All classes are held in Hales Gym at 180 West Lorain Street in Oberlin, Ohio.
Tuesday and Thursday night are Exco classes. We will start from the very basics at the beginning of each semester — every September and February — and bring students into more intermediate practice as the months continue. Rolling and falling practice every class, basic-to-medium level techniques, and some exposure to weapons. Club members often attend Exco classes as well, both to help their kohai in training, and to learn more themselves. Saotome-sensei says that even he feels like a beginner — so certainly all the rest of us can still benefit from basic classes.
Wednesday night is an advanced class, or "club class" with the Oberlin Aikikai head instructor Andrzej Siwkiewicz-sensei, Sandan. The class is open to all club members: these are the students who have passed through a semester of the Exco or are nominated by Sensei to accelerate their training. The topics of these classes vary from week to week, and include weapons work, advanced ukemi techniques, kaeshiwaza, and other higher level concepts.
Saturday classes, also taught by Andrzej Siwkiewicz Sensei, are open to everyone, but will be slightly faster paced than Exco classes. Exco students are encouraged to attend once they have learned how to roll and fall; your training will reflect the extra effort you put into it. These classes are excellent for beginners and advanced students alike.
In addition to regular classes listed above, the Club organizes annual seminars, conducted by some of the highest ranked instructors in Aikido, such as Hiroshi Ikeda-shihan, who has been coming to teach the May Fair Seminar every year from the beginning of the club's existence. Other instructors teach seminars in the fall and winter. Club members and Exco students should follow the the events page for up-to-date announcements and schedules.
Rank Testing is offered to Exco and Club studentsat the end of each semester. The testing is conducted by the Oberlin Aikikai Head Instructor Andrzej Siwkiewicz Sensei while rank certification for Mudansha ranks (6-1 Kyu) is processed through the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba. Yudansha ranks candidates need to follow an application process determined by ASU to be tested by a designated Shihan or a committee of instructors at the Rokudan level. All students are strongly encouraged to attend the testing sessions of their peers as kohai and senpai. Students may choose to become members of ASU, as a national organization and receive their official rank certificates signed by Saotome Shihan. For more information contact Oberlin Aikikai Head Instructor. You may download the testing requirements information from the handbook (PDF).