Phase 4 Training (revised January 30, 2021)


The State of Illinois has announced that our geographic region is now in "Phase 4: Revitalization". Previous government rules required that health clubs (including martial art schools like the Prairie Aikiai) remain closed. Under the Phase 4 guidance, however, martial arts schools like the Prairie Aikikai can reopen holding only non-contact, indoor training provided that social distancing is maintained, students wear masks, and sanitation practices are followed.

For the next few weeks we will be proceeding slowly and cautiously to best ensure that we are able to implement the State's safety guidance while also providing a quality Aikido experience. We will resume training on Saturday, January 30th on the following schedule:


Saturdays 9:000am - 10:00am Warm-ups/Taisos and Individual Weapons Class
Mondays 7:00pm - 8:00pm Warm-ups/Taisos and Individual Skills Class
Thursdays 7:00pm - 8:00pm Warm-ups/Taisos and Individual Skills Class


We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation in our county, the State of Illinois, and nationwide. In preparation for Saturday’s indoor class we have posted signage, social distancing markers, and created a sanitation station (and will have sanitizing solutions) as recommended by both the State and the CDC. The locker rooms will be closed (until further notice), nd we will be changing the start of class procedures to allow for screening (see below).


In the event that in person classes are not well attended, or should the State or County at any time in the future issue revised safety guidelines, we are also investigating holding classes via Zoom. While not the same as in person classes, getting together via Zoom might allow us a chance to train and visit for a bit. Further information on potential Zoom classes will be forthcoming on this website, via e-mail, and on our Facebook page.



Training Specifics


  1. Any student who is currently showing any of the signs or symptoms of COVID-19 illness (including, but not limited to,: fever, cough, shortness of breath), or lives in a household where someone is (or has recently) experienced these symptoms, or has recently been exposed to someone who has become ill, should NOT attend or participate in Aikido training.


  2. Students (and visitors) should park as normal in the parking spaces either in front of the dojo or along the side of the driveway to the west of the dojo.


  3. All persons (except those from a single family riding together in the same car) should follow six (6) foot social distancing guidelines, including wearing appropriate face coverings, before, during and after training classes and at all times inside the dojo.


  4. All students should arrive at the dojo dressed in their gi (or other training clothes). Because our locker rooms are quite small all locker rooms will remain closed at this time. All students should also wear clean socks while on the mat -- no bare feet will be allowed anywhere in the dojo.


  5. Upon entering the dojo an Instructor will take each person's temperature (using a contactless infrared thermometer) and will ask each student a series of questions (as suggested by the State of Illinois and the CDC). Students (and any family or friends either traveling with the student or living in the same household) having a temperature above 100.4F, or asnwering positively to any of those questions, will be asked to go home and wait at least 14 days, and be symptom free, before returning to training.


  6. There will be a non-contact automatic dispensing hand sanitizer station available containing a minimum of 70% alcohol-based sanitizer. Each person entering the dojo will be asked to either wash their hands in the restroom (using the pump soap and paper towels) or to sanitize their hands with hand sanitizer from the dispenser station, as their first action in the dojo (after removing shoes).


  7. There will be a small bucket of Quaternary Ammonium sanitizing solution, and a clean wet rag, in the dojo which can be used to wipe down any equipment before and after use. Quaternary Ammonium solutions, also called “quats”, is safe on skin and effectively and quickly kills the COVID-19 virus — along with most every other pathogen — without a strong odor, leaving any residue, or discoloring or damaging clothing. Quats is the sanitizing solution most commonly used in restaurants and food service establishments (rather than bleach) due to its safety around people and food.


  8. After washing hands all students will be asked to find a socially-distanced marked "square" on the mat and move into that square. These squares are a minimum of eight feet by eight feet in size, allowing sufficient social distancing between students. Members of the same family traveling together should choose squares adjacent to each other, and will be allowed to congregate with family members across squares, if desired, prior to the beginning of each class. When not within a training square each person needs to maintain at least six feet of social distancing from all other non-family members.


