Are there any physical limitations to practicing Aikido?
The level of intensity at which you train is based on your ability to perform the techniques safely. The best environment for learning is found in the student's "comfort zone." As you progress physically and technically in aikido you will naturally increase your training intensity, but always commensurate to your ability. If you have any health concerns however, you should make these known to the instructor prior to practice.
Classes always start with stretching and warming up exercises followed by practicing defensive falling and rolling. Classes can include conditioning exercises, footwork, balance and simple grasping and striking attacks that lead into the practice of techniques.
Yes. Aikido is practiced as a defensive martial art. The basic techniques revolve around defending yourself from various attacks or multiple attackers. The techniques conclude with the attack completely neutralized.
To advance in Aikido requires a certain number of hours of training and an examination to demonstrate the techniques you are expected to know at a specific level. There is no competition or ”sparring” to advance.
How long does it take to get a black belt in Aikido?
For adults there are five ranks (kyu ranks) prior to shodan, the first black belt level. A specified number of hours of training are required for each rank. From the beginning of training through the first black belt requires a minimum of 800 hours of training. Practitioners typically train 12-15 hours a month. The progression from beginner to black belt is a very personal journey which makes it nearly impossible to give an estimate for completion. Each student is encouraged to train at their own speed and arrive at shodan in their own time.
There is no competition in Aikido. However, demonstrations can be viewed easily on YouTube and other video websites. Additionally, for practitioners there are periodic seminars to attend that are announced on the calendar of this website.
It is difficult to say. If there are limitations it is more to do with your body and not necessarily your age. The founder himself taught and practiced into his eighties. We also have many children from 6 years old and up.
Aikido originated in Japan. The founder of the art was Morihei Ueshiba. He mastered several martial arts, including swordsmanship and ju jitsu. Although the techniques have roots in ancient Japan, aikido as a cohesive martial art was born in post WWII Japan.
Simple sweat pants/shirt are enough to begin. Although you will need a practice uniform (keiko gi) once committed to monthly classes. Later, a bokken (wooden sword) and jo (short staff) will also contribute to your studies.
Aikido techniques stem from actual hand-to-hand combat experience. It is important to understand how your body uses tools such as swords and knives to understand the movements of Aikido. It is also an added challenge that helps us refine our posture, balance and movements.
Aikido is first a martial art, but from the techniques emerges a philosophic system of peace and conflict resolution. While many customs in the dojo have origins in Shinto and Zen Buddhist traditions, it is not a religion.
Yes. It is part of Birankai International, the umbrella organization for schools under the guidance of T.K. Chiba, Shihan (master teacher). Birankai is affiliated with Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. Crane Sensei studied directly under T.K. Chiba Shihan and her dojo is therefore directly affiliated through Birankai. Her shihan title is registered with Aikikai Hombu and Birankai NA.