Classes are conducted in a harmonious non-competitive manner with an emphasis on working with various partners rather than individually. Advanced students and senior students help beginners to learn the basic falls, rolls and techniques.
In partner practice, students take turns being the attacker and defender, thus gaining a sensitivity to and awareness of their partner's movements and well-being. This cooperative rather than competitive training method creates a friendly, helpful atmosphere in the dojo and fosters a spirit of mutual trust and protection. This in turn allows Aikido students to practice a powerful martial art in an active yet non-violent manner.
Much of the practice involves techniques for defending against empty-handed attacks, such as punches or wrist and shoulder grabs. Because many empty-handed Aikido movements are derived from the use of classical Japanese weapons, techniques using or defending against weapons such as the bokken (wooden sword), jo (4 1/2 foot wooden staff), and tanto (knife) are also taught. Weapons practice also helps students understand the timing and distance of attacks.
Aikido Daiwa offers ongoing open enrollment for beginning students with no previous Aikido experience. There is no need to preregister and you may start on any date. No contracts are required. Beginning students are welcome to attend any of the classes, except for the advanced weapons class on Thursday evening. Information about the entire class schedule can be found here. New students are requested to arrive at least 15 minutes before class on the first day to allow time for paperwork and basic orientation.
All beginning students are taken aside during regular class time and given instruction by a black belt instructor or a senior student on the principles of Aikido, such as rolling and the correct way to fall in order to prevent injury. As you progress you will gradually work your way into the class. Usually, one class is sufficient. Traditional Aikido dress is a white, cotton Judo-style uniform. Daiwa also sells Aikido weapons and uniforms for your convenience.
For more information, please download and read the Aikido Daiwa Student Guide (PDF).
You can find a glossary of Aikido terms here.