Practice (13)

Can I use Aikido immediately for defense?

The beginning techniques can be used in a physical sense. But, developing a calm mind during stressful situations takes time.  Learning to blend smoothly with your attacker’s energy takes practice.  Hence, Aikido can be a life long art.

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Do I need to be in great shape?

No.  Aikido is collaborative.  If you do not feel comfortable participating in a particular movement you are encouraged to take it slowly, or to sit out that particular activity.

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What is the minimum age to start Aikido?

We suggest a minimum starting age of 13, but this depends on the individual’s maturity level.

Youth ages 13-16 may attend an adult class if accompanied by their parent or legal guardian who is also a dojo member attending that class. This will be at the discretion of the instructor, based on the need to maintain safety. Constant attention is always needed when full grown adults are throwing and falling. This is particularly true during a well attended regular class, or a special class or seminar with a guest instructor.

Youth age 17 and older may attend independently. Anyone under the age of 18 will continue to need their parent or guardian’s signature on the release form.

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How vigorous are the practices?

Aikido is one of the most aerobic martial arts; however , beginning techniques are taught at slow speed.

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If I don’t want to do a technique do I have to?

No, you may sit down during any part that you are uncomfortable with.

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Which classes can I attend?

While Tuesday and Thursday classes have more beginners, you can attend any class.

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How often can I practice?

Up to 10 hours per week, or as often as we have classes.

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How often should I practice?

At least 3 hours per week to make good progress.  If you only practice once per week you will tend to forget what you have learned.

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What should I wear to my first practice?

Loose fitting clothing.  A long sleeved shirt and sweat pants are good.  We recommend against jeans or shorts, they will be less comfortable on the legs.

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Do I need a uniform?

You are not required to get a uniform until your first test.

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Can I practice Aikido and another martial art at the same time?

Yes, but we do not suggest beginning another art at the same time you start Aikido.

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Can I attend seminars for Aikido or other martial arts?

Yes, this is encouraged. There are many seminars in Boulder and Denver.

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Are weapons taught in Aikido?

Portions of some classes may be taught using Aikido sword and staff.

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Administrative (9)

When can beginners start?

You can join our school at any time.  Come to any class.  There is no requirement to only attend “Beginner” classes. Dues are paid at the start of each month.  Do not concern yourself about paying the dues in the middle of your first month.  We will make reasonable adjustments for your first partial month.  Discuss the issue with the instructor.

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Do you have contracts?

No, monthly tuition only.

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When is monthly tuition paid?

The first day you practice each month.

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Do I pay my tuition if I am out of town for half the month?

Yes, you pay the same tuition no matter how many times you practice.  The money is used to pay rent and utilities, so we appreciate a regular income from our students to keep the school open.

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Which classes can I attend?

While Tuesday and Thursday classes have more beginners, you can attend any class.

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Do I need a uniform?

You are not required to get a uniform until your first test.

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What uniforms does Aikido use?

We use the standard Karate-style white gi, or a white or “natural” colored Judo gi.

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Are you affiliated with any organizations?

No. We are an independent, unaffiliated school.

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Progression (8)

If I miss a class will I fall behind?

No. Everyone grows at their own pace.

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How often are there tests?

Three to Four times a year, as students become ready for them.

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Do you use a belt system?

Yes, white (6th and 5th Kyu) / blue (4th and 3rd Kyu) / brown (2nd and 1st Kyu) / black.  Wearing of a Hakama begins at 3rd kyu.

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How long does it take to get a black belt?

It varies with your commitment.  Average is about 5 years.

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How often can I practice?

Up to 10 hours per week, or as often as we have classes.

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Are there memorized forms or Katas?

No.  There are no Katas as you might see in other martial arts.  You will learn specific techniques, but there are no long sequences of movements to memorize.

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How often should I practice?

At least 3 hours per week to make good progress.  If you only practice once per week you will tend to forget what you have learned.

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