Will Aikido teach me how to fight?
No. At the highest level, Aikido can be very effective for self defense, but this is not the primary purpose of its practice. Instead, it is a path for self-improvement. Our practice is rooted in traditional martial arts, but the techniques have been refined to redirect an attacker’s energy rather than meet it head-on. To read more about Aikido philosophy, click here.
How long does it take to learn Aikido?
Any amount of time. Right away, you will begin to learn how to fall safely and step out of the way of incoming attacks. If you choose to continue your training, you will find that there is always a deeper level of understanding, allowing for a lifetime of practice. Our chief instructor, Frank Doran Shihan, has been practicing daily since 1959. To read more about him, click here.
Is it OK to smile on the mat?
Yes! We try to maintain a good balance between traditional etiquette and a relaxed environment. A relaxed body and mind are necessary for correct Aikido technique. Because of this, we foster an atmosphere of warmth, friendship, and kindness.
Will I need to sign a contract?
No. Aikido West has been an educational nonprofit since 1978. We do not lock in students with any sort of contract. Instead, we seek to build a strong community of beginners and long-term practitioners.