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Frequently Asked Questions


Aikido is a powerful, non-competitive martial art based totally on Self Defense and Assault Prevention. The main principle is using an opponents energy of their intention to avoid and/or control an attack(er).

If a potential victim can avoid being hurt in the first moment, then the possibility of getting control of the attacker exists and then once they have control, then they will have the choice of peaceful reconciliation and compassion… this above all is the goal and vision of Aikido.


More information can be found here.


Aikido can be practiced by people of all ages.

At Makoto Dojo children begin their training at or around 4 years old. Children are generally separated by age up to about 17 years of age (i.e. 4-6; 7-9;10-12; 13-17) and then those teens, after turning 17 or 18, join the adult classes if their maturity allows it.

In the adult classes, there is no age limit, but their capabilities will depend totally on their physical health and endurance.


For more information about the different classes at Makoto Dojo, please visit our class schedule.

People need to find ways of being part of the solution, rather than being part of the problem!

Makoto Dojo provides the teachings of Aikido, which empowers every student with the courage to be different and the creative thinking to make good choices!

Of all the martial arts in the world, Aikido is the most valuable for women.

The reasoning for this is that in the real world, in a power to power struggle, the bigger power will always win. Since Aikido is non-competitive and utilizes the principle of going with the flow of an attacker’s power and intention, women who are generally the smaller power have a greater chance of controlling a stronger attacker.

That said, women treated as equals in the Aikido dojo and not treated as inferior and weak, ultimately being relegated to a women’s category of competition, apart from a man’s category of competition, as you will find in most any other competitive martial art.

“Aikido wa bushido de aru!” which translates to “Aikido is the way of the warrior”.

This is a statement from the Founding Father of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.

A popular reason Aikido remains non-competitive today is not because it has a more peaceful philosophy, but because in real life outside of the Dojo (training hall), there are no rules when it comes to a violent attack.

There are certainly laws that govern decent behavior in most civilized societies, but rapists, child molesters and other criminals with violent mindsets do not care about laws.

If you were to put rules into the practice of Aikido and make it competitive, it would soon become just like all the rest and lose it vialbility in the real world.

Aikido is unique in that we build that iconic Japanese bridge between the theory of the Dojo and the reality we must live in. In general, if a teacher cannot relate what they practice and say in the Dojo to the outside reality, there is no point in practicing Aikido!

If a student can become skilled in dealing with and understand real violence, then that same student can truly become kindness, compassion, honesty and integrity.

Aikido is a non-competitive martial art, so there are no competitions in Aikido.

That said, there have been instructors that have done their best to create a competitive version of Aikido. As a result, one might find an Aikido competition somewhere in the world. However, one must also remember that any competitive version is not, nor ever will be, sanctioned or supported by the Aikido World Headquarters.

It has long been the tradition of Aikido to support both empty handed training along with weapons training.

The most popular and traditional weapons used in Aikido training are the Tanto (knife), Jo (short wooden staff) and the Bokken (wooden sword). However, it would not be doing justice to Aikido if we limited the possibilities to only these weapons.


Generally, any martial arts student may say that their martial art is better than any other martial art. This of course is very personal and any student will ultimately have to believe in whatever martial art they are practicing in order to gain the most that it has to offer.

Choosing a martial art will depend on what the student wishes to accomplish in their training. If a student wishes to compete and win a truck load of trophies, Aikido is not the place to do that.

However, if a student wishes to become more intuitive, self-confident, kinder, more compassionate, honest and able to keep their word, then Aikido is the perfect martial art for them.

Makoto Aikido:

Makoto Aikido is most closely related to the Aikido taught and practiced by Shihan Larry Reynosa at Makoto Dojo School of Aikido located in Ventura, CA, USA.

However, he will be the first to encourage any reader to understand that any instructor of Aikido is going to have their unique outlook on the teachings of Aikido and could potentially call their Aikido anything they want and still represent the great qualities and goals of what is popularly called traditional Aikido.

More information about Makoto Aikido can be found on the official website.

People often ask this question, and the best answer is that a student must realize that any instructor of Aikido has their own unique style and although we teach the same martial art doesn’t mean we teach it the same way.

Generally speaking, a student needs to stay open to the teaching of whichever teacher they are training with and if it fits with their heart and mind, then learn as much as you can, for as long as you can.

Makoto Dojo:

A student should join Makoto Dojo if they want to learn how Aikido can be used in daily life. A goal of Makoto Aikido is that we build a bridge from the theory of the dojo to the reality that a student must live in each day.

If what you are learning in the dojo cannot deal with the level of violence we find in the street, then there is no reason to do Aikido.


Aikido is a true martial art and at Makoto Dojo, instead of training as it was in the past, we want to train as it needs to be in the present!

At Makoto Dojo we offer different classes for toddlers (age 4-6), children (age 7-12), teens (age 13-17) and adults. In addition to these classes there are also special weapon classes using a short staff (jo), wooden sword (bokken) and a variety of classes dedicated to the disarming of weapons such as knives, blunt weapons and guns.

The special weapons classes are open to older children and adults.

For more information about the classes please take a look at our class schedule and click on the class you are interested in to get more information.

At Makoto Dojo we offer different classes from Monday to Saturday.

There are classes for toddlers (age 4-6), children (age 7-12), teens (age 13-17) and adults. 

In addition to these classes there are also weapon classes for adults and teens.


For more information about the classes and times, please take a look at our class schedule.

All classes are held at Makoto Dojo School of Aikido, Inc., 3026 Telegraph Road, Ventura, CA 93003, Ph: 877-641-0447


For individual driving directions, please take a look at our contact page

At Makoto Dojo we have a great program for toddlers, children and teens. 

We have individual classes for each age group in order to teach them appropriately for their age.


For more information about the classes and times, please take a look at our class schedule.

The majority of the classes are taught by Shihan Larry Reynosa.

However, on Friday evenings the Young Adult weapons class is often taught by a senior student and the Saturday classes are most often taught by senior students under Shihan Reynosa.

Due to insurance policies, we typically do not allow a student to be on the mat training without a properly filled out and signed application waiver of liability.

Realistically, a student is better off just watching a class from the back of the dojo in order to observe the teachings, rather than being on the mat and struggling through things they don’t understand.

A visiting student is always welcome to ask questions before and/or after a class.

All introductory fees must be paid and submitted along with a properly filled out and signed application that includes a refund statement and waiver of liability statement.

A student may join at any time as Makoto Dojo School of Aikido is a year round school.

Appointments may be made by calling or sending an email or you may just show up at a regularly scheduled class time.

First you will meet with the Chief Instructor and he will explain the possible ways of becoming a member.

He will provide you with a worksheet that will clearly show the details of your new membership.


There is a discount for introductory memberships and in many cases, this will involve more than one family member, e.g. two siblings or a parent and their child.

The second person enrolling will receive a 20% discount at the time application is completed.


Please contact or visit us for further pricing information.

If you find your question missing, send it to us an we will answer it as soon as possible.