How do I get started?


Getting started is easy. The first step is to come by and watch a class or schedule a free introductory private lesson with one of our professionally trained instructors.  You can do this by signing up on our home page.  Someone will contact you shortly thereafter.


Can I really do Aikido?


Yes. If you can walk up and down a flight of stairs, you can do Aikido. We teach the beginner three basic techniques from which the entire art of aikido is derived. ASNJ helps you to build a foundation that will give you clear direction in meeting your practice goals.


What if I am out of shape and uncoordinated?


Compassion is at the heart of Aikido practice. At ASNJ, we know what its like to be a beginner. We’ve all been there. Everyone makes progress at a different pace. ASNJ allows you to learn at your own pace and to take the next step only when you’re ready.


How long will it take to learn Aikido?


The time it takes to learn Aikido depends on how proficient you would like to become. After your very first class you will know how to blend with an attack, do a basic self defense technique and you will have taken a significant step towards physical fitness and clarity of mind. To become a black belt takes on average 4 years.


How often should I practice?


Most people see steady improvement practicing 2 or 3 times per week. The more you practice, the greater the benefits to your health, ability to focus and self-defense. If you can practice every day, you’ll make faster progress. Practice as often as you can.


How good are the instructors at ASNJ?  


Richard M. Stickles has been practicing and teaching Aikido and its related arts for over 40 years, and is one of the few full-time Aikido teachers in the United States. Sensei Stickles is certified as Shihan (Master Teacher) by the United States Aikido Federation and the World Aikikai Foundation (Tokyo). He is one of only a handful of teachers appointed Shihan outside Japan. A 7th-degree black belt, Sensei Stickles is one of the highest-ranking and most senior traditional Aikido teachers in the country.


ASNJ has an instruction staff of over 20 instructors who have been personally trained by Shihan Stickles.  In addition, as resident instructors, ASNJ has instructors teaching from New York Aikikai, Aikido of Red Bank, Newark Aikido, and Long Beach Island Aikikai.  Visiting instructors from around the country give special seminars on a regular basis.


Is Aikido about learning to fight?


No. While you will gain practical self-defense skills, the main goal of Aikido is to bring compassion, sincerity and self-scrutiny into all your daily interactions. Aikido training promotes health, self-reflection and personal empowerment. In aikido you become the person that nobody wants to attack.


What should I wear while practicing?


Until you get your uniform, you may practice in long sleeve clothes that you feel comfortable exercising in, that cover your elbows and knees.


If I become a member of ASNJ, will I be practicing with children?


No. The adult and children’s programs are completely separate. We do occasionally have events where parents get on the mat and practice with their children.


Can I shower after class?


Yes.  ASNJ has shower facilities.