to keep it clean by washing it regularly. For yours and others safety prior to training please ensure that your fingernails and toenails are short with no edges or points and remove your jewellery.
Aikido follows the customs of Japanese etiquette.
These customs are signs of courtesy, politeness and respect. The first of these is punctuality, this involves arriving before training to help set up and to ensure that you ready to start on time. If you know you will be late please let your Sensei know prior and when you arrive please obtain permission from the Sensei to step onto the mat.
Another custom is the removal of footwear either at the dojo entry or prior to stepping on the mat. Members will also bow (Rei) when entering and leaving the dojo, and when stepping on to the mat.
Classes start with students sitting in seiza (kneeling, sitting on one’s ankles) in rank order, then bowing to Kamiza (the portrait of O’Sensei) and then bowing to the instructor taking the class. When bowing to the instructor the students say “onegai shimasu” which means "please let me train with you".
During classes, students sit in seiza and listen when the instructor is talking and demonstrating a technique.
When training with a partner bow to them at the start and finish of your training. While training keep conversation to a minimum and keep the focus on the technique you are practising. If you need assistance, ask the instructor taking the class.
If you have any injury or health condition let your instructor know. Likewise, if you are uncomfortable with an exercise or technique, discuss this with your instructor. You can sit out if you are injured, not comfortable, fatigued and unwell.
When practising one should never force things unnaturally or unreasonably. It is important to undertake training suited to one’s body, physical condition and age.
O’Sensei encourages us to “Always practice the Art of Peace in a vibrant and joyful manner” (The Art of Peace, p.101)
At the end of each class, students line up in seiza in rank order, and bow to the Kamiza, then to the instructor taking the class. When bowing to the instructor, students utter “Domo arigato gozaimashita”, meaning thank you very much for training with you.
At the end of the class, students are expected to help with clearing the mats and tidying the dojo.