  9. During training we will be following the State recommended distancing guideline between persons. Due to the size of the dojo and the amount of mat space available no more than nine (9) students will be allowed in the dojo at any one time. While we don't expect that to be a problem it is important that you notify (via e-mail or text) an Instructor prior to each class you are planning to attend.


  10. Please bring your own water (or sport drink) and towel. The dojo restroom will be open for use, but all drinking cups have been removed. Soap, water and paper towels will be available in the bathroom.


  11. Please bring your own weapons to each class. If you do not own the appropriate weapon for that day's class a loaner weapon will be available for your use in the dojo (each loaner weapon will be sanitized before and after every class).


  12. The instructor(s) will take attendance at the beginning of each class (there will be no self-sign-in sheets). It will be expected that students are paid in full for each class prior to the start of that class (see Other Information below).


  13. Please communicate any special needs to any of the instructors. We will do our best to help ensure that you have a meaningful and enjoyable training experience!



Other Information


  1. To ensure each person's safety classes will start PROMPTLY at the indicated time. It is important that each person arrive at least ten minutes prior to the start of each class. Students arriving after class has started must wait just inside the door of the dojo for an Instructor to recognize them.


  2. The costs underling the Annual Dues (insurance, international association membership, dojo membership), Promotion Fees (certificate, belt, and international promotion registration), and Practice Fees (monies paid to help maintain the dojo) have not changed throughout this crisis. Since we will only be practicing once each week (to start), students will only be asked to pay the $4 per person per practice fee. Monthly (and longer) terms, as well as discounts associated with paying for longer terms, will be temporily suspended. This change will result in each student paying the least amount possible based on the once-a-week schedule we are currently able to offer. Monthly (and longer) term funds paid prior to the closing will be held (unless a refund is specifically requested) and applied to future training once the Prairie Aikikai resumes a more regular schedule.


  3. Going forward we would prefer to reduce (and, if possible, eliminate) all cash handling. If possible all members are encouraged to setup a cashless payment method. The dojo accepts numerous cashless payment methods, and can process either prepaid monthly (or longer) payments or once-a-month billing for per-practice payments (based on actual attendance). You are encouraged to talk with an Instructor about setting up a contactless payment method.


  4. Finally, it is necessary (at least, according to our attorney) to remind everyone that, while the Prairie Aikikai will take resaonable precautions (as recommended by the State of Illinois and the Centers for Disease Control) to keep everyone safe and healthy during practice, we cannot guarantee that you (or your family members) will not contract COVID-19 when training at the Prairie Aikikai (or as a result of traveling to the dojo for training, or traveling home after training). Each member (or their legal guardian) has been required to agree to and already signed a "Release, Consent and Assumption of Risk Statement" before being allowed to participate in any training at the Prairie Aikikai. This document contains the following paragraph:


    • I understand that, as a member and/or participant, or the legal guardian of a member and/or participant, or as an observer/visitor, that the practice of any martial art, including those taught during Aikido classes, requires physical contact and that all kinds of injuries, including serious bodily injury, communicable diseases, partial or total disability, paralysis, and even death may occur. These risks and dangers may be caused by me, my training partner(s), others who are training or doing any other activity around me, instructors, or by the Prairie Aikikai. I understand that as a result of the risks both known or unknown, that there is also a potential for severe social and economic losses and damages which could result from my participation in or observation of Aikido. I expressly and voluntarily assume all risks of injury, illness, death or any social or economic damage or loss sustained while traveling to, participating in or observing, or traveling from Aikido training. I understand that this Release, Consent and Assumption of Risk Statement is in effect from the moment I arrive until the moment I leave the facility where classes are held, including all travel to and from the facility, even if I am not training when something happens.

      We have been advised by our insurance agent that the excess medical and life insurance carried by the Prairie Aikikai for the benefit of our students does NOT cover COVID-19. You should not engage in any activities at the Prairie Aikikai if you are uncomfortable with assuming these risks, including the potential risk of illness by COVID-19, even with the efforts being taken to minimize the likliehood of illness transmission before, during, or after training classes by the Prairie Aikikai and its Instructors.