Thinking of Starting Aikido?
Beginner Classes are offered in the following months:
January, March, May, July, September and November. * Our next session begins Tuesday, January 9, 2024. Classes run two times a week for 4 weeks.
On Tuesdays from 5:45 to 6:30pm you will be with other beginners in a small class with lots of individual attention from our highly qualified instructors.
On Saturdays from 10:30 to 11:15 am the beginner class is integrated into the basics class. You will learn new material and practice with other dojo members.
On Sundays from 11:00 to 12:00 noon beginners are welcome to practice in our Mixed level Aikido class. You may borrow bokken (wooden sword) and jo (staff) from the dojo if we use them during class. Practice with bokken and jo augments your understanding of Aikido techniques, ma ai (safe distance) and body posture. Beginners may also practice in the Monday morning open mat to review things learned in the Tuesday and Saturday classes.
What you will learn in the beginner classes:
How to warm up, stretch properly and strengthen your core. Stances and body movements with proper posture, vision and awareness.
Basic backward and forward rolls. Ways to interact safely with partners on the mat so you feel confident to move into Basic Aikido classes after your 4 week session.
Cost for Beginner Classes: As a non-profit organization, we use a pay as you are able payment structure. Our standard rate is $135 for adults and $120 for teens ages 12 to 17. These are discounted prices that include a month of Aikido classes and a gi (practice uniform). Alternate rates are available. Click here to download our Monthly Payment Options for Aikido Classes
Pre-registration is required:
Come to the dojo at least one week early to observe a class and ask questions.
Fill out a registration form, make your payment with cash or a chack and take your new gi
home to wash before your first class. A brand new gi is big and scratchy. Washing it helps it soften and fit you better.
We have changing rooms with showers for women and men plus a gender neutral accessible restroom with a shower.
Two Rivers Aikikai supports each person's right to use the dressing room of their choice.
Download our Beginners Information sheet as a file (111k) for printing.
Download our Objectives for the Beginner Program as a file (52k) for printing.
Download our Registration Form for teens and adults as a file for printing.
|We keep training.
photos by Stuart Pieloch
Description of Classes
Basic Aikido Classes
In our Basic Aikido Classes, which are open to all students, techniques and ukemi (taking falls) are broken down to their foundations and practiced methodically. In these classes, advanced students practice with less experienced students. We all learn a lot from each other. Understanding body structure and mechanics is an important part of gaining proficiency in Aikido. Since we all have different body types, we move and react in a variety of ways. Because of these differences, advanced students can learn a lot from the beginning students.
Please note that Saturday's Beginner and Basics classes merge into one 90 minute class. Early on in the beginner session, the beginners will have a chance to bow out after approximately 50 minutes. Once they learn their forward and back rolls, they may remain on the mat for the entire class.
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Aikido - mixed level
These classes give us a chance to practice at a faster and more flowing pace. We still concentrate on the basics, but we might practice with tanto (wooden dagger) or with multiple attackers. We try hard to keep track of our centers and our ki. Maintaining good posture throughout the technique is important for both nage (the person doing the technique) and for uke (the person being thrown or pinned). The circularity of the technique becomes more evident as we learn to keep moving without hesitating from beginning of the attack to the end of the throw. These classes are open to all students comfortable with their falls. Toward the end of class, we practice with bokken (wooden sword), or jo (wooden staff). This portion of class may include jo tori & tachi tori (take away techniques), bokken suburi (solo and partner practice), jo kata (solo and partner practice), kumi tachi and kumi jo.
The Sunday Aikido class is also a time for beginners to review and practice what they have learned so far in their beginner classes. They will practice at their own pace and abilities with other students under the instructor's supervision.
Open mat is not a formal class, but a time for students to practice techniques, ukemi or basic movements like tenkan, tenshin or enten. Students can practice alone or with other students. An instructor is available for answering questions and guidance. This is a good time to work at your own pace. Beginners can work on stretching and getting into better shape. Students often use open mat to practice for tests. Although this is not a formal class, proper etiquette is observed.
This is a Shotokan Karate class with mostly individual kata.
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Iaido is a non-combative physical and mental discipline based on the prescribed use of the Japanese sword. Practicing Iaido helps one polish the self with a combination of control and flexibility of mind, body and spirit for a particular situation at a particular place in time. Koyanis Sensei's permission is required for observation and participation. Practice is centered on Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido, though several additional series are studied. Please visit our About Iaido page or the Kiyoikaze Iaido Federation website for a list of forms we practice and the testing requirements.
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Rules of Practice at Two Rivers Aikikai
You may download our Rules of Practice as a file (42k).
- Every student and instructor has the responsibility to cooperate in creating an
atmosphere of harmony and respect and a spirit of pleasure and enjoyment in the
dojo in order to learn how to peacefully engage conflict.
- Every student and instructor will show respect to the dojo, to their training tools,
to fellow students and to themselves by following the guidelines set forth below
and in the Rules of Etiquette for the dojo.
- Before stepping onto the mat, please make sure that your hands and feet are
clean and that your fingernails and toenails are trimmed. Do not wear any
jewelry during class. Your gi should be clean and in good repair. Keep your jacket
closed and your belt tied snugly. Keep a small washcloth tucked in your gi to
wipe sweat from your face and wrists.
- Receive instruction thoughtfully and follow the instructor's directions to the best
of your ability. Be careful not to offer verbal instructions to your partner unless
it is a matter of safety. Learning in Aikido involves a lot of trial and error and it
is ok to make mistakes. We can learn from our mistakes. When you or your
partner have a question, it is most often best answered by the instructor.
- With a vision toward equity, we believe that every student should feel respected
and trusted during practice, and able to set boundaries in order to have agency
over their training. Accordingly, the role of experienced or senior practitioners is
to support less experienced students to have that agency. At Two Rivers Aikikai
we support students to grow into their practice in a way that cultivates
appreciation of the art and its technical effectiveness without fear of being
criticized while they learn. Rank does not entitle anyone to have power over
- When practicing, show respect to your partners by blending in with their
movements. Try your best not to push or resist. As nage, lead the energy or ki that your partner
provides in the desired direction. As uke, give your partners the energy they need
to perform the desired technique. Uke's energy is the ki of Aikido.
- The purpose of Aikido is not to fight and defeat an enemy, but to fight and
defeat your own aggressive instincts. Do not react with competitive displays of
ego, tests of strength or any intent to injure. Aikido is a tool to develop a better
society through each individual's character development. Aikido ultimately makes
violent behavior obsolete. Always ask an instructor for assistance if you feel
unsafe with a partner.
- Always be alert - not just to what is in front of you, but all around you. Pay
attention to avoid accidental collisions. Be aware of your limitations and those
of your partners.
- Cleaning the dojo proper after each class is a part of practice. Follow the lead of
other students or ask an instructor for a cleaning chore. Visitors practicing from
other dojos are welcome to help with cleaning.
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