Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published May 7th 2011
Aikido is a form of martial arts. It is based on a martial arts technique that was conceived and implemented by Master Morihei Ueshiba. It is a very popular form of martial arts, as it promotes strength—not only physical, but of one's character.
Aikido is taught in a style that allows people to start at any time. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes, but many aikido schools, including a couple of those listed below, allow first-timers to drop in at any time. If they decide this is something they are interested in, they will be placed in a class that matches their skill level at the time.
Bond Street Dojo
Bond Street Dojo allows students to take general classes; that is, those for any level. Beginners are welcome, and encouraged not to feel overwhelmed by some of the advanced moves being taught, because, after all, everyone feels like that at one time or another while learning aikido, even the most advanced students.
Then, there are regular beginner, basics, weapons, intensive weapons, and advanced classes. (You have to have an instructor's permission to take the advanced classes, but those are the only ones with a "restriction". Classes are held in the day and evening, and the school is conveniently located at 214 West 29th Street, so you should have no trouble finding one that fits your schedule and skill level.
Located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, at 142 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues, to be exact) the New York Aikikai holds classes from 6:45 AM until 7:45 PM Monday through Friday. Saturday schedule is from 9:30 AM until 10:15 AM for children in the advanced classes, and 10:30 AM until 11:15 AM for children's basic classes. Other classes are held after 11:15 AM until 2:30 PM.
The New York Aikikai focuses on teaching the techniques of aikido in strict accordance with the way they were created and with the proper attention to the strength of character and discipline that are so much a part of aikido.
Aikido of Manhattan, located at 122 27th Street in Manhattan, only holds evening classes (from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM) Monday through Friday. This gives working people or those who attend day classes time to leave work or school, find somewhere to change clothes, and then get to class.
Like other aikido schools, Aikido of Manhattan strives to stay as close as possible to the spirit of aikido as was manifested by Master Ueshiba (often referred to as "O Sensei", which means "great teacher".) Again, close attention is paid to the disciplines as well as the techniques which make up the aikido martial arts style.