Why should I try Aikido?How do I get started?
Come visit a class! You can participate or just watch. Beginners and visitors are welcome at any time, and you can just show up.
What if I can only come one day per week?
That's fine. You won't learn as fast as somebody who can come two days, but you'll still make progress. And there's no set timetable of skills, so you won't feel like you're getting behind on anything either.
How do I get there?
The Center for Performing Arts is located at 3754 Pleasant Ave. South in Minneapolis.
Bus: route #23 runs along 38th Street from the Uptown Transit Station, route #18G runs along Grand Avenue from downtown; both stop at the corner of 38th and Grand, one block away.
Car: take 35W to the 35th/36th Street exit, head west on 35th Street to Nicollet, turn left and head south to 38th Street, then turn right and head west to the corner of Pleasant.
You also have the option of joining the Fugakukai International organization, which charges its own promotion fees and an annual membership
What about self-defense?
Aikido offers a great foundation in kuzushi (off-balances), geometry, and anatomy. We work very slowly and softly to master these basic skills, just like you might practice a musical instrument slowly. Anecdotally, some practitioners of this style of aikido have found it helpful in self-defense. However most self-defense instructors recommend that you also learn to work with fast speeds and powerful attackers, and we almost never emphasize these aspects of practice.
What specific style of Aikido do you practice?
We practice Kihara Aikido, which is a noncompetitive variation of Tomiki Aikido. This is a soft style of Aikido, practiced without painful locks or high-impact falls. It is also a fairly westernized style of Aikido, in which we teach anatomical and mechanical principles for correct motion rather than metaphysical ideas like "ki".
Who leads class?
Classes are led by Deanna Newman or her students. Deanna's own teachers are members of the Fugakukai International Association.
How do you compare to other Aikido groups?
We are quite informal (and talkative) compared to most other clubs and schools. The techniques are fairly soft. Instruction is in a modern American style, not traditional Japanese, which means we are happy to discuss the reasons for a move instead of just learning it by rote.