At Mill Valley Aikido, we are committed to preserving traditional Aikido with its roots going back 900 years. We are also equally committed to promoting safety, harmony and non-violence which are central themes in Aikido. Therefore, there are no competitions, tournaments, or full-contact sparring. The training enables the learning of pragmatic techniques which can be employed to protect oneself with the option of limiting damage to the aggressor. Our goal is to develop powerful, effective techniques yet deliver them in a safe, graceful and peaceful manner. This results in an enjoyable environment which promotes a strong and flexible body and mind.
Do I need to be in good physical shape?
No. People at all different levels of conditioning can train together safely and properly. However, you should discuss any concerns regarding injuries, medical conditions, and physical limitations with the instructors. Beginners typically train slowly to properly learn the techniques. The instructors will work with you to enable training at an appropriate level that will accommodate your current physical condition.
Am I too old to begin training?
No. However, students who begin to study Aikido in their senior years may need to modify their training to be more appropriate for their stage in life. For example, some of the challenging rolls and falls may need to be avoided. Some older students may prefer to attend the weekday morning classes, covering the jo (staff) and boken (sword) where rolls and falls are not frequently practiced.
How does training in Aikido benefit children?
Mill Valley Aikido provides a safe environment for kids to have fun while learning various interesting and pragmatic skill sets as follows:
Self defense and confidence.
Self discipline and concentration.
Positive social interaction, cooperation and team work.
Body awareness and coordination.
How often should I train?
If possible, it is recommended to train two to three times a week for beginners. Morning and evening classes are offered to provide scheduling flexibility.
Is there a beginner’s class?
No. From day one, beginners and experienced Aikido students train together and help each other to learn the techniques. This does not create conflict as there are no competitions.
What can I expect in the beginning?
Hopefully, early training will be quite fun and interesting. During the early part of Aikido studies, the techniques, vocabulary and etiquette may feel quite complicated and difficult. Please be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just pay attention, do your best and enjoy the learning process. The techniques will come in due course.
What is the cost of training at Mill Valley Aikido?
There are different monthly fees for adults, children, and families. There are no long-term commitments or contracts.