Joining the Dojo – Information for prospective students

Thinking about joining Mountain Coast Aikikai?  Check our schedule and calendar and come observe a class!

No martial arts background or experience is necessary. You just need to be interested in trying this dynamic martial art!

Classes are generally open to people 13 years and older.  Even though Aikido training can be quite physical and require some stamina, we respect each person’s abilities and limitations – our classes can be strenuous, but participants are encouraged to train at their own pace.

The process of joining the dojo is simple and straightforward:

  1.  Visit the dojo to observe an Aikido and/or Iaijutsu class.
  2.  Choose whether you want to train in the Aikido program, or Iaijutsu program, or in our combined Aikido and Iaijutsu program.
  3.  Pick a start date and let us know when you want to start.
  4.  Sign up for the Introductory Membership by completing the registration/waiver form and paying the program fee online.
  5.  Purchase a keiko gi (training uniform).  We can provide a recommendation on local martial art stores where you can buy what you need.
  6.  Show up at the dojo and start training!

Introductory Aikido Membership

The fee for the 2-month Introductory Aikido Membership program is  $100.

This provides you with access to our Aikido Foundations body arts classes (2 classes per week for 2 months).
The Aikido Foundations classes are an excellent way to start your Aikido journey and build a foundation that prepares you for further training.

On your first day of practice, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the class starts, to allow time for paperwork and a basic orientation to the dojo.

For any questions relating to Mountain Coast Aikikai, or if you are ready to get started, please feel free to contact us by email or by phone at (604) 800-DOJO (3656).

What to bring to your first class…

  • Loose, a judo or karate gi, or comfortable clothing (such jogging pants and a short or long-sleeved white t-shirt are appropriate for your first few classes)
  • A bag to carry your training uniform to/from the dojo and to hold your street clothes, while at the dojo.
  • Flip-flops to wear inside the dojo (when not on the mat).
  • A water bottle.
  • A small clean towel or face cloth (you will sweat a lot!)
What to do after your first class…
  • Drink water and stretch your body.
  • Take a hot shower or bath, to relax your muscles.
  • Get some good rest (a good night of sleep)
  • Come back, next class, for more training!

What to expect in your first few classes…

All beginning students receive personalized attention and instruction of an experienced senior member and/or the instructor.  You will learn the basic elements of dojo etiquette, the principles of training, and how to roll and fall safely in order to prevent injury.  As you progress, you will gradually work your way into the regular pace of the class.  Most new students find that they get a feel for the etiquette and flow of the class within a week or two.

Attendance

Aikido is a challenging martial art practice to learn. With regular practice, your body and mind will feel really good — vitalized, stimulated and awake!  We encourage you to attend as often as possible.  To make consistent progress, we recommend that you make a commitment to training a minimum of two times per week.  Making a commitment to attending regularly helps create momentum and is essential to progress and develop mastery of the art.  We were all beginners, at one time!

What to wear for regular training

For Aikido: The traditional clothing worn for training is a white, cotton Judo- or Karate-style uniform, with a white belt. Dan-ranked, or senior members typically also wear a black or dark blue hakama. For Iaijutsu: the traditional clothing worn for training is a training uniform (which can be white, dark blue, or black) with a white belt, plus a hakama (a traditional Japanese divided ‘pant-skirt-like’ lower garment – (typically: black, dark blue or other dark colour) ).  For Iaijutsu you will also need, at minimum, a bokken (wooden practice sword) with a tsuba (guard) and a plastic scabbard (the dojo can arrange to purchase these for you).  More serious students can arrange to order an Iaito (metal practice sword).  Note that swords used in our school have slightly different characteristics than those used in some other Iaido schools.  Please consult with the Chief Instructor prior to ordering an Iaito to ensure that the sword you order will be suitable for the type of  training offered at our dojo.

For the first few classes (in either Aikido or Iaijutsu), new students may wear comfortable exercise clothing (not street clothing), such as sweat pants or yoga pants, with a plain white t-shirt (no logos or designs).  The training pants should cover your knees.

Training uniforms are available at local martial art supply stores.   We can recommend a local source for training uniforms and training weapons.  Please ask a dojo member for information about local businesses that sell training gear.

 

What happens after I finish the 2-month Introductory Membership?

To continue with your training after you complete the Introductory Membership, you can apply to become a regular member of the dojo.   To do this, you would have a short interview with the Chief Instructor and request to be accepted as a regular member of the dojo.  Regular Membership is an ongoing monthly membership and entitles you to participate in all Aikido body arts classes and selected Aiki-Weapons training classes offered at the dojo. There is no additional charge to participate in Aiki-Weapons and Iai Battoho classes, but you must be a Regular Member of the dojo and have received the permission of the Chief Instructor before attending these classes.

All Membership fee payments are due on the first of each month for the upcoming month of aikido classes.  All dues are non-refundable.

For more information about the dojo training schedule, please visit our class schedule and calendar page.

For a current listing of classes and events, please visit our dojo events page.

If you have more questions or want to arrange to visit the dojo and sign up, please contact us.