Aikido Program Guide

Aikido Program Guide

Aikido is a Japanese martial way (DO) or path of personal integration, developing harmonious, compassionate resolution  (AI)   through focused energy and spirit (KI).

Aikido is rooted in traditional sword, staff and control arts that offer highly effective techniques that redirect and neutralize emotional, verbal, and physical aggression. Aikido’s cooperative practice offers a dynamic structure to study violence and conflict and its safe resolution in ourselves, others, and in our society.  The practice of Aikido deepens the quality and awareness of our relationships, as we learn how to turn opponents into partners.

Teen Aikido Program
Teens in Aikido classes work to develop defensive skills, situational awareness, respectful engagement, personal focus and integration.  Training includes traditional Aikido body and weapon arts with an emphasis on personal responsibility.

Adult Aikido Program

Our adult program provides training in traditional Japanese martial arts as a “DO”, a path of personal integration. Classes focus on the quality of cooperative contact between partners, developing effective skills in redirecting and neutralizing conflict and aggression.  Classes include weapon arts and exposure to other martial arts.

 Children’s Aikido Program
Our highly regarded classes for children have been developed over the last three decades to develop the lifetime assets, situational awareness and social intelligence that are the end goals of traditional martial arts.
In working with thousands of children, we have distilled traditional martial practices into verbal, physical, and cognitive problem solving games and cooperative group exercises.  These games are used as metaphors to create accessible skill building experiences for children.
Classes focus on making appropriate choices and taking personal responsibility.  Children practice asserting and respecting personal boundaries, self care, empathy, critical thinking and non-violent conflict management. Classes develop skills to effectively deal with conflict, bullying and harassment. 
Creative intentional play has long been recognized as an effective learning vehicle for children.  Our fast, fun and physically active classes allow them to safely explore and develop critical developmental assets. The format of a martial art class allows for “body based learning” and opportunities for non-punitive trial and error learning. 
Our instructors have a depth of experience with diverse populations, and work professionally with high need/high risk children, including those with attention, abuse and learning issues. 

Program Guidelines
Our programs are open to all, including those with special physical, learning, social or financial needs. 
Students will be exposed to a diverse curriculum of ideas, cultures and people.  Mutual respect (REI) is emphasized. 
Abusive behavior involving gender, age, race, ability or culture will not be allowed.
Families of students are welcome to observe classes.
We cannot be responsible for children who have left the dojo building.

Program Expectations
We ask that children be picked up promptly at the end of class, and siblings and friends not be left unattended.
When appropriate and pre-arranged with us, we allow visiting family/friends with signed parental consent to join in a class at no extra charge.
Please check before you leave for clothes, backpacks, jewelry, etc.  We cannot be responsible for belongings left behind.  Items left for more than two weeks may be donated to charity.
We ask that you do not eat snacks in the dojo building.
We ask that the toys and books in the waiting area be both used and put away appropriately.     

We encourage students to try out a free introductory class before enrolling in the program. 
We must have a completed, signed agreement form before students try out a class. This form does not obligate the student to continue or to pay.
After the trial class, if we and the student and parent agree that the class would be appropriate, payment for classes completes enrollment.

 Fees and Schedules
Program fees are non-refundable.
Program fees are prepaid monthly before the first of the month. 
Class schedules vary - we close for federal holidays and seasonal breaks. Monthly dues remain the same.
Fees reserve space in a class for a month, and are not based on the number of classes attended.
We do not require contracts or long term financial commitments from students.
There are no registration, association, membership or testing fees.       

While we encourage all students to attend all available classes, we understand they are not always able to do so. We ask that students/parents call us when unable to attend 541.963.2365
We realize that there are a limited variety of art, dance, music or sport programs available to young children in our rural area. We encourage broad exposure to other activities and disciplines.  If appropriate, at your request we will hold a space for a child taking time off to be involved in another program who plans on returning.
Students gone a month without contact, payment, or attendance will be considered withdrawn, and their space filled from our waiting list.

We have a limited number of scholarships for sincere students who are able to regularly attend classes.
These scholarships are funded by students and families who donate a small amount in addition to their regular fees to help create access for others. 
Please discuss your situation with us. 

The practice uniform, called a “Gi” (pronounced gee), is the appropriate, functional clothing for our active classes. Gi are required for ongoing students, and need to be worn at every class. They are not a quaint costume for playing Samurai, and should not be worn outside class.  Gis need to be of appropriate size, hemmed, kept clean and mended.
Gis may be purchased from us, or from another source. 
We encourage students to return outgrown Gis in good condition to our “replay” bin. These are available to all students at no cost.
We respect our students comfort and modesty. PLAIN black or white t-shirts, halters, sports tops, athletic shorts may be worn under the Gi.  We ask that students NOT wear street clothing under the Gi – it restricts movement and students tend to get overheated. 
Beginning students may wear “play clothes” (sweats, t-shirts, loose jeans) for the first month. Shorts, dresses, buttons, jewelry, head bands, tight pants, hoods, heavy tops, socks or footwear are not appropriate or safe.

Rank Testing
We offer optional testing for rank to students in the adult, teen, and 9-13 year old class. We do not test younger students for the same reasons we don’t emphasize traditional martial techniques with them –   it is not developmentally useful or appropriate, physically, emotionally, or socially.
Testing is not required, nor is there any charge.
For ages 9 - 13, we offer four “Kyu” exams.  The first three  (9th, 8th , 7th) Kyu exams allow the students to develop the basic movements, techniques and concepts in Aikido.  Our 6th Kyu exam requires that students have integrated considerable awareness and skills, accepted personal responsibility for their conduct and choices, and function effectively as “Sempai” (respected big brother/sister) supporting and assisting newer or younger students.

 For teens/adults, our ranking system is based on standards established by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo (Aikido World Headquarters). Our instructors have teaching certifications and authority to issue rank in multiple martial arts. Ranking is their statement that the student has exceeded the basic level of technical skills, personal integration and martial awareness commonly accepted by the Aikido community for that rank. Our Dojo is independent, which is why there are no additional association, membership or testing fees.  

We focus on the exploration of becoming a highly functioning human being as the real value and point of training, not on achievement of rank.                                                      

Lending Library
Our programs stress reading, language arts, problem solving and critical thinking.  Students and families are encouraged to make use of our Dojo lending library. Materials on a wide variety of martial arts, creative arts, culture, philosophy, history, gardening, social justice and issues of global concern are available. 
Our “Take Musu” collection for children focuses on non-violent creative resolutions, pro-social skills, healthy and respectful relationships with friends and family, and a wide exposure to different times, places and ways of living. 
Library materials may be checked out for 1 week.
Please use the “Library Check-out” binder to check materials out.  We ask that students take good care of the materials and return them promptly.  Students are responsible for replacement of lost or damaged materials. 

Limited off street parking is available, including designated handicap parking. There is also a drive through loop for picking up children close to the street. Please use caution pulling in or out of the parking area.  

Avella Orchard is a working orchard, with seasonal tours available to dojo families and the public.  At all other times it is closed to entry.