Q: Do I need to make an appointment to come and observe classes?
A: You are more than welcome to come at anytime to see the dojo, meet us, and observe classes. No appointment is necessary. Just check our schedule for class times.
Q: How do I become a member of Skylands Aikikai ?
A: To become a member of Skylands Aikikai, you simply have to fill out the registration form available at the dojo and pay the applicable fees. Dues are to be paid monthly. You can pay with cash, check or credit card.
Q: When can I join?
A: You can join anytime.
Q: Are there separate classes for beginners?
A: There are no separate beginner classes. In Aikido classes, students train with and learn from each other. The instructors are there to give individualized attention to all students (both in Aikido and Iaido classes) as each individual learns and progresses in his or her own way.
Q:How often should I practice?
A: The frequency of how often someone comes to class is an individual matter. Consistency in training is helpful which may mean once, twice or three times a week (or more!) depending on one's circumstances.
Q: How long will it take to reach black belt?
A: In Aikido and Iaido, rank is achieved through the testing process. There are no competitions as in other martial arts. For Aikido, there are 6 tests to take before your black belt test (6th kyu through 1st kyu). You need to train a certain number of days, as well as be prepared, to test for each level. On average, it takes 6-8 years to obtain black belt in Aikido. For Iaido, there are no kyu levels. The first test you take is "shodan" or 1st degree black belt and, with diligent training, can take 3 years to achieve. It is important to note that "black belt" in either art does not mean that you know all that there is to know in the art but rather signifies that you are a serious student as you continue on your path.