Aikido, the Way of Harmony, is a unique martial art. Aikido can be practiced by people of all ages and levels of physical fitness, as a recreational activity or as serious study. Benefits include discipline, concentration and increased physical fitness.
Aikido is excellent aerobic exercise as well as self defense skills. The atmosphere of an Aikido class is formal but friendly and noncompetitive.
Shoshinsha (Introductory Aikido Course)
The Introductory Course is intended for the student with no previous Aikido experience. It introduces the new student to basic movements, techniques and breakfalls. The pace of the Introductory Course is such that persons of almost any level of physical fitness would be able to participate. The beginner will progress through an eight-week session. At the end of the series, the student is eligible to test for the first rank (9th kyu) in the belt ranking system.
Chukyusha (Beginners' Class)
Fundamentals of basic movements and techniques will be covered. Basic aikido principles and etiquette will also be introduced. The basics class is geared towards newer students, but is open to students of all levels.
Ippansha (Regular Class)
This class is open to students of all levels. Empty handed techniques, as well as techniques involving the bokken (wooden sword), tanto (wooden knife) and jo (staff) will be covered. Students will be taught how to perform all basic breakfalls (back breakfalls, backward and forward rolls, jumping breakfalls, etc.).
Gakushu Kai (Gakushu Class)
Gakushu Class is a series of weekly sessions where the fundamental philosophy and principles of Aikido are presented. Gakushu Class is taught in a very traditional format and is a unique offering of Utada Kancho. Eligibility is restricted to students who have trained at least one year in AANA.
Shonen Shojyu (Childrens' Class)
The Children's Class teaches children self esteem, confidence, discipline and physical fitness without encouraging aggression. Aikido techniques emphasize restraining and evasive maneuvers rather than punching and kicking; the emphasis in class is on friendship and cooperation rather than confrontation and "staged" conflict.
Special Workshops and Clinics
A CPR course with certification is offered yearly by AANA. The course is open to anyone who desires to attend, and is a prerequisite (no exceptions) for the teaching of any Aikido class in AANA. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.
Instructors' Workshops are intended for those who are or will be certified AANA instructors. They will cover teaching philosophy, methods, and techniques. The Workshops will vary in length according to topic.
The Summer & Winter Workshops, scheduled yearly are special training sessions usually focused on buki techniques and training.
Periodically, Utada Kancho offers weekend clinics focused on a particular set of aikido techniques and topics.