Home About NJ Aikikai Beginning Training
Beginning Your Training

As a white belt (beginner) at the New Jersey Aiki-kai and Budokan you will be drilled in thirty basic hitting techniques.  These involve hand and elbow blows.  Ten basic kicks are also taught during your internship as a white belt.  The art of ukemi waza (falling and rolling techniques or break falling) is stressed to prepare you for the Aikido and Aiki-jujutsu curriculum and for self defense drills.

Blocking, parrying, and stances are an integral part of your training.  The history, philosophy, and tradition of the Martial Arts will be explored along with Japanese vocabulary which is directly related to the Martial Arts.

Fifteen wrist escapes and karate self-defense exercises and one kata will finalize your training and will fulfill the prerequisite for a promotion to yellow belt, providing you pass the necessary tests.  As a yellow belt your training really begins.

At this point in your training you will learn additional kicking techniques, fifteen Aiki-jujutsu waza (techniques) of throwing, restraining, joint-locking, and a myriad of applications and henka (variations) to the techniques.  The waza are practiced cooperatively with a partner in order to simply learn the moves like a kata.  There is no fighting or resistance between partners at this shoden level during technique practice.  Total cooperation is stressed to learn the moves.  The grabbing and holding of the wrist or jacket, although they are actual attacks, should be considered a simulation or a reference point for learning and are used as a springboard for grips, mugging, and punching-attack defenses.

As the defender who is being grabbed, (the thrower or tori) you simply lift your partner's wrist/arm/fist up to face level.  Both practitioners realize that this simulates a possible attack (punch to the head) without the fear and concern for personal safety.  Using your partner as a simulated attacker prepares you for the second stage of waza training, applications.

Now that you know some waza (techniques), you can start applying these moves to real practical attack situations.  This begins your hand to hand combat training.   Now your partner does not grab your wrist or jacket.  After you prearrange a specific attack with your partner, he/she will attack you with that prearranged punch, kick, push, choke, hold, grip, etc. and you must defend yourself by applying one of your waza.  After much practice the applications will be as easy to perform as the first practice position.  Your list of applications will become almost endless.  There are thousands of Aiki-jujutsu techniques, applications, and henka (variations)!  The punching and kicking of karate for attacking and defending will be another aspect of your training.  Spontaneous self defense against guns, knives, sticks, grips, punches, kicks, and multiple man attacks is the ultimate in your training at all levels up to black belt.

Besides throwing, joint-locking, and restraining waza, blocking and counter striking will be emphasized.  You will be drilled in prearranged blocking and counter striking an opponent's attacks (punches and kicks).  Afterwards you graduate to spontaneous blocking and counter striking.  Karate kata will also be taught for discipline, balance, poise, technique, form, stance, strength, mobility, speed, turning, breath control, power, and aesthetics.  Eventually you will also be taught how to use more than one hundred pressure points and over twenty martial arts weapons and how to defend against them.