I’m taking a trial lesson… so what’s up?
How nice that you ended up here. You are very welcome and we will be happy to show you around our dojo. Given the crowds prior to the lesson, we have decided to describe in advance what a trial lesson looks like. A real Dojo is something different from a gymnasium or average gym. We recommend that you read the following carefully so that you are well informed before arriving at the dojo.
- It’s simple, but you do have to make an appointment for a trial lesson. We would like to take some time to welcome you and show you around. We may not have time to receive you, or you may find yourself in front of a closed door due to a change in our schedule.
- Please wait for our response, we will answer you quickly, usually within a day or two.
- Aanmelden gaat via ons contactformulier op www.dojothehague.nl/en/ [menu: contact]
- For Aikido, adults are generally welcome on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM. If this does not work out, please let us know and we will look for a solution.
On the day of your visit, we request that you be present 15 minutes before the start of the lesson. Please note: late arrivals can happen, but do not be late for your trial lesson. We will then make a new appointment. Feel free to email us if you can’t make it.
- For those familiar with martial arts, keep in mind that dojos can vary widely. Our etiquette has been carefully considered and is an important part of the Budo principles we adhere to. Just look around, adapt and go with the flow. If it is your first time, the meeting can be quite exciting. This uncomfortable feeling often disappears quickly at the front door. The atmosphere will be friendly and helpful.
“A trial lesson is exploratory and informative in nature. Don’t worry about being in bad shape.
You practice at your own level and do what you can.”
- Gym vs dojo: When entering a dojo it is time to connect with yourself and your environment. You leave the busy, competitive world behind and enter a world of peace and reflection. Feel free to chat, but lower your voice, calm yourself and focus on the lesson. No need to whisper, but don’t be too noisy or busy.
- Once inside; the shoes are taken off in the hallway and placed in the white shoe bins. Do not leave the shoes lying around on the hallway floor. Inside the dojo only socks and bare feet are allowed. No need for slippers. Please note: training with socks on is not allowed.
- Changing room: Change quickly. Do not stay in the changing room longer than necessary. Leave your belongings in an orderly manner. Turn of the sound your mobile phone.
- Once on the mat: Calm yourself and prepare yourself mentally. You don’t have to be super quiet, but focus on the lesson. Do some stretching exercises or meditate a bit. Note: If you really must remain reachable, you may leave your mobile phone in silence mode in the practice hall. Beside that, only a small towel is allowed. Getting off the mat to go to the toilet or drink water is of course allowed, but keep it limited to the necessary. Try not to disrupt the lesson when you leave the mat. Please wait patiently for the right moment. The best moment is just after the teacher has explained something, so just before you start a new exercise. If you want to leave the dojo in between, it is customary that you inform the teacher.
- Duration of the lesson: A trial lesson lasts 1.5 hours, usually from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. After 1 hour at 8:00 PM, the lesson is briefly interrupted so that students can leave the lesson earlier. Those who wish to stay are expected to stay an extra half hour until 8:30 PM.
- Content of the lesson: The lessons may vary greatly depending on the level of the students. In principle the lessons are defined as follows: From 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM basic level, from 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM Intermediate level (executable for everyone) 8:30 PM – 9:00 PM advanced level.
- The first hour of class consists of approximately 5 minutes of breathing, 10 minutes of warm-up, 15 minutes of basic exercise (e.g. rolling, footwork). Followed by 15 to 30 minutes of basic techniques. The next 30 minutes will be basic to intermediate level. Please note: if necessary, we adapt our techniques to your level to ensure that you can fully enjoy yourself.
- On bowing: Lessons start with a bow and end with a bow. By bowing we show respect and gratitude to each other, our materials and the practice space. We are grateful for the opportunity to practice and we promise to give each other our best. To make it a pleasant and educational experience, we need each other and our beautiful dojo to make it happen. As far as we are concerned, bowing has nothing to do with religion, being humble or submissive. We’re too down-to-earth for that. Look at it as a sincere handshake, a high five, a hug, no more than that.
- Proper clothing for a trial lesson: Use sweatpants, sports leggings/yoga pants and a long-sleeved sweater. A T-shirt is too thin and not suitable! Clothing may not have any metal or zippers. A judo or karate suit may be used temporarily. We have a suitable belt if necessary.
- Safety and clothing rules: jewelry such as necklaces, wristbands, watches, earrings, piercings, rings, etc. are not allowed. Fixed earrings, rings or piercings can sometimes be covered with tape. Due to the risk of personal injury and damage to our mats, certain hair clips are also not permitted. Long hair should be worn in a bun. Hairbands may not contain any metal parts. Preferbly use elastic bands. Wearing a special white or black sports hijab is fine if desired. If the jacket does not have strings on the chest, ladies should wear a white or black shirt, sports bra or T-shirt under the jacket.
- WC: Our toilet is unisex. Gentlemen are therefore requested to pee while sitting. Keep the seat clean with the supplied toilet cleaner. According to Japanese custom, you must use the toilet slippers provided in the toilet. This prevents us from standing in the urine with bare feet and then stepping on the mat where we lie with our faces. Always leave the toilet slippers behind in the toilet. Tip: Empty your bladder before class!
- Dojo hygiene: Japanese martial arts and hygiene go hand in hand. In the Netherlands it is said “a tidy house is a tidy mind”. Together we provide a clean, healthy and pleasant environment to practice in. Hygiene is not only a personal but also a social matter. Caring for the dojo means to value eachother and the community. Usually after the last lesson of the day, we clean the hall and the toilet together. This takes just a few minutes.
- Personal hygiene: Think of each other and do your best. Just use clean clothes on the mat. Think of fresh breath but also fresh armpits for example. Nails should be clean and short and please check your toenails. Long nails can be dangerous and are not allowed. Avoid excessive use of perfume, gel, hairspray or makeup that can cause stains, such as lipstick and foundation. During hot days or a long day at work you can freshen up in the courtyard. We will all appreciate it very much. Tip: a small towel, some deodorant, mouth spray and nail clippers maybe useful.
Notes for children:
- We do not teach children under the age of 6.
- For the small and fearful children parents may stay or perhaps even participate. Please contact us.
- Children of 12 years and older can practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and also may join all beginner classes of the adults.