1. Is there any physical pre-requirement for doing Aikido?
Anyone over 6 years old can train Aikido. Since we are not training athletes, it is not important that our members are muscular or skinny, weak or overweight, young or old, and man or woman. For every individual, the important thing is psychological and physiological self-development. Strength, reaction timing, and flexibility skills which are important for a good technique are already improved while doing Aikido. During this time, Aikido instructors help their students to develop their bodies and techniques without being injured.
2. Do the experienced practitioners and beginners in Aikido practice the same things?
Aikido is a far eastern art and basically, the Aikido training process is not like an academic course. What is important in Aikido training is to perfect the same technique by repeating it thousands of times. That is why Aikido is a never-ending education. For this reason, everyone is walking on the same path. Advanced students and beginners work together to bring their techniques to a better state.
3. Is there any attack technique in Aikido?
Both attack and its response create the technique. So while two people practice, they practice both the technique and the attack together. It is possible to hurt a person using Aikido techniques, but most people mistakenly think that Aikido is an art of defense and there is no attack because the aim is not to win attack or harm as in a competitive sport.
4. Are there any cases of injury in Aikido trainings?
The rate of injury is very low in Aikido. Since one of the basic principles of Aikido is to avoid harming, techniques are also based on this principle. But this does not mean that these techniques are ineffective. As a matter of fact, many techniques of Aikido are lethal. However, mutual security and sharing are important, so the people who make the technique are careful not to hurt each other.
5. How long does it take to learn how to defend myself?
Self-Defense is a very broad issue, and it includes the health (being injured) and law (causing an injury) problems you may encounter after you start defending yourself in a dangerous situation. Aikido teaches you the techniques that you can place yourself in a more advantageous position in a few seconds if you can use them, which can save your life. The aim of the Aikido training is not to make you unbeatable or untouchable. The main purpose is to develop your own body, to push its limits and to learn to master it.
6. Are there belt rankings in Aikido?
Depending on your practice duration, examinations are held regularly and as the results of these examinations, the belt ranks, named as “kyu” and “dan”, are given. After a few months passes from your first practice at the Dojo, you take the 6th Kyu examination first. After you take 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st kyu ranks, you need to wait one year to have the right of taking the shodan (1st dan black belt rank) examination. After that, you have to wait for two years to take the “nidan” (2nd dan) examination, three years to take the “sandan” (3rd dan) examination, four years to take the “yondan” (4th dan) examination. There are two types of belt colors in our school, black and white. Everyone wears a white belt up to the shodan rank.