Our children’s classes are for ages 6 and up. Kids 12 and older may start aikido in the adult class, depending on their maturity level. Emphasis is on good discipline and healthy attitude while enjoying a fun and rigorous practice. Drop by any of our children’s classes to watch or participate.
Aikido for adults
Our adult classes focus on proper technique and mental focus as well as overall fitness and flexibility. Calgary Aikikai welcomes persons of any age, gender or ability. New students may come and watch any class, and may also participate in up to four classes free of charge to see how they like it.
Since 1980, Calgary Aikikai has trained hundreds of students in this martial art that is both a practical self-defence and form of creative movement. We believe that the best way to learn is through enjoyable and spirited practice, with an emphasis on traditional techniques.
This February we are excited to welcome back seventh dan Michael Friedl Shihan of Aikido of Ashland in Oregon. Sensei will be teaching with us from February 9th to 11th, 2018. All are welcome to come train and learn with this master instructor who has been practising aikido for over 45 years.
Zanshin – loosely “mental connection” or “awareness” — is an important ability to cultivate. At higher levels the top instructors value intuition and spontaneity more than a student’s ability to just follow ritual and protocol. Watch the footwork, the follow through, and listen to their analogies on how to incorporate these into your practice.
Rule 2: Be ready to take initiative
The Sensei is there to teach. They want to connect with students who have the interest and ability to learn what they are teaching. Initiate a training moment with the Sensei as they move around the mat.
Rule 3: Don’t make Sensei wait to approach you
Your Aikido training will reach a new level when you start receiving technique directly from top instructors, and when you build personal student relationships with them. Those relationships start at seminars as you progress in you aikido when you ask questions or are asked to be an Uke.
Rule 4: Make training dates on the mat
Pick out higher-level students training on the mat. Sometimes these are teachers in their own right. Then, get out and train with them! When Sensei claps to end training, use those seconds to hustle over next to a high-level Aikidoka. When training resumes, be bowing in front of that person before they have the opportunity to look around. Of course, they might indicate that they already have a partner (they follow this rule too), but don’t take it as a personal rejection; just immediately say “Sure! Can we train later then?”
Rule 5: Have a question ready
Use opportunities on and off the mat to ask the Sensei questions. Don’t push your theories on the Sensei or try to show how clever you are, but ask an honest question about the principles or concepts that they are trying to teach during the seminar.
Rule 6: Take one thing away
Keep one thing – one principle, one idea, one feeling, one reaction – in your mind throughout the seminar. Always do what your home Sensei is teaching after a seminar, but try to apply what you learned in everything you do for a while to really internalize it. Discuss your “one thing” with your sensei and senior students who went to the seminar, and compare notes and insights. The “one thing” might not be the words that the Sensei said, but the feeling you experienced while exploring it, or even the thoughts and reactions you had to that teaching.
Although this is number six this rule is the most important to your development as you cannot absorb all that happens in a seminar.
These “rules” have been borrowed, paraphrased, and summarized (with permission) from: Tamp Aikido
Coming January 15th Calgary Aikikai is thrilled to be offering again our six week introduction to aikido. Taught by a fourth dan (degree) blackbelt these separate classes are designed to introduce new students to the exciting martial art of aikido. Totalling nine hours of instruction and open to all people ages 16 and up. See our Beginners Classes page for more information or to register.