Do I have to understand Japanese to learn Aikido?
You do not need to know or learn Japanese to train. However, many of the techniques and etiquette practices make use of Japanese words. With regular practice and training you will begin to pick up these words and phrases. The instructor will refer to techniques in Japanese as they are being demonstrated and you will quickly become familiar with these names.
Do I need to purchase a uniform to train in Aikido?
Any loose durable clothing such as track pants and a t-shirt is acceptable for beginning students. Eventually (within the first two weeks), you will need to purchase a uniform called an 'Aikido dogi' (or simply 'gi'), because it offers protection on the mat. You will also need to purchase a Jo (wooden staff) , Boken (wooden sword) and a tanto (wooden knife). These items can be purchased through the dojo with payment arrangements if necessary.
I am not very fit, but would like to start learning Aikido. Is this possible?
Students begin their training at many levels of physical fitness. Instructors encourage students to train at the level of their ability, both for their safety and their enjoyment. However, Aikido training can be fairly strenuous, and if you have any doubts about your physical ability to participate, please speak with an instructor and/or your doctor to determine if you can safely train. It is your responsibility to inform your instructor of any injuries or illnesses you may be suffering.
I donít like performing in front of people. Will I be required to do things I am uncomfortable with?
Aikido follows the principle of non-dissention and we strive to provide a harmonious, friendly, encouraging, and supportive setting. Aikido encourages and emphasises calmness under pressure and over time you will find that Aikido will provide you with very powerful tools to overcome the nerves that arise under pressure.
Tumbling and falling looks difficult. Will I be expected to be able to fall properly?
Tumbling and falling are taught according to each studentís ability. Students are never required to perform any techniques they do not feel comfortable with. We take every precaution to ensure that your training takes place in a safe environment. Before you are allowed to participate in techniques that require you to fall, you are taught to fall safely and painlessly. You will not be asked to do anything that jeopardizes your health and well-being or the health and well-being of the other students. However, as with any activity, accidents do occasionally happen. In the case of any injury, you should stop immediately and inform an instructor.
Are all Aikido clubs the same?
No. Our club is affiliated with all Ki Society International clubs (Ki no Kenkyukai H.Q.) around the world (see links page). All Ki-Aikido techniques are based on Ki principles. Through practicing Ki-Aikido, and by applying Ki principles in your daily life, you will be able to become a noble character, and ultimately, become one with the universe.