|Generally, the word keiko means "training" or "lesson". Literally, the meaning is "reflect old". This means to reflect the old and valuable things or ways. The keiko we practice at De Anza Aikido begins and ends with formal forms of etiquette. Being this is an art of Japanese origin the student will embrace various forms of bowing to one another. Although this is a PE class in a community college we strive to imbue a sense of a traditional dojo (training place). This assists the student with appropriate behavior during classtime, bringing their best self forward, and giving them a basic foundation if they were ever to visit a formal dojo.
Aiki taiso (aiki exercises), otherwise known as "warm-ups", are employed in the beginning of each class just after "bowing in". Warm-ups are designed to assist the student by warming, stretching, moving, and relaxing into patterns and flows relative to that class's subject.
A constant recurrence of ukemi (body reception), specifically falling & rolling skills, is explored and developed throughout the quarter. These are experienced from the ground up. That is, from sitting and rocking positions the student will eventually be falling, rolling, and standing interchangably. The energetic emphasis of Aikido falling skills is on a controlled dissipation of energy that translates into a graceful beauty.