When one is born into this world, one's life on earth begins. This does not mean, however, that the rest of the world stops and a new 'course' begins. aikido, like life, moves according to natural law, and therefore is a continuous stream. We ask the beginner to view Aikido, not as a course, but as a lifelong learning experience. There is no new course beginning, you simply start by stepping into the stream (or onto the mat) when YOU feel ready.
New Students begin their training in our dojo on an on-going basis. Most people begin at the start of a month, although we pro-rate the dues if someone begins in the middle.
Aikido - A Pure Art Form
If one were to begin instruction in another art form, music for instance, one would not expect to play in Carnegie Hall after ten easy lessons. The student would expect to spend the initial training period getting used to the instrument, learning to read music, and other basic practices. In like fashion, the new Aikido students must first get used to the instrument - in this case, their own bodies. Also, as in learning to play a musical instrument, sometimes in the beginning we hit a sour note. In Aikido terms, this might mean feeling some bumps and bruises, particularly when learning to roll and fall correctly out of a technique (ukemi). This is the time to persevere, fine-tune your instrument, and not be emotionally sore as well. Ask senior students to help you. They will help in any way they can. Other basic practices such as blending, energy, awareness, falling, meditation, etc. bring the students into harmony with themselves and with others. Progress with the more advanced techniques will follow naturally in time, just as the musician, in time, plays advanced musical compositions.
The Tuesday/Thursday evening classes are the most fundamental and are geared towards new students. As soon as a student is recognized as being able to train safely and possessing some knowledge of our fundamental warm-ups, etc., they will be encouraged to train in the general classes as well as at least one fundamental class per week, thus training a minimum of two times per week and a maximum of whatever one's schedule allows. New students may also attend the noon general classes.
We ask that you observe a class first and meet the instructor and students.
On-Going Adult Program
At Aikido of Monterey we are happy to provide daily classes that cover all ranges of proficiency. Our fundamentals classes are suitable for all students. Our general classes are suitable for students who are comfortable with basic rolling and falling, taking ukemi from techniques, being "thrown," and have the permission of the Dojo cho. The advanced classes are for brown and black belts only and are marked on the class schedule accordingly.
Advanced, brown and black belt, classes are held on Monday evenings after the general class. These classes are open to all brown and black belt students and exist generally to provide the higher ranks with a venue for more advanced training and learning of skills required for Dan level ranking. All brown and black belts are encouraged to attend.
Times for our morning, noon and night classes can be found on the class schedule page on this site.