What Members Should Know
About Our Organization
Kodokan Aikido at Virginia Tech (founded in 1988) has been a part of the community for approximately thirty years in affiliation with Greensboro Kodokan Aikido Dojo. We are a non-profit Registered Student Organization meeting on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. We strive to be a center for the study of the art of Aikido, and practice the art as a "harmonious application of energy to conflicts, challenges and relationships." We also maintain strong ties with Japan and Japanese culture. Our dojo is directly affiliated with the Aikikai Foundation through the Kodokan Aikido Dojo in Okazaki, Japan under the direction of Tadamitsu Tanaka shihan. All of our instructors have been practicing and studying Aikido actively for at least ten (10) years and provide their time and experience on a volunteer basis. Our Chief Instructor is Truman Capone sensei, Yondan (4th degree black belt); our assistant instructors are Jon Harris, Chris Thornton, and Nadine Edwards, and our RSO officers 2018 - 2019 are Kylie Hericks and Ben Janac. Follow the link to learn more about our group's history.
The word dojo literally means “Place of the Way.” The dojo is a place of learning. It is a place to respect, to keep clean and to care for. The dojo is a place to be made special for practicing a special art. In an Aiki-dojo, the observation of basic forms of etiquette is integral to the creation of a respectful and attentive atmosphere conducive to learning. Although there seem to be many forms of etiquette to remember, they will come naturally as you continue to train. Please do not resent it if you are corrected on a point of etiquette, for each one is important to your safety and to the learning experience. You can find a handy listing and a downloadable PDF on our Etiquette page. A more detailed discussion will be available soon as a part of the student handbook.
Dojo Policy on Absence, Lateness, and Cancellations
- If you know you will be late or absent for any reason email the instructor or let them know before the class. If you need an instructor’s email address or phone number feel free to ask them or contact Nadine.
- If you do not plan on returning to class for the rest of the semester, please email or tell one of the instructors as soon as is possible.
- For safety reasons, if you must leave the mat for any reason at all it is important to let the Sensei know.
- All decisions on class cancellation, participation when late, etc will be the decision of the instructor or senior student leading the class. Class may be canceled if less than four members are present.
As a Registered Student Organization and non-profit organization Kodokan Aikido at Virginia Tech, we function as both a club and a dojo. Along with the RSO Officers (President and Treasurer), the Yudansha (black belted members with ranked 1st dan or above) take on various additional responsibilities to help with maintaining the dojo. That said, as a community training in this art of Aikido, all members are responsible for the dojo: i.e., cleaning and maintaining of dojo equipment, and dojo setup with mats along with prompt payment of dues. If you have any questions about a particular aspect of the organization, please do not hesitate to ask the Yudansha or the RSO Officers listed here.
Member dues are structured to remain accessible to the students and the community, encourage students to volunteer to help with RSO-related duties, and to maintain the ability to fulfill our required affiliation obligations: hosting the Kodokan Aikido Japan seminars and testing, and paying to rent university space.
Examinations occur once per semester for 6th kyu and once per year for 5th through 1st kyu. Readiness is evaluated by the Chief Instructor in discussion with the Yudansha based on evidence of understanding Ukemi, Relaxation, Technique, and Etiquette related to the study of Kodokan Aikido. All examinations are performed at the discretion of the Chief Instructor. If you feel you are comfortable with all the requirements (see the electronic student handbook; ask if you do not have a copy) and meet the minimum number of training days, you can submit an application.
Please submit your application at least one (1) month before the end of the semester (end of Spring semester for annual examinations).
Click here for links to our Facebook page, information on affiliate and regional dojos, as well as more information on Aikido.
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