It’s been an eventful year. We started the year out practicing socially-distant Aikido (with respect to COVID-19 mitigation), and we’re finishing up practicing socially-engaged Aikido. By the latter, I mean that we’re back to practicing Aikido as a mechanism for both spiritual and physical growth among the participants with the goal of spreading harmony inside and outside the dojo. The current social climate is, to a great extent, one of division, rancor, and zero-sum competition. O-Sensei taught that for us to succeed we must succeed together, not at the expense of others. My hope is that Aikido can continue to be a vehicle towards this goal, but doing so requires that practitioners seek to embody those principles.
I generally try to limit my philosophizing to the occasional quotation, but I think it’s important to restate a few fundamental truths: Aikido is not done solely for oneself, but for one’s partners and for society at large. We seek to be better people, not just better martial artists. We seek to develop and refine our spirits and our characters as much as our physical skills. We seek to be the rising tide that lifts all boats, not just our own little dinghy (pun intended).
We’re entering our 33rd year of being a place for Aikido study in Colorado Springs, and I hope we have the opportunity to offer another 33 years after this one.
Regular classes will continue starting tomorrow. See you on the mat.
Our expenses are going up, so we’re having to raise dues. Effective immediately, monthly dues will be $75/month, and the cost of the Beginner’s Special (3 months + a uniform) will be $175. We’re sorry to have to do this, but we’ve kept prices as low as possible for as long as possible. Thanks very much for your understanding.
We’ve had some calls recently asking if we’re having classes, and the short answer is yes. For the time being we’re still doing “socially-distant Aikido” which means everyone wears a mask and we all keep our distance from one another. Practically it also means we’ve been devoting most of our class time to weapons practice, namely suburi as well as solo and 2-person forms using both jo and bokken. In addition we’ve done a bit of weapons-led throwing techniques using the jo, but that’s been a minimal amount of the practice.
When everyone is vaccinated, we’ll look at transitioning back to “regular” Aikido, although we’ll continue to follow recommended CDC and state guidelines regarding masking and distancing. I believe this shows respect not only for each other but for the folks with whom we are in contact outside of the dojo.
Overall, this has been a productive time, as it has given us a chance to be more strictly focused on weapons work. Too often we avoid weapons forms as they don’t give us the same kinetic release that manual techniques offer. As a result we don’t develop the specific technical expertise and the mental discipline that weapons practice imparts. I feel like our weapons practice has significantly improved over the last year, and I’m grateful for the results.
The dojo is open for regular class hours with restrictions. Face coverings are required, and we maintain 6′ separation. Only one person at a time is allowed in a changing room, so arrive in training clothes if possible.
Note the dojo has a large garage door and is open to the air during class.