Welcome Letter


Your Body
Gravity and Grounding
Speed, Timing, Breathing
Congruity and Training
Uke-Nage Relationship
The Dojo
Our Relationship
Other Instructors,
Students, and Arts
Deciding to Leave


Dojo Etiquette
Helpful Phrases
Aikido Ranks
Basic Counting


The Keikogi

Your training uniform is called a keikogi or gi, and your belt is called an obi. Traditionally, the belt you wear is an award, given by your instructor, and denotes your level of competence in your art. The condition of your gi and obi, and the manner in which you wear them, demonstrate your attitude as much as your actual skills on the mat. A gi should be washed after two training sessions if you sweat heavily, and if it has been able to dry out between workouts. However, according to tradition your obi should never be washed. The intimacy and close contact required during aikido training make it not only congenial but pleasurable if your gi and body are clean and free of sweaty odors. Put your name on your gi in indelible ink as soon as you get your gi. Normally, the name you wish to be called is written on the left shoulder/sleeve.

While on the mat, your gi may become ruffled or disarranged. When rearranging your gi, turn towards the wall, away from your partner and others. Never bow with your gi in disarray. Keep the belt tightly knotted and in front of your center. It is acceptable to train in some other clothing during your first month only, but please do not wear street clothes. Wear loose-fitting clothing such as sweat clothes, and not anything with buckles or other sharp objects that could tear the mat or injure your partners.

Personal Cleanliness

We train in close contact with each other. A shower before class has made many training partners easier to work with. Please keep your fingernails and toenails short and clean. This may not seem important to you, but experience has shown that we suffer more annoying injuries from long nails than from any other cause. Nail clippers are provided in the dojo--just ask.


Wearing jewelry during training may cause injury to yourself and others. Remove jewelry if at all possible, especially that which is not covered by your keikogi. Some jewelry may not be easily replaced once removed. You may wish to secure such jewelry with additional protection such as first-aid tape. Above all, it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not injure others while training.

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