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Classes, Series & Workshops


Special Discounts

DSBK is committed to making the benefits of Aikido and its practice accessible to the widest possible swath of the community. To that end, we offer special discounts for current college students and active, reservist, retired, or veteran military service members. To find out more and to certify your eligibility, please send us an email.

Newcomers & Visitors FAQs

What is Aikido?
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art which emphasizes blending with an attacker's energy in the performance of self-defense techniques. Since aikido blends with (rather than fights) the incoming energy, great strength or size is not a requirement to successfully utilize aikido techniques. Aikido students learn to "read" the emotional and physical energy of an attacker in order to facilitate the performance of techniques to defend against grabbing, choking, and striking attacks.


Do you offer beginners courses?
Yes. Every other month, we provide a 4-week into series covering Aikido essentials. That said, a beginner can start whenever they want – attend any class to get rollin’. We all wish we had started sooner.


What's involved in training in Aikido?
A normal class is about two hours long and includes:
Stretching and warm-ups
Basic rolling, backward and forward
Ki development exercises
Traditional Aikido techniques


Other areas often included:
Bokken (wooden sword training)
Jo (wooden staff training)
Tanto (wooden knife)


Do women train in Aikido?
Yes! Actually, Aikido is among the most popular martial arts practiced by women. Aikido succeeds not because of muscular strength or power, but with position, timing, blending and grace. Many men have learned to use their size and strength in moments of challenge, while women usually do not have this ingrained learning, thus aikido is particularly suited for women.


What clothes do I need to wear? Do I need to buy a uniform to start?
Traditionally, martial artists train in a gi, which is a two-piece training uniform (loose pants and top tied with a belt). The fabric is durable and takes a lickin’. However, beginners should really only invest in a gi once they’ve tried aikido and love it. So, come wearing workout clothes, activewear, or gym clothes of some kind. Acceptable clothing for a beginner is loose, comfortable sportswear. Longer sleeves and pants are better than tank-tops and shorts. This is mainly for safety - the clothing protects you against mat burns, bumps, and scrapes. Remove jewelry, watches, earrings, rings, hard hair clips and so on before class. Any cuts or wounds should be covered by adhesive tape. Hands and feet should be clean and washed if necessary. Nails trimmed.

Definitely bring a water bottle and a readiness to laugh and have a great time working with excellent people.

Where can I get a gi?

Check out our Resources for potential websites where you can order a gi and/or additional training gear.

Always buy a gi too large! They shrink a lot! Initially, the sleeves should cover your hands right to the fingers. The pants should drag on the ground. Some suppliers offer pre-shrunk gi. Always check with them on their recommended sizing chart.

When do I get to wear the black skirt?
At the Shin Budo Kai dojos, the black skirt, Hakama, is worn by men and women when they reach 3rd kyu level, about 2+ years of regular training.

How long does it take to get a black belt?
A similar question would be 'How long does it take to learn to play the piano?' Having said that, a student who trains seriously might be nominated to test for the black belt grading, shodan, after five years or so.

Is there a minimum age to start?
We offer a kids’ aikido class for littles ages 8 and up. All other classes are for adults, ages 18 and up.

Is there a maximum age to start?
No. Speak to your instructor if you think you may be too old to start training. Obviously, you need to have the physical capability to exercise vigorously.

Is Aikido fake?
An Aikido throw can look so improbably smooth and effortless that it is easy to believe that it is faked. It isn't -- it's physics.

The laws of physics are as strictly enforced at Aikido schools as they are at ski slopes. If you have ever been a beginning skier, you know from painful experience just how devastating those forces can be. Saying that the attacker fell down "for" the Aikidoist is like saying that the beginning skier fell down "for" the mountain.

The advanced skier has learned to use these forces; a small shift in weight or position determines whether the skier crashes into a tree or swooshes effortlessly through a turn and down the slope. An accomplished skier flying across the snow is as improbable to the frustrated beginner as an accomplished Aikidoist flying across the mat --- but neither one is faking.

Does Aikido really work? It’s too much like dancing…
What is dancing? It is controlled, continuous motion. Watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the two moving in harmony, whirling around the floor in perfect control. What would have happened if Fred had let go of Ginger at a critical moment, she would have gone flying across the room and fallen. What happens when the Aikidoist lets go of an attacker at a critical moment? The attacker goes flying across the room and falls.

Yes, it is like dancing. Yes, it works.

Still have more questions? Contact us!

"I think aikido is the most difficult of all the martial arts to learn. Its demands for skill, grace and timing rival those of classical ballet." – Physicist Jearl Walker

"The genius of Aikido is to transform the most violent attack, by embracing it, into a dance." – George Leonard.

Regular Weekly Class Schedule

Regular Classes

Monday Aikido 6-8 pm

Sensei: Mark Winkworth
Open to all levels (beginner to advanced). Adults ages 18+

Wednesday Ki Class 5-6 pm

Sensei: Steve Self 
Open to all levels (beginner to advanced). Adults ages 18+

Wednesday Aikido 6-7 pm

Sensei: Steve Self 
Open to all levels (beginner to advanced). Adults ages 18+

Thursday Aikido 6-8 pm

Sensei: Mark Winkworth
Open to all levels (beginner to advanced). Adults ages 18+

Saturday Flow Aikido 8-9 am

Sensei: Steve Self
By instructor invitation only. Adults ages 18+

Saturday Weapons 9-10 am

Sensei: Mark Winkworth
Bokkendo and jodo. Open to all levels (beginner to advanced). Adults ages 18+

Saturday Aikido 10-11 am

Sensei: Mark Winkworth
Open to all levels (beginner to advanced). Adults ages 18+

Sunday Aikido 2-4 pm

Sensei: Philip Riffe
Open to all levels (beginner to advanced). Adults ages 18+

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