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(*All quotes are from O’Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba)




  • Timeliness – Be early or on time for class. If you’re late, get ready as soon as possible, sit in seiza at the edge of the mat, and wait to be called into class by the Sensei/instructor. If you need to leave class early, inform the Sensei/instructor before leaving.

  • Bowing – Bowing is a sign of respect and gratitude in Aikido. Bow when: getting on, or off the mat, facing the direction of the Kamiza; before and after class with the Sensei/instructor; before and after training with your partner(s); and when receiving personal instruction from a Sensei/instructor.


​       “When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back.” 


  • Be attentive and respectful when class is in session, and mindful of any noise or interruptions you make during class.

  • In your general manner of bearing and how you interact with others, be considerate and courteous. A smile, “please,” “thank you,” and “How are you?” can seem small but be significant in fostering basic goodness and connection.


      “When your eyes engage those of another person, greet him or her with a smile and they will smile back. This is one of the essential

        techniques of the Art of Peace.”



  • Your body is the house for your soul. Keep yourself, dogi (uniform), and belongings clean, neat, and presentable. For example, maintain personal hygiene, keep your nails trimmed, and wash your dogi regularly. Cleaning is a practice of Misogi (purification), care, appreciation, and consideration for the community.

  • Your dojo is a place to practice The Way of Harmony. Maintain it as such by doing your part to keep it clean and organized. For example, sweep or mop the mats and floors, pick up and throw away garbage, or help to keep the dojo orderly.

  • Aikido is a conscientious practice of energy exchange. Be conscious and mindful of your state of being and the energy you carry as it does affect those around you whether you’re aware of it or not. Negative energy is also “pollution” which can impact the cleanliness of the dojo!


​      “The essence of the Art of Peace is to cleanse yourself of maliciousness, to get in tune with your environment, and to clear your path of obstacles         and barriers.”



  • Maintain and cultivate “Beginner’s mind” on and off the mat. Your learning is only limited by your intentions to do so.


​      “Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the highest peak, and the deepest ocean, empty of all limiting thoughts.”


  • Be open to diversity (i.e., gender, race, faith, nationality, etc.) and differences in energy, personality, ways of doing and thinking, etc. This does not necessarily mean agreeing with, condoning, or liking someone or aspects of that person.  Cultivate tolerance, understanding, and receptiveness and follow the Golden rule “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

  • It is said the teacher is responsible for 10% of your training; the other 90% is up to you! Take accountability and initiative for your growth and development. Ask questions, examine, practice Aikido before or after class, or at home, read and learn about Aikido outside of the dojo.


      “Instructors can impart a fraction of the teaching. It is through your own devoted practice that the mysteries of the Art of Peace are brought to             life."


      “Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.”



  • Aikido is a self-defense, non-competitive martial art premised on non-violence. Contests of power, strength, skill, or ego, bullying, intimidation, and excessive use of force violate the principles of Aiki. Thus, train with the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation. Those who cannot respect and adhere to this will not be able to train in this dojo.


​      “To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.”


  • Alternately, while Aikido is the Art of Peace, it is still a martial art originating from warfare, battlefield techniques, and fighting skills and maneuvers intended to maim, disable, injure, and kill. Practice Aikido mindfully with the respect it warrants and deserves.

  • Moreover, Aikido is a Budo or “Path of the Warrior” and thus a vehicle for discipline and self-improvement. Honor, respect, and train with this in mind, knowing challenges and difficulties – both inner and outer - are part of this journey and process.

  • Practice with everyone as much as possible, not just those you know and like or favor. Inclusivity is essential to the Way of Harmony and conversely, exclusivity against it, creating division and separation.

  • With sincere, steady, and honest effort, train and practice the Way of Harmony. No matter the difficulties, emulate and demonstrate the spirit of fortitude and endurance befitting the Warrior’s Way. Embody the Japanese proverb “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

  • Follow O’Sensei’s rule: “Training should always be conducted in a pleasant and joyful atmosphere.”

  • If you are only concerned about learning and practicing techniques, you are missing the essence and the true value of Aikido.


​      “The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”

      SENPAI – KOHAI (Senior – Junior) Relationship

  • The Senpai or senior student is in service to their Kohai, not the other way around. Senpai should be helping, not bullying, bossing, or taking advantage of Kohai. Senpai should understand and respect the inherent power differential and be mindful of this.

  • Senpai, being more senior should assume more responsibilities, not less, and lead by example.

  • Senpai should be open to learning from their Kohai and not assume they know everything or their way is “the right way.”

  • Kohai should be open to, and seek out learning from the Senpai and share this knowledge with their Kohai. The Senpai-Kohai relationship is mutual give and take vital to nurturing and growing the dojo.

  • Kohai should respect their Senpai and not take advantage of the power differential.


     “The Art of Peace is not an object that anyone possesses, nor is it something you can give to another. You must understand the Art of Peace from        within, and express it in your own words.”



  • While testing at our dojo is not mandatory, it can be a valuable opportunity to test and grow yourself both internally and externally.

  • Students are required to commit the necessary time and practice, and demonstrate techniques and movements capably in a manner appropriate for their level, before being permitted to test for the desired rank.

  • Testing is not about competing with others but with yourself.


      There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the               mind of contention that we harbor within.”



  • Provide guidance rather than correction, and keep this to the minimum essential for that moment. Also, do not assume the role of the Sensei/instructor. While you can show someone the Way, you cannot walk their path for them. Aikido is embodied experience.

  • Whether teaching your fellow peers or leading class, remember teaching is about guiding and sharing, not dictating, criticizing, or using this solely as a forum for your ego to put yourself above others or put them down. Teaching is an honor, privilege, and responsibility to be taken seriously.


      As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter.               Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.”

  • Teaching is also learning, so keep the exchange of knowledge going in both directions.

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