Joining Aikido Kokikai of Rochester
Joining is very simple, just show up! Walk-ins are always welcome at any of our regularly scheduled classes. No appointments are necessary.
On your first visit, you are welcome to either observe a class or jump right on the mat and try it; whatever you are comfortable with doing. If you would like to try it, we suggest wearing or bringing comfortable clothes such as sweat or yoga type pants and a t-shirt. We have both men's and women's changing rooms.
As you enter, you will likely be quickly greeted by one of our members. If a class is in progress we will come welcome you at the earliest opportunity. Please feel free to come in and take a seat. If you choose to participate in a class, we will ask you to sign a standard liability waiver. If you have any pre-existing injuries, please discuss these with the instructor and they can help you accommodate them in your practice.
There is no cost for your first few classes and we have no contracts. We are an all volunteer run dojo, so every member pays the same dues, including the instructors. Being a volunteer run dojo means that membership dues are very reasonable (currently $75/month). We only charge enough to cover our operating expenses. In our circles, the instruction we receive is considered a gift, what we pay for is the space in which we practice.
Classes start with warm up exercises that include both general stretching and what we call ki development exercises. This is followed by ukemi or falling and rolling practice. We take great care of our beginners as we want you to enjoy a lifetime of Aikido Kokikai® as we are. We will often make you go slower than even you want to in order to stay safe. People are not born doing falls and rolls, it is probably the single most important skill you will learn, especially living in a city covered in snow and ice six months of the year. This usually takes up the first 10 to 15 minutes of the class. The rest of the class time is dedicated to learning the principles of Aikido Kokikai® through various techniques. Classes range from 60 to 90 minutes long and there are two consecutive classes most nights.
Kids & Teens:
We start children as young as 7. Children 5 and up may be accommodated if the parents are on the mat at the discretion of the instructor. Our kids class is every Saturday from 9am to 10am. Starting at age twelve and up, we may consider having them either do both the kids and adult classes on Saturdays or move into the adult classes depending on physical and mental maturity which varies widely at those ages. We do ask that an adult accompany children up to the dojo. We are located on the second floor of a large building which is plenty fun for adventurous children to explore if dropped off outside.
Ready to visit? Get directions here.