FAQs

What can I expect after the eight-week Introductory Series?
The Introductory Series provides a beginning look at the basic martial, energetic and spiritual principles of Aikido. Every student will have a different experience of learning based on their personal ability and comfort level. With instructor approval, you can join the dojo and attend classes at your level of experience. You may also choose to attend the Introductory Series as many times as you like.

How safe is Aikido practice?
Our primary emphasis is on safety. All members train together (usually in pairs) at a pace of the least experienced student, and under the supervision of an experienced and qualified black belt instructor. The strength of Aikido comes not from muscular force; rather its power is expressed through flexibility, timing and control. Students are encouraged to train within their limits, just as they would select the appropriate ski slope to match their skill level.

What Aikido do we practice?
Two Cranes Aikido is an unaffiliated dojo influenced by the instructors of the [Shingu lineage] and the teachings of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba founder Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, a direct student of Morihei Ueshiba, O Sensei. Mary Heiny Sensei was Kimberly Richardson Sensei's first Aikido teacher and continues to have a primary influence on our school. We emphasize the martial, spiritual and energetic aspects of the art.

Is Aikido an effective form of self-defense? Aikido can be rigorous and practical in its application. The self-defense techniques studied in practice provide a broad range of responses from which we can address conflict. Inherent in this art is the attitude of loving protection for both our attackers and ourselves.  Aikido assumes that we reach true victory when we bring our conflicts to a place of peaceful resolution.

I'm a busy person and it's difficult to find time to train.
Aikido requires regular training to progress. As students evolve in their practice, they find creative ways to fit aikido into their schedule. We offer adult training seven days a week, with early-morning, midday and evening classes so that students can find time to train, while continuing to meet their work and family responsibilities.

How do I best advance in Aikido?
Aikido is a martial art and contemplative practice that requires respect, focus and humility. Your goal is to learn the techniques that emphasize connection and fluidity and are designed to subdue an opponent without injury. The secret of training effectively in Aikido is to train intently with a compassionate heart. In this way, your body will internalize the art. Practice Aikido when you are inspired. Practice when inspiration eludes you. Practice the basics with beginners and practice fast and hard with advanced students.  Practice when you are young and agile, and when you are older and less flexible. Just practice.

Do you host Aikido Seminars?
We offer seminars and intensive trainings throughout the year. Aikidoevents are announced on our website and in our news updates.

What about testing?
See the student handbook for more details.

Do you use weapons?
Two Cranes Aikido offers instruction in the use of bokken (wooden sword), bo (wooden staff) and tanto (wooden knife). The class material includes individual exercises (suburi), partnered practices (kumitachi) and weapons take away.