Beginner’s FAQ

Yes, you can drop in and observe a class anytime.  We recommend contacting us in advance (phone number on this page), so we can answer any questions you might have.

Start by showing up.  It sounds simple, but it’s the most important step.

You can drop in on any class, and talk to the instructor and senior students.

Maybe the best way to start is call the number listed on the right of this page, or drop us an email.  We will be glad to answer your questions and help you get started.

We begin by warming up, which includes stretching, and backward and forward rolling.  Students roll at their appropriate skill level.

The instructor usually has a theme or focus for the class.  It might be a particular technique, a particular aspect of techniques, a particular group of techniques, or whatever the instructor believes is a good focus for the students that day.  The instructor does a short demonstration.  The students practice what the instructor demonstrated with each other.  Beginners and experienced students train with each other.  This gives the newer students the chance to work on the basic moves, and allows the experienced students to develop to a deeper level.  This demonstration and practice sequence is repeated multiple times during a class, allowing students at all levels to ask questions and develop.

This is not a strict format. Classes vary significantly depending on the instructor or focus.

Aikido of Petaluma has existed for over 35 years, during which time many students have been promoted to  black belt students.  The black belt students work with new students at their own level, and find training with beginners enjoyable and rewarding.  It gives black belt students a chance to review and refine the fundamentals of the art. One learns a lot when one works with new students. One has an opportunity to experience the art through the fresh eyes of a beginner. Beginner students are a treasure and the heart of the school.

Beginners get to see and feel how more experienced students do the techniques, and how they view and practice the art.

It’s a great place for a beginner to get started.

Absolutely!  Training at Aikido of Petaluma does require some physical activity, but the goal is not aerobic or strength training. The goal is to be more physically and energetically aligned, and learn the basic movements. A high level of physical capability is not required.

If at any time in class you need to take a break, you can.

There is no hard and fixed rule, but we need to keep younger people safe when participating.

We have had parent and child students many times over the years.  At one time we even had three generations of one family training.

We have also had teenagers attend on their own.  Again, no hard and fixed rule.  Each situation is addressed separately, taking all aspects into account.

If you are interested in having a younger person train, please contact us or drop by for a visit.