Frequently Asked Questions

I am short/tall/clumsy/not an athlete/inexperienced in the martial arts/etc. Can I still practice aikido?

Yes! You can enjoy and grow in aikido at all levels of ability and physical state. You will learn coordination, power, and martial principles through your practice. Instructors expect that their classes will include students with diverse body types and experience levels, and teaching accordingly.

I’m nervous. 

That’s not a question! It’s completely natural to be nervous when embarking on a new practice in a new space, and no one will hold it against you. Just maintain humility, eagerness to learn, and a willingness to try something new, and you’ll be fine.

Is Aikido safe?

Just as in dance and sport, physical practice carries intrinsic risk of injury. Instructors and students at Tekkojuku train in adapting to the level of their partners in order to minimize this risk.

Do I have to fall and roll? 

Falling and rolling are two of the most fundamental skills of aikido practice, but we don’t expect you to pick them up right away. You will learn these skills safely, at your own pace, with guidance from instructors and senior students along the way.

Do you offer free trial classes?

We do not offer free trial classes. We encourage you to observe as many classes as you like at no charge, and to talk with instructors and students afterwards to learn about their experiences in practice. To arrange a visit, just send us a message.

What equipment do I need?

You need to wear a dogi, or practice uniform, in order to train. Your dogi must be heavy enough to withstand many grabs and throws, and therefore should be either Aikido/Judo-style with rice-grain weave or karate-style with heavy canvas. Both kinds of dogi are available for purchase in the dojo, or may be purchased online. You may wear a white or pale-colored t-shirt underneath your dogi.

How do I show respect within the dojo? 

At Aikido Tekkojuku, we maintain some practices of traditional Japanese etiquette as a way to honor the spirit of practice and our teachers past and present. As long as you make an earnest effort to learn our etiquette, no one will be offended if you forget a point here and there. When in doubt, it’s never wrong to sit in seiza (a formal Japanese sitting posture) and bow.

Are there classes specifically for beginners? 

Saturday morning class (11:15am-12:15pm) is devoted to breaking down Aikido techniques into their component parts, and is especially suitable for beginners. However, beginners are encouraged to attend any class that suits their schedule, and will always receive attention and teaching appropriate to their skill level.

How often should I train? 

Your training frequency and schedule should be responsive to your goals, health, and other time commitments. Some of our members train just one or two hours per week, while others attend nearly every class. One good pace for a beginner is to aim for three or four hours per week for a month, and then subsequently evaluate whether to increase or decrease the amount of training. Of course, all else being equal, more frequent training will enable you to learn more quickly.

Is Aikido practical self-defense? 

Yes, a skilled aikidoka can defend themselves from one or more possibly armed attackers. However, if self-defense is your main priority, there may be faster ways to achieve your goals. Jiu-jitsu and krav maga are both highly focused on practical self-defense techniques, and may be a better match for those seeking training in street self-defense.

Do you offer a children’s class?

At present we do not offer a children’s class.