Training

Aikido training is carried out in an atmosphere of co-operation, mutual respect and fun; not competition. Teaching someone a technique offers as much opportunity for learning to the teacher as it does the student. In co-operation everyone learns and grows.

Initially training once or twice a week should provide you with the opportunity to learn and progress at a steady rate. Later in your training you may wish to train more regularly. We offer two classes a week, however training at other dojos is encouraged. You can find out more about other dojos through the links at the bottom of the page.

You don't need to own a Gi (training uniform) until your first grading. Until then it's fine to wear loose comfortable clothing, something that you can roll in. You also don't need to purchase any weapons until you've tried out Aikido and decided whether it's for you.

Beginners train with the rest of the class and senior students are encouraged to train with the beginners to help their progression. During class seniors and beginners will sometimes be split up to concentrate on areas of training more appropriate for their respective levels.

Students progress at their own pace. Instructors will inform a student when they are ready to grade to their next level.

Students practicing

We make use of a range of training practices to teach Aikido techniques.

We teach Waza which means exercise or technique. Waza are the underlying movements of the technique and can be practiced without the assistance of a partner. Some Waza and stretching exercises have been grouped together to present a set of practice exercises that are commonly used for warming up before training and practicing away from the dojo.

Most training takes place in the form of Kata. Students pair off and practice the particular technique that the Sensei is teaching. In this form of practice one student takes the role of aggressor (Uke) and provides a specific attack to the student practicing the technique (Nage). The two students alternate roles during training.

Kata Training

Another form of training are the Taigi. Each Taigi consists of a group of techniques. The Taigi are usually practiced by a pair of students with one providing a series of specific attacks and the other demonstrating a set of specific defences. Taigi allow students to practice moving fluidly from one technique to another and to learn how to blend with an aggressor's energy in a more dynamic environment then Kata.

We also train with weapons. We use the Jo (short, wooden staff), Boken (wooden sword) and Tanto (wooden knife). We use weapons to learn to extend Ki though an object and also to learn techniques to defend ourselves from attack with a weapon.

The most dynamic form of training we use is called Randori. In this form of training one student defends themselves from attack by multiple aggressors. This form of training generally involves two to five attackers. In this form of training a student has the opportunity to practice in an extremely dynamic environment and to employ the tactics they have been taught to deal with multiple attackers.

Kata Training 2nd image

Our training consists of both martial techniques and Ki development. We refer to this side of training as mind and body co-ordination.

Mind and body co-ordination is taught and graded by means of Ki Tests. These are physical tests designed to demonstrate the state of your mind and your Ki extension. Ki tests are taught in general class and in that circumstance present more of a Ki development exercise then a "test".

Mind and body co-ordination is central to our practice of Aikido. In fact the martial techniques are viewed as a dynamic and intense environment in which to practice mind and body co-ordination and learning a system of self-defence is merely a by-product of dedicated practice.

Mind and Body Co-ordination Test

Beginners can expect to begin receiving instruction in Ukemi in their first lesson. Ukemi is the collective name for the range of falling techniques used to avoid injury during training and consists of methods of rolling and break falling. Because training involves throwing and being thrown, learning to roll and fall safely and confidently is essential.

A range of different meditation and breathing exercises are taught in our dojo. Some of them focus on relaxation, others on healing and cleansing and some on awareness and personal development. These exercises can help a person learn greater self-discipline, remove bad habits and help focus the mind on the present untroubled by extraneous thoughts. They help develop a person's awareness of themselves and the world around them.

Those who practice regular meditation and breathing exercises enjoy improved general health, concentration, relaxation, awareness and actively improve their ability to use and control their Ki.

Meditation picture