Frequently Asked Questions

What is aikido? +

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba. Aikido literally means “the way of harmony”; today aikido is most often described as a non-violent, peaceful art. In a recent survey of our members, we’ve learned that people practice aikido for many different reasons, from self-defence to spiritual enlightenment! (see below: ‘Why train in aikido?’). Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking, but rather on using your opponent’s own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away. The basic idea of aikido is to control a situation without fighting. Force is never met with force; instead, energy is diverted back upon the attacker by means of circular movements. As well as practising open hand techniques, students also train with weapons such as the Jo (staff), Bokken (sword) and Tanto (knife). Aikido is perhaps the most subtle and graceful of all the martial arts. Since aikido techniques do not demand physical strength or aggressive spirit, it is practised by people of all ages and sizes.

Where did aikido come from? +

Traditional aikido was developed during the early 1900’s by Morihei Ueshiba (usually referred to as ‘O-Sensei’, meaning ‘honoured teacher’). Aikido has its roots in ju-jitsu and many other ancient Japanese martial arts. There was a rapid development of aikido after 1945 and it is now practised by more than 1.5million people worldwide. Today the headquarters of aikido is still based in Japan at the Hombu Dojo and is led by the grandson of O-Sensei, Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu.

Why train in Aikido? +

There are many reasons why people train in aikido. In a recent survey of our own Club members, we found that there is a wide range of motivations:

  • To improve personal fitness, lose weight, become more flexible
  • To meet new people
  • To increase self-awareness
  • To learn effective self-defence
  • To improve self confidence
  • To help with spiritual growth

Whatever the reasons, individuals find a certain solidarity and belonging within aikido; it’s something that matters a great deal at Keihatsu Club and we welcome people from all walks of life, whatever age or level of physical fitness.

Who can practise aikido? +

Anyone can practise aikido. We have junior classes (children from age 8 to 14) and adult classes (from 14 upwards). We know that childrens’ physiologies are different from adults; their bones, muscles and joints are still in development when young and our junior classes take this into account with a unique syllabus and teaching style for this group.

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