People come to aikido for many reasons. Some want to improve their physical fitness, coordination and flexibility; others want to find a spiritual and physical balance; still others are seeking a martial practice that includes weapons and other training. At Brooklyn Aikikai, students of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. There is no wrong time to begin aikido. One needs an open spirit and a desire to work hard. Your skill level in another sport or activity will not necessarily help you with this unique martial practice. Although your fitness will improve, aikido is not about strength, nor is it competitive. Students of all ages and experience train together on the mat and learn from each other. As a new practitioner, your first three months of training will be exciting, challenging, and sometimes daunting. A ranking student, or the head instructor, will work with you personally during your first few classes until you have accomplished some of the basic skills necessary for your safety. Only half of aikido is applying a technique – the other half is protecting yourself and falling safely. Learning how to fall and roll is the essential first step of aikido. You may find, after your first class, that you've used muscle sets you had no idea you had. You will feel it and this is normal. Aikido takes time. You cannot expect to become a master overnight! At Brooklyn Aikikai, we ask you to watch a class before signing up. Once you decide to begin training, you are asked to sign up for three months to be comfortable with the basics. The more you train, the faster you will gain fitness, awareness, and confidence. New students should plan on that in order to progress. Beginners are welcome at any aikido class. If aikido seems difficult at first, one of the attractions of the practice is that it is always challenging: even aikidoka who have practiced for thirty years find something to learn and improve in every practice. One important thing to remember when you are training on the mat is that the movements are not the only lesson to learn. How you train and the commitment you bring to it, is very important. We train with a partner in order to learn how to feel and respond to each other's energy. Respect for your teachers, your partners, and yourself, is very important in aikido. Bring a courageous and bold spirit to the dojo. The nature of this training is difficult, and one must persist. Push forward! Welcome.
adults' dues (unlimited classes)
Contributing membership level 1 = $50
Contributing membership level 2 = $75
Contributing membership level 3 = $100
Sustaining membership = $125
Generating membership level 1 = $150
Generating membership level 2 = $200
Generating membership level 3 = $250
annual dues to Birankai North America
$50 per year, paid in February
In hopes of furthering our mission and becoming a more equitable institution, we have established a sliding scale membership system. Our goal is to share more equitably amongst members the cost of maintaining our practice in Brooklyn and to open our doors more widely to those who might not otherwise be able to afford our fees.
Members choose a membership level (see above) when joining. The different levels simply represent what you are able to pay on a monthly basis and the “Sustaining Membership” is what we were charging for dues in 2021 before implementing the sliding scale.
Member dues help keep the dojo open and operating. They are not a payment for instruction. Dues are non refundable.
Joining the dojo
New Adult Members
1. You must come observe a class before joining. You are welcome to come observe any aikido class on our schedule. Please arrive a few minutes before the class. No hats are worn inside and you will remove your shoes once you come in the door. All cell phones are turned off before entering the dojo. Someone will greet you at the door and show you where to sit (the wooden bench up front) and then we can answer any questions you might have after the class is over.
2. Choose a monthly membership level (see above) . All levels cover unlimited classes.
3. Email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a link to set up your membership and invoices.
4. Pay for three months. (After that you can continue on a month to month basis. If this presents a serious financial burden, please speak with one of the instructors.)
5. Purchase a uniform (through Kate) at the discounted rate of only $35 (regular price is $50).
6. Start training!
When I first started at Brooklyn Aikikai it was to motivate myself to exercise. I remember observing a class and wanting that sense of physical rigor and strength. What I did not expect was to be part of such an encouraging community that gives direct attention to growth as a martial artist and personhood. Now, the two support each other; Brooklyn Aikikai is not just a place to push yourself beyond your limits, but to contribute to the investigation of the entire practice by demanding more of yourself, and others, on and off the mat.