New Member FAQ

Here are some questions that the club often receives from those who have just begun or are looking to begin Aikido training. If you have a question which is not answered here, please contact us.

What is Aikido?

Aikido (合気道) is a modern Japanese martial art which emphasizes blending and redirecting the force of an opponent’s attack. Techniques taught are primarily defensive, and include a variety of joint locks and timing throws. Students practice both against unarmed opponents and with traditional martial arts weapons.

Aikido can be roughly translated as “the way of unifying life energy.”

Click here for a more in-depth explanation of the history and principles of Aikido.

What do I need to begin training?

It’s halfway through the semester. Is it too late to join?

No! We accept new members at any time. Additionally, because the majority of Aikido practice is done in pairs, it is usually the case that one member of the pair is more experienced than the other. The senior student always adjusts to the level of the junior student. This makes it possible to begin practice at any time at an intensity suitable for you and to immediately benefit from the experience of your peers. If you are looking to begin practice during finals week or outside of the semester, please check the announcements for possible schedule changes.

I am concerned that I will not be able to balance Aikido with my other activities. What’s the time committment?

As a university club, we understand that our members become extremely busy during the course of the semester. While we believe that Aikido practice usually gives back more energy than it takes, we know that sometimes members must devote themselves fulltime to their studies. This is as it should be. We’ll still be around when your crunch is over. If you miss a few classes, or a few weeks, or whatever - don’t worry about it. If you enjoyed practice, and want to come back, just come back.