Q & A
Q: What martial arts does The Aikibudokan offer?
A: We offer Aikido, Kodokan Judo, and Jojutsu (a weapons art).
Q: Do you offer children's classes?
A: No. We do not accept any students under the age of 14-15. We teach based on physical maturity and ability to work with adults and teenagers are accepted on a case-by-case basis with the involvement and permission of their parents or guardians.
Q: Am I too old to start classes?
A: No. Absolutely not. We have students who continue to train into their 80's. One of the things that makes our classes unique is that they are designed so that physical size and strength are not as important as in other types of martial arts. Aikido in particular focuses on using an attacker's momentum against him so you can use Aikido effectively at any age, size, or strength level.
Q: Am I too out-of-shape to start training?
A: We have students al all different sizes, levels of fitness and ability. Our dojo allows you to work at your own pace and comfort level and gradually improve your physical conditioning over time as you learn and gain skills.
Q: How do I join?
A: Visit the dojo and watch a class. A senior instructor will sit with you and explain everything and answer any questions that you have.
Q: Is there a try-out I can take to make up my mind?
A: Yes. Come watch a class and we'll invite you back for a three to four week free trial period. Then, once you decide to join us the first month classes are free.
Q: Is there any type of registration fee?
A: Yes. The first month is free but you pay a small registration fee that takes care of the first month of training and provides you with a gi (training uniform with coat, pants & belt) and a beginners training manual. Then regular billing for classes start the second month.
Q: Do you use contracts?
A: No. We use monthly billing and do not use contracts or finance agreements of any kind. By using simple monthly billing only it makes it easier for everyone.
Q: Should I have prior experience in Aikido or any of the martial arts before I start?
A: No. It is not necessary to have any prior martial arts experience. We take all beginning students and pair them with an advanced student, usually a black belt, so that you receive on-on-one instruction beginning with the first class you attend. Over time, you'll learn the basics and then gradually move into more advanced work.
Q: Besides self-defense, what other benefits can training offer me?
A: There are many other benefits to martial arts training besides the self-defense skills. The emphasis on learning to fall safely is invaluable, especially as we grow older. Many of our students have shared that their training has prevented them from serious injury in a "real-life" fall. Training will develop improved balance and flexibility, as well as increased overall fitness. And perhaps most important, is the development of greater self-confidence and the friendships that you will develop by working and training with the other students and instructors.
Q: How often should I attend class to train?
A: We offer 3 beginner/intermediate classes in Aikido per week and we'd like to see you at every one of them. You'll learn faster, progress faster, and be promoted faster. However, with that said and with life being what it is with jobs, family, and the unanticipated things that keep you busy we recommend that you average two classes a week. Pick two sessions that fit your schedule, put them in your calendar, and try to follow that calendaring. Then, if the week works in your favor and it looks like you can make an extra class please do. Remember that our monthly class fee is all inclusive and covers every class that we offer in the art that you are training in.
Q: Do you "require" students to attend a certain number of Aikido classes and training sessions?
A: No. There is no "requirement" per se but we definitely want you to train and progress so we encourage you to make as many sessions as your schedule may allow.
Q: How long will it take to earn my black belt in Aikido?
A: If you attend classes on a regular basis of 2 to 3 times a week then it should take about 2 1/2 to 3 years. If you don't train very often and regularly skip classes then it will obviously take longer than that. 2 to 3 years is a pretty standard length of training time to make 1st degree black belt both in the US and in Japan.
Q: If I want to train only in the weapons work (the Jojutsu) then do I also have to train in Judo or Aikido both?
A: No. Most of our Jojutsu players are also Aikido students but we have several Jojutsu players who train only in Jojutsu for example so you can do one art form and not the other.
Q. Can I train in everything (Aikido, Judo, Jojutsu)?
A. Yes but there are two caveats. First, training in more than one martial art will of course increase the monthly class fee that you are billed for. Second, we recommend that you start in one art and then after establishing a firm schedule you look at the second. The issue is that unless your schedule is very flexible you may find yourself restricted on time meaning that you may not be able to spend enough time in any art form to progress. Each takes a minimal amount of class time in training before any progress will be seen.