Frequently Asked Questions
What are classes like at Kakushi Toride Aikido Dojo?
If you come into the dojo as a beginner, you will be instructed on the nature of aikido, its operating principles, and how those principles manifest physically during human interactions. This will be done in the training of basic movements that make up the repertoire of aiki interactions. The movement sets used for training have been designed not only to show you how to move your body to create the paths of energy called "aikido" but to help you develop a deeper sense of connection to your partner, which is ultimately going to determine the effectiveness of your aikido.
As you develop your abilities to embody aikido movements, the training shifts to the more subtle energetic flows between partners, and you will learn how to extend life giving energy under the duress of an attack (even though the attacks you experience in the earlier stages of this practice will reflect the intention of an attack without the intensity that would make it dangerous).
Visitors from other dojos who join us for practice usually come away with a deeper understanding of the techniques they have been practicing in their home dojos and how their actions as aikidoist can facilitate the natural expression of aiki or get in its way.
Classes run for an hour to an hour and a half. Please arrive on time ready to train on the mat. Classes open with students kneeling in seiza position facing the shomen in a line determined by ranking from more experienced students toward the left end of the line and less experienced on the right. Once everyone has settled, the instructor will move forward toward the shomen and bow, while students remain in place and move in unison. Coming up from the first bow, students clap twice in unison with the instructor, and bow again, followed by a slight bow, not all the way to the floor. The instructor will then turn to face the students and all will bow again in unison and say, onegaishimasu (on-ehh-guy-she-moss; "I humbly ask of you"). Students then follow the instruction and train until the instructor calls for class to end. If you arrive late, please wait until invited on the mat by the instructor. Quietly bow in on the corner of the mat.
At the end of class, called by the instructor, the opening ceremony is repeated except that at the end of the last bow, everyone says in unison, domo (doe-moe) arigato (ah-dee-got-toe) gozaimashita (goes-eye-mosh-ta)(formal "Thank you very much.") Then we bow to each of our practice partners and thank them for practicing with us. If you must exit the mat before class is over, please attract the attention of the instructor and obtain permission to do so before bowing out and leaving.