Welcome to Aikido

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Onegaishimasu!

Good greetings, and welcome to martial arts with Arundel Aikikai! Our humble instruction and kind approach set us apart from many area studios.  I experienced this environment in my first Aikido instructor.  I\'m happy to be able to pass along this martial arts training setting to you!

Welcoming a new person into Aikido is a most important role... You will change their lives.

If they stay, you have helped them give themselves a momentous, ever unfolding gift.  If they are overwhelmed humiliated, mistreated, frightened, or hurt, you have forever denied them this gift. I LOVE TO BE THE ONE, who greets a new person as the "first face" of Aikido. 
 
Today, a new person starts on their path...

Fresh out of the chute -- with four classes under her obi (belt) – she apologized as I bowed to her. She told me she was worried that she "held people back" since she didn't know what to do.  I told her that I had a secret, I was the one who, if I could, practiced with the newest members all the time...because since they did not know what to do, I HAD TO LEAD WITH PROPER AND CLEAN technique or it didn't work. I didn't have an experienced uke (partner) who would fall for me despite my sloppy technique.

I told her that I improved my Aikido technique the most and the fastest working with beginners. We practiced then and I did everything possible to be supportive, gentle, and fun. As we practiced, I said a silent prayer that she would be able to endure the initial frustrations, fatigue, humiliations, and pain that is experienced as we begin Aikido training. Newbies are the most valuable persons on the mat. She really didn't believe what I told her. She will in five years, if she stays. 

Then, one day, she might tell a beginner the very same story. Then it will take that beginner five years to really understand! 

Ogenkide, 

John J.

In our martial arts, we focus on the basics and fundamentals of martial movement found in Aikido. Our martial arts are taught with energy and enthusiasm; we love what we do! Curriculum is nonlinear as each student (and the instructor) work on improving their skills across 5 core milestones of martial arts. The goal for our students is for them to advance beyond technique! Students can test for rank, but are not required to do so.  Everyone has access to the same knowledge and training experiences. In movement martial arts such as Aikido, the same exact lesson can provide basic, intermediate, and advanced learning opportunities for students depending on student skill.

What do we teach?

Our main focus is the Japanese martial art of Aikido. Aikido is a martial art of minimalism; it seeks to use the least amount of energy, effort, strength, speed, and work to stop attackers. If you're new to Aikido, I'm thrilled you're considering learning Aikido with us.  If you're new to martial arts, I'm humbled and honored that you're thinking of Aikido as a starting point for your martial arts journey! Training in martial arts is a wonderful and amazing experience.  There are a lot of styles, teachers, and choices out there!

Martial arts, when taught and studied correctly, are an immensely beneficial and rewarding pursuit.  When taught incorrectly or the teaching method is inappropriate for the student, they are less beneficial, and may even be harmful!.  A large part of our website is dedicated to educating you - as a consumer - about martial arts, martial arts instructions, and martial arts businesses.  Whether you study martial arts with us at Arundel Aikikai or find another martial arts studio that meets your needs better, I have found the martial arts journey to be meaningful beyond measure. I wish the same for you!

How do we teach?

If - when you think of martial arts classes - the first thing you picture involves shouting martial arts instructors, angry pajamas, and abuse... you're in for a surprise with martial arts at Arundel Aikikai.  We teach martial arts with a kind attitude and a contagious enjoyment of our martial arts content. 

I love studying martial arts!  I cherish the unique experiences and learning opportunities of honest training. I love martial arts on a content-level. Most of all, I love opening the door to others' martial arts journeys. You can experience pushups, group fitness, and/or needless abuse at other martial arts businesses if that's what you're looking for! 

Each martial arts class we teach is unique, but follows the same basic patterns.  Our educational approach could be considered "flipped," spending martial arts dojo time critically examining marital arts content with the instructor and your peers. Our attitude in training is open, kind, and contagious!

Our primary approach to measuring student skill is through tracking progress in martial arts milestones. Students can test for rank if they wish, but testing or not testing for martial arts rank does not keep students from learning any content!  Arundel Aikikai offers color-belt testing for it's youth and teen students.  Teen and adult students can test for internationally recognized martial arts rank in Aikido through our parent dojo, Capital Aikikai.  Martial arts rank obtained through testing at Capital Aikikai is officially recognized by the Aikikai in Japan.