Training at Shin Budo Kai is a blend of aikido instruction, ki training, and the study of various weapons kata. Ours is a traditional dojo, yet we put a strong emphasis on welcoming the beginner and making sure that he/she learns in an ego-free, friendly environment.
Aikido training involves two or more people working together in practicing a technique. Unlike some other martial arts, there is no sparring or actual fighting during practice, but rather, a rigorous cooperative training. The person performing an aikido technique is called the nage. The person who "receives" the technique is called the uke. So in a typical aikido class, you'll spend half your time performing techniques, and the other half receiving them - both roles having equal importance in the learning process.
Training at Shin Budo Kai has many advantages. First and foremost is that Imaizumi Sensei personally teaches every evening class, with very rare exception. Additionally, beginning students train with advanced students from the very start, so if - or more likely when - you're confused by a technique or have a question, chances are you'll be training with someone qualified to help you figure it out. As you learn and progress, you'll find there's a level of challenge that's right for you at any given point in your training. We offer a safe, respectful environment for beginners, a challenging, intensive environment for the advanced student, and everything in between. Beginning students are welcome to start training in sweats and a t-shirt. However, once committed to training, students should wear a judo gi (traditional martial arts uniform). Upon reaching the rank of 3rd kyu, students must wear a hakama, the traditional Japanese pleated black garment.
There are many different styles of Aikido. Here are two references with good explanations of the stylistic differences in Aikido and where Shin Budo Kai fits in: