Great Valley Aikido
472 Acorn Lane
Downingtown, PA 19335

How do I get started in aikido training?
Come in and watch at least one class. Speak with the instructor and other students. If you wish to try aikido training, sign the appropiate papework and try it out for one week free.

Is there a contract to sign?
No. Dues are paid on a monthly basis.

Where do I get the uniform?
There are several martial arts suppliers that we can recomend. It is not necessary to have a gi to start training. A t-shirt and sweat pants are fine to start. Then you can purchase an inexpensive white gi. Both Karate and Judo style uniforms are fine.

Do I need aikido or martial arts experience to begin training?
No. You will learn aikido and budo ("the martial way") from the ground up.

Are there competitions? Do students get to compete and earn patches and trophies?
There are no competitions or tournaments. There are no badges to show off rank or skill. Your job as a student is to work on yourself. Aikido is the practice of the unification of Mind, Body, and Spirit.

What about testing and the ranking system?
Testing is done quarterly in the dojo and is based on a traditional Japanese kyu/dan ranking system. The first test would be for 6th kyu then 5th, 4th, etc. At 3rd kyu, the student earns a brown belt. Testing through 1st kyu is in the mudansha ranks. Black belt testing is also quarterly and done at the regional level. These are the yudansha ranks. First degree black belt is referred to as shodan or a "beginner" black belt.