- Suitable for all – Aikido does not rely on strength so it can be performed equally well by men and women, young and old, and big and small.
- Train at your own pace – Students are supported to progress at the pace that is within their individual capacity and capability.
- Safety is paramount – Student safety is a key issue on the training mat and students always have the option to decline to participate in any activity.
- Structured program – New students are individually supported in their preparation for each of the six gradings that eventually lead to the awarding of a black belt.
- Meditative practices – Training includes seated meditation and breathing practices and well as self-defence techniques.
Aikido offers a useful metaphor for shifting our way of thinking and acting in everyday life. Using Aikido we are able to experience the resolution of physical conflicts and actual body attacks through harmonisation and without the use of unnecessary force. Attacks are neutralised without injury. Life is protected and nurtured. When we experience this unique approach working effectively at the physical level, we are much more able to let go of solidified beliefs and inappropriate patterns of reaction in our everyday lives.
When you introduce yourself you will be briefed on what to expect during the lesson. This includes the courtesies exchanged (e.g. bowing), and, if time permits, a senior student will show you some of the exercises prior to the class. You will be asked to provide your contact details, sign a copy of the Student Code of Conduct, fill out an indemnity, and you will have the opportunity to discuss any health conditions that might be relevant to your training.
Classes are dynamic and include seated, paired and group activities. Aikido practice is sometimes called the science of freedom through its focus on:
- Mind and body coordination
- Unification and harmonisation
- Peaceful resolution of physical conflict
- Mindfulness in our everyday lives
It may all seem a bit strange at first – the mind/body exercises look a little unusual and it will take 4-6 weeks before your mind and body make much sense of the techniques. Just remember – everybody on the mat with you had a first night/week/month etc. They know exactly what you are experiencing and will without exception be friendly and helpful. There are no egos or attitude on the mat or off it. Everyone is a beginner.
There is no requirement whatsoever to memorise or to “get right” anything taught during a lesson. Instead, the learning method is to let knowledge sink in over time, revisiting material in the knowledge that you will learn more each time.
There are no expectations whatsoever placed upon you, except to smile a lot and enjoy yourself.
There is no requirement to purchase any uniform until after your first grading, so you are welcome to wear regular clothing while you try it out. Just wear any sort of soft and comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your range of movement.
Please see the Contact page for details regarding class location and schedule.