Aikido can be many things to many different people. For some, it is a budo, a martial way of life. For others, it’s a hobby to pass the time. For yet others, it’s a means of physical fitness. Aikido, when taught by a good teacher, and approached with an open mind by the student, may be all these things.
At a basic level, Aikido can benefit your physical stamina and coordination. At a higher level, since learning requires mental and emotional aspects as well, it may help to improve self-confidence and concentration. Learning concepts such as centering, grounding, posture and appropriate relaxation methods will help you to focus and stay calm in difficult situations.
Why choose Seattle School of Aikido?
Simply put, our instructors bring decades of experience to the table. We have instructors from varying backgrounds, with diverse teaching styles and multiple approaches to teaching Aikido, giving our students a well-rounded and comprehensive learning experience. Ultimately our goal is for each student to develop their own personal understanding and style.
What can I expect to learn?
Aikido, as well as other martial arts, teaches both etiquette and manners. The discipline required to learn what can often be physically difficult will help you develop a sense of gratitude, respect for yourself and respect for others who are working alongside you.
Etiquette in the dojo can be quickly summarized as proper respect for others, courtesy and patience while working with others. Students learn to work together, maintain healthy boundaries, and train in a non-competitive and supportive environment. Classes are co-ed and multi-age, with senior and more experienced students mentoring newer ones.
The etiquette of how to behave in a dojo is very important because it fosters an environment which encourages learning and personal development. Also, since Aikido is a physical art, dojo etiquette creates a safe environment in which to practice. The physical techniques include instruction in falling and tumbling (known as ukemi), basic throws and restraining methods.
At beginning levels, techniques are taught in preset patterns of movement, called waza. As you progress in ability, you will learn to perform these techniques in different situations.
Dojo etiquette is also an important aspect that can translate to an improved ability to cope with difficult situations outside the dojo. This is why martial arts are sometimes called “a way of life.” Properly done, what you learn in Aikido should touch other aspects of your life.
Finally, in learning aikido, expect to sweat, think, be frustrated at times, and learn to laugh at your own mistakes as you progress. For any martial art, you learn by making mistakes and letting go of your preconceptions as part of the process.
Sounds good, what do I do now?
We suggest you come by the dojo and watch classes taught by different instructors. This will allow you to see if you like the dojo culture and teaching style, and are willing to work and learn in that framework. Once enrolled, please always arrive early to class to allow time to change clothes, warm up on your own, and settle mentally prior to the start of class.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us either through the website or by calling the dojo during class hours at 206-525-1955.