You don’t have to be young and fit to join us. If you’re intrigued by what you see at our school, want to learn how to move your body with more grace and skill, are interested in the non-violent philosophy of aikido – whatever your motivation, you’re welcome to get on the mat and give aikido a try. If you enjoy what you experience and want to learn more, you just keep coming for as long as you remain interested. There are no contracts; dues are paid on a monthly basis. We don’t demand that you attend a certain number of classes, though we recommend aiming for a steady three days a week if you want to make good progress. Paying your dues gives you the right to attend as many classes as you are eligible for each week (this means all “Basic” classes for new people). And you pay the same amount if you attend one class or every class during the month.
We don’t offer free lessons, but you can watch as many classes as you like before you decide to join. We do require you to watch classes at least once and that you pay for one month of training before you get on the mat. You can watch any scheduled class and there is no need to call ahead. Just come in the front door, have a seat and someone will come over to see if you have any questions.
So please drop by and watch any class you like. We have a very friendly and accepting group of instructors and students and we know you will feel welcome.
Things to bring to your first class
Plan to arrive at your first class about 15 minutes early so we can take care of the paperwork. You can park in the back of or alongside the dojo, but please do not park in the rightmost spot in the back. This is reserved for teacher of the class. Please come in the back door and take off your shoes before you enter the training space or go downstairs. Bring loose and comfortable workout clothes with you and zoris or sandals to wear when walking upstairs from the changing rooms.
When you come upstairs after changing, we will ask you to fill out some forms and to pay for one month’s dues (which may be prorated if you start after the first of the month) and to pay the annual dojo membership fee. If you’re attending one of the introductory courses, you will be asked to pay for the course.
All martial arts have a set of etiquette rules that you will need to learn and Aikido is no exception. But don’t worry. We don’t expect you to know them before you start and you’ll learn them as you go along. In essence, etiquette expresses our respect for the dojo, the teachers and each other and for the art that we practice.
It can be a little intimidating the first time you get on the mat. Everyone else seems to know what they’re doing; there are all these strange rules and being a beginner when you’re adult can be challenging. But we value beginners – they’re the life blood of the dojo. So relax and enjoy your practice. We’re glad to have you with us.