Beginners Info

Getting started with Aikido

Whether you are an adult or a child, man or woman, mature or young, whether you are looking for fun, fitness or for self-defense, you are welcome to come along and watch any of our Aikido classes.

Better still, come along prepared to give Aikido a try. The first class you train in is free.

Everyone you see training on the mat, including the expert teacher, was once a beginner just like you. They remember their own first Aikido session.

They understand how you feel and they will do their best to make sure you enjoy your first session.

What to wear and what to expect

If you wish to train, wear loose clothing; for example, track suit or training pants and a sweatshirt. Once you decide to join, we recommend you purchase a Judo dogi and belt (white japanese training suit) from a Martial Arts shop, or from Trade Me. Juniors can lease a dogi and belt (white japanese training suit) for $80.


Please try to arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled class time and introduce yourself to the instructor (who is called “sensei” which simply means teacher). The class will then begin when all the students and instructor line up and bow.

The class will commence with light warm-ups gradually increasing in intensity to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for training. The warm-ups themselves are excellent physical therapy.

After the warm-up you will probably be taught to breakfall. Be patient, as you’ll probably need several classes before you can break-fall properly.

Following this the instructor will demonstrate a technique. You will then bow to a partner and train with that partner practising the technique shown.

The class will finish with some light warm-downs and be completed when you bow out. Following the class everybody sweeps the mat and cleans up the dojo.

Don’t be worried about feeling out of place, or that the movements feel strange or difficult – everyone was a beginner at some point (even the teacher) and remembers it. The other students and the instructor are all there to help you develop your aikido, and that is their job. Your job is to enjoy the training and have fun.

The next day you may feel some residual muscle stiffness. Again this is pretty normal and quickly disappears with regular training as your fitness improves.