Classes at Francis Albrier Community Center (Mondays and Saturdays) are $55/month, payable to the City of Berkeley.
Although attending class two days a week is recommended, particularly for beginners, we understand that there may be other schedule constraints that may make this impractical. If you consistently will attend one day per week only, a reduced rate of $40/month is charged. If you have schedule constraints that will keep you from attending practices on a consistent basis, please talk to the instructor about special fee arrangements. For new students, the first class attended is free. In addition, students are encouraged to join Tomiki Aikido of the Americas (TAA), the national association that we are affiliated with.
If the regular class fees above are a financial burden, please talk to the instructor about special fee arrangements.
Although we tend not to be overly formal, there are some formalities that should be observed. At the beginning and end of each practice, we bow to the front of the dojo and to each other. Prior to beginning to work with a new partner, we bow and say “O-ne-gai-shi-masu.” After finishing, we again bow and say “Arigato gozaimasu” (Thank you). Please feel free to respectfully ask instructors and upper belts any questions you may have during the course of practice.
Our first priority in the practice of Aikido is safety. All martial arts, by their nature, involve a certain amount of danger. The risk of injury can be significantly decreased by observing safety precautions. Always remember that your partner is entrusting you with a measure of his safety and well being and that it is your duty to be a responsible caretaker of that trust. Never apply a technique without balance and control. Always make sure that your partner has adequate space and requisite ability to take a fall before applying a technique. Inform your partner of any injuries or physical limitations you may have. Never force a technique with muscle instead of using proper form. Always respect it when your partner “taps out.”
At the beginning of each practice, we warm up and stretch. It is very important for conditioning and safety to get a complete warm-up. If you arrive late to class, please make sure to do the full warm-up routine and join in with the rest of practice when you are ready.
We wear uniforms called “dogi” (or “gi”) during practice. Heavy judo-type dogi are worn both for padding and for durability. Beginners are welcome to wear a T-shirt or sweatshirt and shorts, sweatpants, etc., preferably without pockets. Please remove all jewelry prior to practice for you and your partners’ safety.
Examinations and Ranks
Ranks are organized into 6 levels (“kyus”) below black belt and 8 levels (“dans”) of black belt. Beginners and 6th kyus wear white belts, 5th yellow, 4th orange, 3rd green, 2nd blue, and 1st brown. The requirements for each level can be found on the TAA website. Examinations, or “belt tests,” are given periodically throughout the year.
If you have any additional questions or would like to set up a time to come try out a class, please call Sensei Warren Pottebaum at 510-847-8658.