Aikido Introductory Series
September 5-October 26, 2023
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00–7:00pm
$150 for the 8-week series, including dogi (practice uniform)
This 8-week course is designed to introduce you to Aikido practice. The class structure includes preparatory movements, rolling and falling safely (ukemi), paired technique practice, and discussion. Classes are designed to be inclusive and welcoming for all adults. Aikido is a peaceful, noncompetitive martial art which emphasizes groundedness, connection, flexibility, and resilience.
Why Would I Train in Aikido?
There are many possible answers! Here are a few:
Aikido offers a path for fitness, self-improvement, community, and play.
Aikido uncovers and entrains alternatives to fight/flight/freeze responses in conflict.
Aikido can be an embodied critique of the idea that if I win, someone else must lose.
You may notice what’s not a theme in this list: winning fights and self-defense. It’s true that after some months or years of training in aikido, you’ll most likely be better able to handle yourself and stay safer in mundane situations like big crowds, falling off your bike, and so on. But training for defense in real life situations, if it comes up in our classes, will be a training tool more than an expected outcome.
Who Can Train in Aikido?
Aikido is for everyone. From the most flexible and athletic teenager to the oldest and least mobile of us, it is absolutely possible to meaningfully practice aikido! In many cases, being physically stronger than your partner is a liability with respect to learning what is possible in this art. So long as you are able to comfortably and safely walk, sit on the floor, and work with moderate pressure in paired practice, please do consider participating!
Classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. You are also welcome to join the Sunday 11:30am class with the "Introductory Series" membership, though it may feel less accessible until you’ve been training for a little bit.
The first 8 classes of this series will cover specific topics and specific techniques. After the first month, we switch to a more open “fundamentals” format, where each class will be a more organic and unpredictable meeting of teacher, students, and situation.
You’ll receive a training uniform (dogi) and some auxiliary materials as the class progresses. It is our hope that this series will provide a foundation for understanding aikido’s place in the world, and—if it fits—in yours as well!
For Current BAK Members
The best training is found in a healthy mix of experience and fresh takes. All dojo members are of course welcome to participate in the introductory series! For those who do join, we ask for your help in one particular way.
The ability to embody the principles of aikido through a variety of forms is one mark of a seasoned practitioner, and training at Boulder Aikikai is particularly rich in this regard. For new folks, however, this rich variety can be kind of bewildering! The intention with this series is to offer an “easy on-ramp” to aikido, so we will be aiming to offer specific and repeatable instances of the forms.
Demonstrated forms are of course never meant to be authoritatively “correct,” but for regular dojo members who join the class, we ask that you:
- Practice to instructor’s demonstrated forms as specifically as you can, and
- If a new student asks a question that is not obvious, defer to the instructor for an answer.
We believe this will help new folks launch their unique aikido journeys through form and principle from a place of confidence rather than confusion. Thank you for your help!
Eric Miller and Danielle Books