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Who practices aikido?

“Aikido is practiced by people of all ages. It is a martial art that can meet people where they are at in their development and give them tools and resources to enhance them on their path.  The variety of stretches and ability to design classes for each level of student gives Aikido a clear advantage over other “hard” styles of martial arts. That is not to say it is a walk in the park, there will be many times individuals will feel strains and pulls, but with continued practice this subsides and even through the rough spots, there is always an opportunity to experience the “joyful” part of training. The philosophical component also factors heavily into those who practice Aikido. The idea of conflict resolution and redirecting the energy of an “attack” resonates with people looking for a different alternative to the winner and loser dynamic that occurs in most other martial arts, or life for that matter.” (Chase)

Is Aikido useful for self defense?

“Aikido is a martial art, and, like other martial arts, is useful for self defense.  However, no martial art can make one invulnerable, and every martial art has its own system of attacks, defenses, and techniques.  In addition to purely physical defensive techniques, aikido teaches awareness of one’s surroundings, maintaining a safe distance from danger and, most importantly, a calm mind in the middle of a crisis situation.  Dangers often come from unexpected sources.  In the past, Bushwick Dojo members have used aikido not only to foil a street mugging, but also to safely cradle a toddler while slipping on ice, to defuse a confrontation before it started, and to flip in the air and land harmlessly after being hit by a runaway sled in the park.” (Robert)

Is there anything special about Bushwick Dojo’s approach to teaching?

“What is special about Bushwick Dojo’s approach to teaching is that we meet you where you are. We figure out how you learn and support and tailor our teaching to you. In this dojo, we are placing special emphasis on teaching basic techniques and supporting beginners as they begin their aikido journey.” (Claire)

How do I get a black belt?

“Aikido uses a traditional kyu (white belt)/dan (black belt) ranking system common in Japanese martial arts. The testing requirements and qualifications for reach rank are standardized and woven through our curriculum. A committed student training consistently can reach the rank of shodan (1st degree black belt) in five to seven years. However it’s worth noting that in aikido the rank of shodan represents mastery of the art’s basic techniques and precepts. It is only the beginning.” (Michael)