We would be happy to see you at our dojo. Your age, gender, or physical fitness rarely matters in Aikido. Please come and watch a practice or join us for a free introductory class right away. You don’t need to call ahead. If you plan to join a class please wear loose and comfortable clothing.
See the “ABOUT-AIKIDO” section of the website to read about benefits, history, philosophy and spirituality, Ki, terminology, and a list of additional reading about the art of Aikido. The “CLASSES” section
of the website has all the information about schedules, fees, Instructors,
Promotion Criteria, and equipment.
Our practice began in Loveland in October 1981. Our original name was “The Sun is Rising Consciousness Center”, and later became Aikido of Loveland – Ft. Collins, Inc. The school was started by Dr. Kent Hinesley, who had recently moved to Loveland from California. Kent had been studying Aikido with David O’Neill of San Francisco. Kent began teaching Aikido in Loveland with the help of two of his friends, David Jones and Robert Patton who both had received their black belts from David O’Neill. At that time, Kent had not yet received his black belt.David O’Neill was the fountainhead of our school.
His background included study and teaching in New York, Japan, Asia, Europe and many schools in the United States. David studied with O’Sensei in the last year of his life. He was a teacher at the New York Aikikai, founded the South Jersey Aikikai, and co-founded the San Francisco Aikikai, before opening ‘Aikido In’ in 1973. Before making Aikido his profession, he was a performer and director in the theater, television, and film. He was also a faculty member at the Julliard School of Music, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the American Mime Theater, and the Circle in the Square Theater School. We were originally affiliated with David O’Neill’s organization. Currently we are not affiliated with any Aikido organizations.
Before we had the current dojo on Jefferson Avenue, we were located near the old railroad depot on 5th Street. For many years we had a practice in Fort Collins. This was lead by Mike Harter and others from our school, including Clyde Meeks, Kurt Yovanoff, Bob McCoy, and Kathy Crowe.In 2004 we re-organized the school to become a nonprofit Colorado corporation, called “Aikido of Northern Colorado, Inc.” We are recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 educational organization. As such, we do not discriminate against applicants and student on the basis of race, color, and national or ethnic origin. Donations to Aikido of Northern Colorado, Inc. are tax deductible. The organization is managed by a board of directors. The Board of Directors are: Jim Crowe, Philip Horvath, Dave O’Farrell, Mike Yoknis, Jim Quartarone and Paul Devaney. The teaching staff is responsible for the curriculum and promotions. The chief instructor is Phil Horvath.
Training at Our Dojo:
Aikido practice begins the moment you enter the dojo! Trainees ought to endeavor to observe proper etiquette at all times. It is proper to bow when entering and leaving the dojo, and when coming onto and leaving the mat. Approximately 3-5 minutes before the official start of class, trainees should line up and sit quietly in seiza (kneeling).
The only way to advance in aikido is through regular and continued training. Attendance is not mandatory , but keep in mind that in order to improve in aikido, one probably needs to practice at least twice a week. In addition, aikido provides a way of cultivating self-discipline, such self-discipline begins with regular attendance. Your training is your own responsibility. No one is going to take you by the hand and lead you to proficiency in aikido.
Part of aikido training is learning to observe effectively. Before asking for help, therefore, you should first try to figure the technique out for yourself by watching others. Aikido training encompasses more than techniques. Training in aikido includes observation and modification of both physical and psychological patterns of thought and behavior. In particular, you must pay attention to the way you react to various sorts of circumstances. Thus part of aikido training is the cultivation of (self-)awareness.
The following point is very important: Aikido training is a cooperative, not competitive, enterprise. Techniques are learned through training with a partner, not an opponent. You must always be careful to practice in such a way that you temper the speed and power of your technique in accordance with the abilities of your partner. Your partner is lending his/her body to you for you to practice on — it is not unreasonable to expect you to take good care of what has been lent you.
Aikido training may sometimes be very frustrating. Learning to cope with this frustration is also a part of aikido training. Practitioners need to observe themselves in order to determine the root of their frustration and dissatisfaction with their progress. Sometimes the cause is a tendency to compare oneself too closely with other trainees. Notice, however, that this is itself a form of competition. It’s a fine thing to admire the talents of others and to strive to emulate them, but care should be taken not to allow comparisons with others to foster resentment, or excessive self-criticism. If at any time during aikido training you become too tired to continue or if an injury prevents you from performing some aikido movement or technique, it is permissible to bow out of practice temporarily until you feel able to continue. If you must leave the mat, ask the instructor for permission. If you are unable to sit in seiza, you may sit in anza (cross-legged) instead.
Practicing at other dojos:
We encourage our members to visit other Aikido studios and practice. You do not need approval, but there are several things you should keep in mind. You do not need many months of practice to travel to another Aikido studio to practice, as long as you can keep up with the warm-ups and the teacher at that studio does not mind, you should be able to practice there.
We generally think that our members should be at the 6′th kyu level or have several months practice before attending a seminar at another studio. At some studios you might be asked to wear a white belt. If you ever leave our studio and start practicing at another studio, do not expect to retain your rank. Many studios will honor the lower kyu ranks but will want you to practice for several months first. It is generally considered a rule that you would wear a white belt on your first night and until your rank is honored or you test for that rank or another rank. Remember that you will be judged first and foremost on your etiquette; that is your first impression. When visiting another studio practice the techniques their way. You do not want to visit with the idea that our ways are correct. Try to learn their variations and bring these back to us.
You can receive one hour of credit for each new technique, variation, story, or a technique that is new to you that you bring back. To receive this credit you must present these ideas to a class when one of the black belts are teaching. You should not bring back an attitude that they are doing things correct and we are wrong. If you plan to visit another Aikido studio you might want to talk to a hakama level member first for suggestions on how to get the most out of the other studio for your level. How to address the teacher – Please refer to the etiquette section of this page.
Practicing Aikido is as much about the growth of the mind and the spirit as it is about training the body. In addition, Aikido is a martial art and the practice can be quite rigorous. Therefore, it is important to follow and be mindful of the dojo etiquette as it grew out of both, the tradition, the desire to remove the impediments to the growth of our members, and the concern for their safety.
The Dojo was located on the Jefferson Avenue, one block east of US highway 287 for all of its 37-year history.