I have set out quite a few regular questions which have been asked in the past. Hopefully, they might be similar to what you are thinking? If you want to find out more details, please do not hesitate to email any of the Club Instructors.
1. Can I just turn up to one of the classes?
Yes. The Club Instructor would prefer if you send a quick email to confirm you will be arriving, but this is not necessary.
2. Do you offer club insurance?
Yes. The club is a member of the Governing body for Aikido, the British Aikido Board. All insurance is honoured by them.
3. Are you a registered Aikido teacher?
The main Dojo Instructor has been practicing Aikido for 37 years. The Dojo as a whole has two Dan grade Instructors. Who hold the coaching level one qualification from the British Aikido Board. Also each Instructor's grade is registered with the Aikido World Headquarters, Hombu Dojo in Japan. Aikikai -
International Aikido Federation.
4. What are the costs involved?
The daily class fee's are £3.50 per lesson. Membership fee for 12 months is £40.00, which inlcudes training insurance. Training suits can be acquired quite cheaply via Blitz, who is an international martial equipment retailer. If you require a more expensive and rugged training suit, we have an account with Nine Circles, which offer a better quality range of training suits. The most expensive being around £35.00. Although cheaper alternatives are available.
After a few months, you might want to acquire some training weapons. In the first instance, cheaper ones might be an option. A Wooden staff, and wooden sword are around £40.00. Most of the club members import wooden weapons from Japan, due to the high quality. With the postage they normally retail at around £130. This type of lay out, would not be necessary for some considerable amount of time.
5. What do I need to wear to my first class?
Wearing sensible clothing, which you are comfortable in. Something old, which you don't mind getting ripped, although that won't happen. Please make sure there are no external zips, which could catch your skin, or the partner you are training with. You also need to bring something to cover your feet, while you are not training on the mats. A pair of flip flops is ideal.
6. Can I just turn up and watch, without training?
Yes. We always encourage people to come along and spectate a class. If you then want to ask further questions, there will always be someone available to speak too.
7. What paperwork do I need to bring with me?
Some paperwork is required, which you can download off this site. If you can complete them before attending, this will save a lot of time. If you email the club Instructor, he will advise you which forms you need to complete.
8. My Son/daughter is 12 years old, can they join?
At the present time, we do not offer a children's class. All students must be 18 years or older. We will not be opening a children's class in the foreseeable future. We will also not allow anyone under the age of 18 to spectate a class even if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
9. Are there any external course's I can go on, to learn from other teachers?
Yes. The club Instructor will advise the class on a weekly basis, what course's are available. You will be given every opportunity to attend any course througout the year. A club saving scheme is in operation, if you want to put money by on a weekly or monthly basis.
10. I already train in Aikido in another club/association can I come along to train?
Yes. Abertillery Aikido Dojo does run a closed Dojo policy. This means, we do not allow any student/Instructor to walk in unannounced and train. If you are a current Aikido student, you would need to contact the Dojo Instructor before thinking of turning up to train. Our Dojo is part of the Aikikai, so any student/Instructor would need to be a current member of the Aikikai to train with us. If you do turn up unannounced, you will be allowed to spectate the class, but will not be allowed to train. This is part of the clubs constitution, and Dojo Etiquette. Please try your best to respect our Dojo etiquette rules. We accept any current student with BAB & JAC insurance.
11. What is Dojo Etiquette?
Dojo etiquette is a list of rules of what you can and cannot do, while you are in the Dojo premises. They also apply to some extent outside of the Dojo. You will be made aware of this list when you join. The list can be found on this site. All club members are reminded, they are ambassadors, and doing something which would bring the club in to disrepute is not something that would be looked on favourably!
12. I have a few health problems, can I still train?
There are only two official health problems which will prevent you from practicing Aikido, and attaining insurance. These are Rheumatoid Arthritis & Haemophilia. If you do have any health issues, you must speak to the club Instructor about them. Help will be given, and your training will be adjusted to accommodate any issues.
13. Who are Kobayashi Dojo's? What benefit will I gain by joining?
Aikido Kobayashi Dojo's are a worldwide association, headed by Yasuo Kobayashi Shihan 8th Dan. They do not offer a style of Aikido, but a teaching ethic. The so called 'style' of Aikido practiced is as Hombu Dojo, & the current Doshu, but with a greater emphasis on weapons training. The UK branch of Kobayashi Dojo's have a clear and simple policy of what they want for their members. Direct access for all students to Japanese instruction. Regular, affordable regional course's, and structured grading syllabus. Kyu grading course's are held four times a year. Each grading is done on a panel basis, with a panel consisting of various grades, but always senior KUK Instructors in attendance. Dan gradings are held once a year, during the Summer course with Hiroaki Kobayashi Sensei, 7th Dan. All passing candidates are registered with Hombu Dojo, Tokyo. Aikikai Certification and International Yudansha book issued. (If passing the Shodan Examination.) Further information regarding Kobayashi Dojo's UK & International, and the Aikikai Foundation can be found on the links page of this site.