Frequently Asked Questions

Aikido Kids

We will not enroll students without parents and child observing one or more kids classes. This way you, as well as your child, will have an idea of what to expect in class. After that, if parents and kids agree, the kids can jump right in!  Come 15 minutes before the first class to introduce yourselves to the instructor and fill out an application.

We encourage parents to stay and observe a few classes as well as to help reassure children who may have anxiety when starting a new activity.

Your child must be at least five years old, or attending Kindergarten. Participation is at the instructor's discretion based upon your child's behavior and maturity level.  

Comfortable clothing that covers elbows and knees. Sweats pants and a T-shirt are ideal.

Yes! In fact we require that you stay during the first class. After the first class, you may stay and watch, but we ask that parents refrain from attempting to instruct their children from the sidelines.

You may buy a uniform (also referred to as a gi or keikogi) as soon as you want. At the least, we encourage you to get a uniform after your child has been training for a month and expresses interest in continuing. The uniform consists of a white cotton Karate or Judo gi, with a white belt. We offer discount prices on keikogi for students.  Let the instructor know if you are interested in purchasing one.

The exact time varies, but a new student will usually have their first belt test three or four months after starting Aikido. The teachers will determine when your child is ready, and offer the choice of whether to test or to wait.

The teachers will help your child prepare for advancement in a way that is comfortable, but testing will never be forced on a student or required for attending classes.

Aikido is appropriate for practitioners of all abilities; however, if you have concerns you should consult a pediatrician before enrolling your child in Aikido.  For the safety of your child, as well as that of other children, please disclose any relevant medical conditions to the instructor and assistants before class.

General Aikido

Yes, the Seattle School of Aikido is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Donations are tax deductible.

Please contact your tax advisor for specifics.

Safety and common courtesy apply. Please turn off your cell phone ringer when you enter the dojo. Calls should be taken and made outside of the dojo during classes. Texting and silent browsing are generally allowed, subject to the instructor's discretion. Anytime cell phone usage becomes a distraction and therefore a safety issue, you must step outside the dojo.


The SSA website was totally redesigned using Drupal (pronounced /ˈdruːpəl/), a free and open source Content Management System (CMS).  Drupal provides the tools to create a community website that allows member participation.  A slightly more dramatic demonstration of Drupal's power and flexibility is found at

Open source means that the code or computer language is not proprietary. Anyone who understands the code may suggest or write software changes that may be easily integrated into the new system. Additionally, other developers from around the world may make changes to improve the system.

OSS is by design more secure than proprietary code. Because the code is in the open, anyone may view it. There is no room to hide errors in the code (intentionally or through negligence) and the software's community will identify and resolve security issues in OSS far faster than in proprietary software.

Yes, our instructor photographs were taken by a professional photographer, Dane Doeflinger, who trains in our aikido program. To see some of Dane's other fabulous work, please view his website,