EtiketteAikido is very strongly connected with its origins in Japan. Therefore the typical Japanese manners are also cultivated in Aikido training and Japanese terms are used. At the beginning and end of the training, one bows to each other to express mutual respect, as well as to the front of the dojo and, if necessary, to a photo of the founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba.
Shoes are taken off in front of the dojo and it is best to put on slippers (Zoris). Sports bags and valuables can be brought into the hall. The training mats in the dojo (training room) are only entered barefoot (with washed feet) or with stockings without rubber coating on the sole, whereby one bows standing up. At the beginning of the training all Aikidoka line up on the mats in a row and then sit down in a kneeling position. A short meditation follows, which the teacher usually begins with the Japanese word mokuso [moksoo]. The end of the meditation can be announced by the words hai yame [hei jamä], which means 'good, stop'. Afterwards one bows to the honorary side of the dojo. Then the teacher turns to the students and, if necessary, says o-negai shimasu [o negai schimas], which means 'let's start'. The students can also answer with o-negai shimasu [o negai schimas].
First, warm up, loosening and stretching exercises are performed. Afterwards important basic steps and the falling technique are practiced individually in Aikido. The main part of the training time is spent on learning and repeating the Aikido techniques. For this purpose the students sit in a row in knee- or cross-legged position. The teacher selects an uke (attacker) for demonstration and demonstrates the respective technique several times. Then the students practice this technique in pairs, often changing partners. The more experienced Aikidoka starts as Nage (defender), the other one as Uke (attacker), and they constantly change sides. After 4 exercises one changes from uke to nage and vice versa, and one also bows. You should also speak as little as possible during the training.
If an Aikidoka comes later, he bows when stepping on the mat, meditates at the edge, and starts with warm-up exercises at the edge. In no case one should start the training with cold muscles.
At the end of the training session a Randori is occasionally performed, in which the nail (defender) is attacked by several uke one after the other and the nail uses different techniques. Sometimes breathing exercises are also performed. Then the training ends again with a short meditation, which is again announced with mokuso [moksoo], sitting in a row. The teacher thanks the students with a polite thank you domo arigato gosaimashita [domo arigatoo gosaimaschta]. The students thank the teacher for the training also with domo arigato gosaimashita [domo arigatoo gosaimaschta].
To get to know Aikido, normal sportswear is sufficient at first. In order to avoid injuries, any jewellery, arm or neck rings, chains, watches etc. must be taken off during the training. Whoever wants to practice Aikido regularly should wear a white suit, just like in Judo. Depending on the association, there are belts in different colors. In the Shinki Rengo style taught here, there are only white belts and black from the 1st Dan. Advanced Aikidoka can wear a black trouser skirt (Hakama) over the Aikido suit. These Hakama are typical for Aikido and the traditional clothing.
In order to achieve a long service life of the expensive training mats, they must not be walked on with shoes. If the mats are stacked on top of each other, the lowest mat is placed with its rough backside on the floor or the mat trolley. The following mat is laid with its smooth upper side on the mat below. All following mats are always laid on top of each other so that the smooth side is on the smooth side and the rough side on the rough side. In this way the rough sides cannot damage the smooth tops of the mats in the long run. In addition, they do not get dirty so quickly.