Aikido Club FAQ

Who can join the club?

The club is open to all members of the University of Maryland at College Park community, including faculty, staff, and students. Because we are a University sponsored club, we must limit enrollment to only people associated with UM.

What style of Aikido do we study?

We are considered Aikikai or Hombu style, marked by swift and flowing responses to aggression. We have several black-belt instructors who come from the Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Tacoma Park to teach and train at UM. The individual teaching styles among these sensei, as well as their personal emphasis, varies from combat oriented to soft, Ki oriented. A class could consist of responses to Karate kicks and punches, or breathing and relaxation techniques. Club members are therefore exposed to the many elements of Aikido.

Can beginners/black-belts join?

We ask everyone to train with us, regardless of skill level. However, the first few weeks of training are always geared to beginners. We therefore urge inexperienced students to join at the beginning of each semester.

Are there fees involved?

We have semester dues of $10. These get pooled and go towards buying Aikido or Aikido-related videos and equipment. Members can borrow the videos for home use in between classes. In addition, testing for any rank requires you to join the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba federation. They have yearly dues of $25. After you pay the ASU membership dues, you can train once per month for free in Tacoma Park, and your rank and progress are officially recorded through the national organization.

Can you test for rank in the club?

Members can test for the first three belt ranks (6th, 5th, 4th Kyu) at the University. For more advanced ranks, you are required to test in the main Dojo in Tacoma Park.

What should I wear?

Basically any gi will do, but V-neck (TaeKwonDo) style gi tend to rip quite easily. If you don't own a gi, a T-shirt and sweatpants will be fine. Advanced students wear the traditional Hakama (baggy, pleated pants).

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