Kansas City Ki Aikido

Register for classes at Merriam Community Center

We meet for class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at:

Merriam Comminity Center
6040 Slater St.
Merriam, Kansas.
913-322-5550

Please contact us at: KC KI Aikido

Kansas City Ki-Aikido

This information is a lot to absorb in a single sitting, so please feel free to take it in bite-size chunks. I suggest you read through it in one pass to get an overview and then go back to get the details.

As you start in Ki Society Aikido classes, the main things you need to bring to class are your focused attention and the right approach.

Pre-requisites:

We have no problem working with people who have disabilities. Anyone who can pay attention and contribute to the class is welcome. If you have health issues or injuries of any sort, let the sensei know and we'll adjust accordingly.

You don't need to buy a uniform (called a gi) to start your practice. Sweats and a tee shirt will work just fine. You need pants that are long enough to cover your knees to protect them from mat burn. We never wear shoes on the mat but you can choose to wear socks if you prefer. However, they can be slippery. When you decide to buy a gi, the Internet offers plenty of sources. We typically wear white, single weave judo gi because they are reinforced for throwing. Karate gi will tear easily.

For safety and out of respect for the other students, no jewelry except wedding rings is allowed. If you can easily take your ring off, I recommend doing that because the ring can cause severe pinching at times. Trim finger and toenails to avoid cutting your classmates. . Please don't wear heavy perfumes or colognes but do use a deodorant. No food, drink or chewing gum to prevent choking hazards. Some of our people wear glasses during practice. They are okay most of the time and you'll know when it's time to remove them.

You learn best when you are in a calm, alert and fully focused on the class. That's part of the reason the dojo (training room) is set up to be almost a blank canvas - fewer distractions. We teach the physical practice of calmness even when in the most difficult circumstances and when in violent motion. Our practice includes meditation, breathing exercises and exercises that help you build calm, centered motion.

Our approach:

Ki Society Aikido is both a mental and physical discipline. We work to coordinate your mind and body.

"Thoughts become words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become our character. Character becomes destiny." - Anonymous

Mind leads body. Before you make any movement, your mind must tell your body to make the movement. This is true for every voluntary movement and also true for involuntary things like heartbeat, breathing and so on. Much of what we do is based on the decisions made at the subconscious level. We practice putting only positive things into our subconscious to build the actions that created practiced skill.

Since Aikido's aim is to improve our lives, we must start at the beginning and work with our thoughts. It is a given that your mind leads your body. We're not equipped to read minds but we can see what your body is doing. We can tell if your posture is centered and balanced. It's obvious if you're trying too hard and not relaxed.

The mind and the body are one thing. This is literally true. We are used to thinking of them as separate but your nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord and all of the peripheral nerves. Your limbic system, which controls how you 'feel' about everything is situated physically in your brain and gut. Your proprioception (sense of where you are in space) and balance depend on your peripheral nerves and your inner ear. In Shin shin toitsu Aikido, we work to fully coordinate your mind and body. Aikido integrates and coordinates all of the parts.

Although it is a traditional Japanese martial art, we use our most current understanding of science and teaching, along with proven traditional methods to help you learn. Along the way you should improve balance, flexibility, stamina and coordination as well as better focus, calmness, self-control and awareness.

Your role:

Come to class prepared and ready to learn. Be present, attentive and focused during class. Participate fully and when you have learned something, be ready to turn around and teach it to someone else. If you can teach it, you understand it and it helps solidify the knowledge.

Immediately after each class, either mentally or in journal form, review what you learned in that class. Take notes if that's your approach. Before you go to bed, do a quick mental review once again. Get enough rest. Get proper nutrition and otherwise take care of yourself. Come to the next class ready to learn again - only this time, be thinking about what you should be learning next and what you need to review.

Learning to move your body is very different from classroom learning. We'll be doing movements that feel very awkward. We focus very hard on getting the basic building blocks into your long-term memory. Expect to feel awkward and clumsy. We all do in the beginning. That is the feeling of your brain rewiring itself.

You will be frustrated with yourself since we try to keep each student in the zone just a little bit beyond your current ability. This helps you learn at your fastest rate. Of course, being challenged also means you'll fail a lot. That's expected. Try to learn a little bit each time something fails and soon you'll be able to move on to something more challenging.

We spend a lot of time and effort to teach you proper falling techniques. This is for your own safety of course but it also is a great way to get a "feel" of a throw or technique. Paying close attention while you are being thrown is a good way to learn how to do the technique yourself.

Prerequisites to learning:

One big hurdle for new students is the awkwardness and frustration. Absolutely everyone who learns a new skill makes a lot of mistakes.

Fail often, learn from the failures. Fail until you have just started to succeed and then move on to learning the next thing. You'll have plenty of opportunity to review and polish your new skills.