FAQ

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a martial discipline for training the mind and spirit. Aikido does not stress competition, but emphasizes a win-win situation that helps develop a spirit of harmony and cooperation, mutual respect and consideration for others

From a technical standpoint, Aikido is basically defensive and oriented toward rolling, joint locks, flowing movement and control of balance. It is not “rough,” and in fact appears to be quite smooth and graceful to first-time visitors.

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What is aikido training like? What can I expect?

Aikido is basically oriented toward rolling, joint locks, flowing movement and control of balance. Weapons training emphasizes the basic postures and stances that are a fundamental part of aikido.

When you visit or begin your training, you will learn the most basic – and important – things first: how to roll, how to stand properly, etc. As you progress you will begin to learn the fundamental movements from which techniques develop. During a typical class you will practice with a variety of partners, of all skill levels.

You do not need to be in excellent aerobic or muscular shape to practice aikido, but as you progress you will find yourself becoming more healthy and fit.

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When is Capital Aikikai open?

Please refer to the schedule on our home page.

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Can I watch or try a class?

Yes! Visitors are always welcome to stop by and watch or take classes. If you would like to try a class, just show up about 20 minutes beforehand and ask one of the waiting students or instructors about taking a class. Generally, first-time students are given personal orientation and instruction by one of the dojo’s yudansha (black-belt students). New students are welcome to any of the general classes. You do not have to call ahead or make other arrangements.

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What type of people train in aikido?

All kinds of people train in aikido – men and women, young and old, even children. Because aikido is based on balance and circular movement, strength and size is not particularly important in training. In fact, women often have a natural affinity for aikido because, unlike men, they often do not have to unlearn forceful or muscular habits in their movement.

One unique feature of aikido training is the mixing of all skill levels.

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Do I need any special clothing or equipment?

If you want to try attending a class or two, simply bring loose-fitting clothing such as a T-shirt and sweat pants. Be sure to remove any watches, jewelry, etc. before stepping on the mat. The aikido “uniform” is a judo-style dogi, available either from us or from various area martial arts equipment suppliers, as are wooden practice weapons.

Typically we train in bare feet, on a mat.

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