Getting started is a simple process. Prospective students are encouraged to first observe a class. Once the prospective student and chief instructor agree they should become a member, a membership application will then be completed. Upon acceptance of the application and the required fees are paid, the student may begin training at our academy. We have found that people continue to come to us because of our services, friendly and competent staff, attention to safety, and professionalism. Our classes are kept small for personalized attention. All our instructors have extensive experience not only practicing the martial art of Aikido, but teaching the art to others.
There are fifty classical techniques taught in The Nihon Goshin Aikido Association. As a beginner, the student will learn ten self-defense techniques such as throws, joint-locks, and grappling. At Go-Kyu (yellow belt), one will learn an additional set of ten new techniques, and so on until the rank of I-Kyu (brown belt).
Classical techniques are taught from a stationary position, usually a grip. Once the student performs the technique proficiently, they will then be taught numerous applications to the technique from realistic "street" types of attacks. In Nihon Goshin Aikido, the students are also taught to incorporate strikes into their techniques. Kicks, knees, elbows and hand strikes are often practiced in our dojo. In addition to classical techniques, strikes, and applications, defenses against knives, clubs and guns are practiced. Further, to complement our core art, we work on ground-defense and sparring.
Taught in special age appropriate classes, we teach something of value, yet fun in a non-competitive environment where all can achieve their maximum capability. Self-defense and positive self-image are emphasized. Small classes with personalized attention help the student deal with the frustrations and fears of the unknown. They learn to cooperate with others, listen and speak with respect. They display much more ability to focus and concentrate on the task at hand. As children learn these important skills it enhances other areas in their lives. It is not uncommon for our students to report better grades at school, less social problems with classmates, and a less contentious home life.
At Junior White Belt the new student will be taught basic dojo (school) rules, procedures, and etiquette. Instructors will explain how to arrive at the dojo, where to put their shoes, where to get changed for class, how to wait for class to begin, and how to conduct themselves once class is in session. Students will be taught blocks, falls and rolls, and simple but effective self-defense techniques. From a front bear-hug grip to a side headlock, Junior White Belts will be drilled on how to resolve, handle or stop conflict. Students begin to understand self-control, courtesy and discipline during this stage of training. In addition to the physical techniques, the student’s behavior, attitude, listening skills, and focus will be a factor in testing and promotion to the next level.
Training really begins. Students begin by learning simple wrist escapes, move on to punch defenses, and finish with learning simple attacker control techniques. Not only will they be expected to learn and perform these new techniques, they will also be required to remember all the “old” techniques from their previous set. Students will be drilled on new striking and blocking techniques, ground-defenses, and free style attack lines. Students learn what it is to be challenged. They also begin to grasp an understanding of teamwork and trust.
An emphasis is placed on the details of the martial arts. New throwing techniques, locking techniques, pins, footwork, and strikes will be taught. Students will continue to review, practice, and drill on all the “old” techniques along with the new. Their general self-defense abilities are now very good. Blocks, falls and rolls, counter striking, and basic defensive tactics are now done without thinking. Their muscle memory, and pure reaction is beginning to drive their movements. They are expected to be more mature, help new students, set an example, and develop leadership qualities.
At Junior Green Belt the student is now learning the adult curriculum of Aikido. The techniques are similar, but must be performed with much more, focus, detail and martial attitude. Students are now taught a basic move, and then numerous variations or applications to the move. The memory of techniques must now be found in the muscles as well as in the mind. Explanation and understanding of why the techniques work are now a part of the learning cycle. Behavior, attitude, listening skills, focus and maturity should now be automatic. Children who are younger will remain in the children’s classes until they reach the appropriate age, skill and maturity level before being invited to attend adult classes.