Aikido classes are designed to prepare the student’s mind and body for learning technique.
A typical class is as follows:
- Students line up and kneel on the mats in seiza before bowing to Shomen (the main wall) and then to Sensei (the Instructor).
- Warm-up: This consists of stretching and specific movements designed to prepare the body for rolling and learning technique.
- Rolling practice: A fundamental part of Aikido is being able to roll and fall to the ground safely. Rolling practice enables students to develop this skill at their own pace and gain a little aerobic fitness.
- Technique: The Instructor demonstrates and explains the important elements of selected techniques before allowing the class to practice with each other. Beginners are encouraged to practice slowly and carefully focussing more on learning each element of the technique. Speed and power will come in time.
- Aikido students learn how to deal with punches, grabbing attacks, kicks and chokes using minimum effort for maximum effect. Advanced students also train against attacks with weapons.
- Aikido is a very dynamic martial art so classes are a good opportunity to develop physical fitness, flexibility and a positive outlook.
- Ki breathing and meditation exercises are done to promote good posture and a positive mind.
- At the end of class Sensei will communicate any important information before everyone bows to Shomen, Sensei and each other.