Safety is our #1 rule so we ask that you respect your safety and the safety of your training partners by going slow and only doing what’s demonstrated! No one should be afraid to return to the mats!
Screen-capture of video from a recent class working on the technique Kosa Tori Ikkyo.
Notice the five different stages of the blend and technique seen.
What to wear/ bring for first class: gym clothes (preferably including sweat pants), water bottle and a desire to learn something new. 4-5 weeks in to each session we place a gi (training uniform) order for new students.
What to expect during class: students get to class 15 minutes early to set-up the mats and dress out (bathrooms/ locker rooms are available at both locations to change clothes). Class begins promptly at the designated time and the teacher (Sensei) will clap twice to begin class. Students form a line behind the instructor and will follow Japanese traditions to start class with formal bows. Generally, each class will follow a similar plan: stretching, blends, rolling and end with specific technique demonstrations and work. More specifically, the stretching will typically be an easy full body routine the student should follow at his/ her level. This stretching will include specific wrist stretches and movements which reflect aikido techniques and principles. Students will then pair up for blending exercises to start learning how to move and flow with a partner. Ukemi is the Japanese term used for falling/ rolling. Learning to safely take a fall is essential to one’s aikido training. There is typically a short break before the teacher will demonstrate specific attacks and aikido techniques for the class to pair up and work on together. Class ends much as it begins with a formal class bow. Students then remove the mats and clean up the training area.
What else can you do: leave jewelry at home, be prepared to train barefoot, read provided materials, bow when in doubt, observe the senior students and follow their lead, ask questions before or after class and have fun.
Roanoke Budo Kai classes focus on traditional elements of Aikido including work with
weapons such as the jo, tanto, and bokken.
Classes on different days of the week (Thu/Sat/etc…) requires a separate registration with the Roanoke County Parks and Rec (i.e. some students train one day a week, some train more) If you are registered for one class and miss a day then you should feel free to attend any of the other classes that week. This is also true if inclement weather or holidays cancel any weekly class.
Yes, you can watch aikido videos on Youtube and Steven Seagal movies but that does not mean you will learn that at our dojo! We honor the tradition of the art but also believe safety comes first! Additionally, your aikido practice should be kept on the mats and should not be demonstrated on friends!
Brand new Aikido students sign up for the Beginners class. Beyond that, each class is open to students of any level as aikido is a cooperative training experience; however, respect rank and the dojo traditions and values!
No food or drinks are allowed on the mats. The only exception to this is if a student wishes to bring chocolates to one of our specific (unnamed) Sensei. Cell phones should be turned off unless your profession requires you to be “on call”.
Members should be 16 years of age; however, with permission, younger members have been allowed to participate in adult classes. We do not offer student/ kid classes at this time.
If your only goal is to get a black belt, then please go out and buy one! Aikido is a life experience and rank should not be your only motivation. True victory is victory over one’s self.