Question: What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese self-defense martial art that is based on harmony. With good timing and optimal positioning, we learn to throw and pin “attackers” without harm. Unlike other common martial arts, Aikido does not emphasize competition against others or winning. Emphasis is placed on safely learning how to do & receive techniques. Children learn to "assess" their partners (is this person new? shy? big? little? injured?) and adjust their techniques accordingly. Respecting our partners is an integral part of the spirit of Aikido.

Question: Why do you bow? What does this signify?

In many Asian cultures, bowing is a sign of respect, similar to the American handshake. We bow to the front of the room toward the photo of O Sensei, the founder of Aikido, as a sign of respect. We thank and bow to each other at the end of class to show our respect to fellow classmates and instructors.

Question: What should children wear? Are they required to wear the white uniform (gi)?

Children are welcome to wear comfortable sweat pants and a t-shirt, especially when trying out the class for the first time. The uniform, however, offers better protection while rolling and helps to build a sense of community. Wear flip-flops and put them by the edge of the mat - this makes it easy to slip them on when getting on and off the mat.

Question: Can preschool children participate in the class?

The current schedule offers classes for children 5 and up, who generally are able to pay attention and participate in a 45-minute class. Contact us to request a preschool class, which would place more emphasis on games and shorter, fast-paced activities.

Question: Can teenagers participate in kids classes?

Teenagers of all skill levels are encouraged to participate in the adult classes, which place more emphasis on technique. Click here for the schedule.

Question: Is Aikido too strenuous for individuals who don't exercise regularly?

Aikido is a great, safe way to participate in a martial art and get regular exercise. Aikido includes stretching exercises, fun conditioning activities that are related to the CA Content Standards for Physical Education, traditional Aikido techniques, and related games. Children and adults enjoy being part of a supportive, energetic community - and don't realize it's "exercise." Safety is always #1, then Aikido is always fun!