How to Get Started
OBSERVE A CLASS
You are welcome to observe a class anytime. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions to the instructor and dojo members. You do not need to make an appointment to watch a class, simply show up a few minutes before the start of a session.
TRY A FREE CLASS
You can try a class for free on either Saturday or Sunday. We recommend that you wear loose fitting exercise clothes and arrive 10 minutes before the session to sign in. You don't need to be physically fit or have any martial art experience. BOOK AN APPOINTMENT NOW »
HOW TO JOIN
You may sign up for a membership at any time during the year. Find out which membership package works best for you >
What to Expect in Your First Aikido Class
BEGINNING OF CLASS
You will begin by sitting with the others in seiza position (legs folded underneath thighs, buttocks on heels) or cross-legged in a lined formation. The class officially begins when everyone bows towards the kamiza (Place of honor, front of the dojo). Bowing is a gesture rooted in Japanese culture, and performed as an expression of respect for the art, the dojo, and one another. It is proper etiquette that in part signifies awareness of surroundings and one’s readiness to begin practice.
After bowing in, there will be with a 10 minute basic warm-up consisting of breathing exercises and stretching. Afterwards, you will learn how to do basic footwork, as well as how to execute a forward and backward roll. This is an essential skill that we refer to as ukemi, the art of falling safely.
Falling safely is the first skill you will learn. Half of aikido practice focuses on applying a technique, while the other involves receiving it, by falling or rolling. Developing good ukemi skills allows one to receive a technique safely, conditions and develops strong muscles, and substantially contributes to one’s progression in understanding the art.
You will then learn a couple of basic techniques by practicing with a senior partner and take turns applying (The nage) and receiving the techniques (Taking ukemi). Class will last about 1 hour and will end with everyone bowing out.
Etiquette is the heart and spirit of aikido practice. It is each student's responsibility to cooperate in creating an atmosphere of harmony by respecting the founder's teachings as taught by sensei. Each student must make a commitment to honor and follow those teachings. LEARN MORE ABOUT PROPER DOJO ETIQUETTE »
The dojo offers separate changing rooms and showers. Parking is available on the street or municipal parking near the dojo. On-street meters require payment Monday – Saturday 9am-9pm. Parking on the street is free on Sunday.
The dojo is a 10 minute walk from the White Plains, Metro North (Harlem line) train station.