Aikido Basics

Class Formalities and Etiquette:

  1. Bowing is a form of respect, acknowledgement and greeting. Students of Aikido are expected to bow on entering and leaving the training area, the training mat, to the instructor, to training partners and the Shomen (pictures of the Founder and Master instructor).
  2. Meditation at the beginning and conclusion of class is generally brief and less than 5 minutes. At the beginning of class, meditation time is used to clear your mind of distractions from out side the training area and to allow the student to be open to instruction. At the end of class meditation time is to allow time to assimilate the instruction covered in the class itself and to prepare yourself to leave the training area.
  3. When instruction is being given students are to pay attention and to kneel in the Japanese Seiza position or sit cross legged.
  4. At the beginning of class both students and instructor bow to each other and state “Onegai Shimasu”  which literally means “please” and is a respectful request to train together. At the end of class both students and instructor bow to each other and state “Arigato Gosaimashta” which is a formal way of saying “thank you” and is a way of thanking your fellow students for trusting you to train with them using martial techniques.
  5. NO exposed jewelry is to be worn in class (take it off or tape it up). Exposed jewelry is too likely to snag on clothing or hair to leave on.
  6. Proper clothing should be loose and comfortable, without metal, should cover knees and elbows and should stay on the body when rolling and falling. Arrangements for the purchase of Gi’s or training uniforms (generally Judo style) can be made through the instructor, or through other martial arts supply outlets.

Basic Material to be Covered:

  1. Basic falls / rolls are probably the most important and practical aspect of Aikido training since most everyone will fall on several occasions in their life. This is not only practical, but enhances the safety of our training and therefore a great deal of time will be devoted to this practice. Learning to receive throws through proper training will also prepare you to create and find realistic openings for counter attacks.
  2. Basic stance, relative position and movement conventions are important in understanding instruction. the basic stance is called the Kamai. A position where both opponents have the same leg  (ie right vs right) is called “Ai Hamni” and opposite leg (ie. Right vs Left) is called “Gyaku Hamni”. Techniques that involve movement towards the front of the opponent are called “Omote” and towards the rear are called “Ura”.
  3. Sabaki (foot work) will be emphasized since Mai (distance and timing) are crucial to martial effectiveness.
  4. “Ki” is one of the three characters that make up Ai-Ki-Do. “Ai” can be translated as harmony, “Do” as the way or path, and “Ki” as the spirit or universal energy. “Ki” is the hardest of the three characters to effectively translate into any non-far eastern language. As you become more proficient, you will begin to feel moments where your techniques have a sense of connected effortlessness. This is the beginning of developing Ki. Students will perform exercises to help experience the sensation of “Ki” and learn to make it part of every technique.
  5. Basic techniques for beginning students will include Ikkyo, Shomen-uchi, Kote-gaeshi, and Irimi-nage from non striking attacks.
  6. Please refer to our Terminology page for information on proper names for various attacks and defensive techniques, as well as some general terminology.
  7. Please also refer to the Training Protocol page for more details of training and conduct.
  8. 8. Our Aikido Basics Class takes place the second Saturday of each month.