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If you are considering taking up aikido, here are a few pointers that you might find helpful.

  • Make sure that if you wear jewellery you can remove it easily before practice begins.
  • Your finger and toe nails should be short to avoid accidentally scratching practice partners.
  • You probably will be expected to practice in bare feet so make sure that they are clean.
  • Wear loose clothing if you don’t have a karate or judo suit. Most aikido people wear judo suits for training.
  • You will be expected to bow to a picture of the founder of aikido at the start and end of classes. This has no religious significance – it is a Japanese tradition to show respect to the founder.
  • You will also bow to your practice partners before and after practising with them.
  • At the start of a class and also just before you begin training with a practice partner you should say “Onegaeshimasu” (pronounced Onny Gaishi Mass) and at the end of the class you will say “Thank you” formally in Japanese to your instructor (Arigato Gozai Mashita)
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