Individuals who apply for the uchideshi program must put the dojo and their training above their own personal needs for the duration of their apprenticeship. The program is designed for individuals who have a strong desire to deepen their aikido practice. It is not intended for people who are merely seeking a respite from their daily life.
Applications will be considered for a period of up to three months; after this point, an interview will be conducted to evaluate the student's commitment to training. Uchideshi must:
- Attend all classes at the dojo. This includes training in aikido, weapons, iaido, zen, and misogi. An average day entails approximately four hours of training, plus self study and about four hours of samu.
- Perform daily samu (work practice). Samu will include: cleaning, repairs to the dojo, gardening, baking, cooking, and other necessary dojo-related projects.
- Attend any and all local seminars held while in our program.
- Attend zen and misogi intensives.
If one has serious religious objections to misogi and/or zen practice, please consult the chief instructor.
Uchideshi will have a free period from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, provided there are no local seminars, sesshins, or special dojo training events taking place.
Applicants must be ranked 3rd kyu or above in Aikido or have a letter from their current instructor stating why they should be accepted as an uchideshi. The rest of the application must include:
A letter stating the student's interest and intentions for training at the Brooklyn Aikikai Tendokan dojo.
A résumé, including a history of education, profession, martial arts training, et cetera.
A letter of recommendation from the student's present instructor (if applicable).
Proof of emergency medical insurance coverage, which must be maintained throughout the term of the individual's training.
Note: Students enroll in this program for varying lengths of time but the term "uchideshi" is reserved for those who commit to a term of three months or longer. In Japan, the term is used for those students who are training to become a professional in Aikido.
Tuition: $600 monthly* which includes training in aikido, weapons, iaido, zen, and misogi.
Equipment: Uniforms and weapons are required and can be purchased if the student does not already have them: Gi: $50, Bokken and Jyo: $100.
Food: Uchideshi are responsible for contributing $300 per month toward the cost of food. Meals are usually communal and uchideshi take turns cooking.
Laundry: The dojo has a washer and dryer; students are expected to use them responsibly.
Telephone: If the individual does not have his/her own phone, s/he will contribute to the dojo's phone bill.
* If these fees present a significant financial burden, please speak to the Chief Instructor.
Additional Costs (approximate)
Average weekend Aikido seminar: $90
Transportation (for New York subway): $2.75/per ride