Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join? UCM students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families are all welcome to join us. The general public can join as guest of the instructors. Children should be at least 7 years old and will require parental consent.

Are there any fees or membership dues? No. If you feel proficient enough to belt test, you will need to join USAF, which has a $35 annual fee. We have no club or dojo dues.

Do I need a uniform ( gi)? /  What do I need to wear? There is no special uniform required. Sweats or any work-out clothing is fine. Clothes should be loose fitting so you can move about, and is best if it covers the knees.

Do I need any special equipment? No. Aikido uses no gear or equipment, just the body. Advanced techniques and teachings can involve sword (bokken), knife (tanto) and staff (jo), but those will likely not be done here, and not with new members. A jo to the head hurts.

Can my brother/sister come? Yes. Attendees under 16 will be required to have parental consent.

Can I observe before joining? Yes. Visitors are always welcome.

Do I have to practice Shinto/Buddhism/Taoism/religious rites? No. Aikido is not directly related to any one religion, and has no religious tenants. Our members are devout Christians, Buddhists, atheists, and all forms in between. Almost all of the philosophical and "spiritual" side of Aikido is harmonious with any religion.

Do I need to attend every meeting? No. Attend meetings according to your schedule, at a rate you are comfortable with. If you miss a meeting, it will not keep you from advancing.

Do I have to have studied Aikido/a martial art to join? No. Some of our members are veterans of Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Judo, and other forms. Many members are new to martial arts.

Do I have to participate in all activities? No. Learn at your own pace, participate at your own pace.

Do I need to be in peek physical condition? No. You do not have to bench twice your weight to do Aikido, and it wouldn't help if you could. Short and tall, thin and overweight alike can perform Aikido.

How long are meetings? / Can I leave early? Sessions last approx. 2 hours, depending on how often we check the time. We understand if someone has to leave before the rest.

Will this conflict with other martial arts I've taken/are taking? No. Some other martial arts use some techniques that are similar to what we do, but they do not conflict.

Will I be able to test &/or transfer to other dojos? Yes. All testing is done per USAF guidelines, and is acknowledged and transferable to any other USAF dojo.

What is USAF? United States Aikido Federation. It is the only Aikido organization in the US recognized by Hombu Dojo, the World Aikido Headquarters.

                          ~ O-Sensei

Aikido of Rolla    Gale Bullman Multipurpose Building, S&T, Rolla MO, 65409