Classes are open to all students. Students decide their frequency and amount of practice and thus proceed at their own pace. Training is tailored to individual needs, whether for self-defense, self-confidence, exercise, stress management or philosophy.
The adult classes explore self-development and self-expression. The elements of training in Shishinkan Dojo include the personal elements of Posture, Ki, Breathing and Attitude and the technical elements of Form, Timing, Speed and Power.
Classes for beginners consist of training elements and basic technique to develop body movements and timing, while the advanced classes focus on quantity and quality of technique to develop the proper mind-set. Training eventually goes beyond technique to develop the Self and Spirit.
Classes consist of tai-jitsu (open-hand technique), bokken (wooden sword), jo (wooden staff) and tanto (wooden knife) techniques. Intermediate students are offered a 6-month training program to develop their teaching skills.
Promotion tests are periodically offered to allow students to measure their progress. While there are minimum time requirements for each level, the opportunity to test is not automatic. Promotions are for personal development, not status. The tests are standardized to Aikido Association of America requirements and include consideration for technical proficiency, attendance and attitude.