Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I practice?

We don’t make recommendations as to how often you should practice. Obviously if you come every day you will advance faster than if you come once a week. For many people it’s simply not possible to come that often so whatever frequency you can manage is OK. Of course, it is better to practice once a week with all your heart rather than going through the motions on a daily basis. top

How much are the dues?

Monthly dues are $120 for adults, $95 for students, $220 for adult couples, $85 for children (5 & up), $75 for each additional child sibling, and $50 for Little Samurai. top

How long will it take to reach black belt?

On average, 5-8 years. It is important to remember, however, that attaining the black belt level does not mean you have “learned” Aikido, or that your training is over; it is a sign that you are ready to begin serious practice. top

Are there beginner's classes?

We offer several beginner/basics classes per week. During these classes, the fundamental skills needed for safe, effective Aikido practice are cultivated. More experienced students attend these classes as well, and their role is to help teach the newer students. Please see our schedule for details. top

Are Aikido techniques effective for real self-defense in the street?

Yes! The techniques themselves are very effective. Several of our students work in law enforcement and use Aikido effectively all the time. But the effectiveness of techniques in the street depends on your ability to apply them. In order to use them you must train yourself to apply the techniques reflexively and Aikido takes a very long time to learn. top

Are ther any competitions or tournaments?

No. Aikido is a martial art learned through repetitive practice which helps to develop instinctive movement. It is not a sport which focuses on victory or defeat.top

How old is too old to practice?

If you are afraid you might be too old to practice, don’t worry, there is almost certainly someone older than you practicing already! The founder continued teaching right up to his death in his 80’s. If you have an old injury or limitation you are concerned about make sure your partner knows about it. Your partner will respect your limits. Once you learn the basic form you will be able to adapt the aikido techniques to your own movement. top

What is the minimum age to practice?

Our Little Samurai classes begin at 2 years old. Our regular children's program and camps begin with students at the age of 5. Some students begin to transition into the adult program at age 14, but each student's maturity and physical ability is evaluated individually. top

Do people get hurt in Aikido?

In Aikido, like any physical activity with lots of contact, there is always a chance of injury. Unlike many other martial arts however, the goal of the Aikido techniques is to blend with the attacker rather than to injure him. Also, the ability to safely recieve Aikido techniques is a skill that we teach in the first, and every, class. Aikido is a vigorous activity; therefore, sore muscles and occasionally achy joints are part of practice. Real injuries are rare. top

Why do you bow?

As the founder said, “Aikido begins and ends with respect.” We bow to show respect to our partner and teacher and to honor the Japanese roots of Aikido. There is no religious meaning behind it. top

How do I join the dojo?

You are welcome to observe any class in our schedule before joining, or you may simply join during your first visit. We have a simple registration form, and registration fee and first month's dues are paid when you join. We have practice uniforms (gi) available, as well as instructional books and videos. top

Are there any contracts?

Unlike many martial arts dojos, we do not use long-term contracts. Members are welcome to suspend or cancel their membership at any time. top