Aikido – is a great way of:
• learning to protect yourself
• improving fitness, flexibility and general health
• improving self-confidence
• increasing stamina and speed of reaction
• learning to be more aware
Who can practice Aikido?
Since Aikido techniques do not call for physical strength or aggressive spirit, they can be practised by people off all ages or physical make-up – any age, any sex, any height, any weight – providing they are in good general health.
What will I learn?
Aikido techniques are characterised by flowing movements. The practitioner will learn how to move off the line of an attack, blend with a strike or grab and re-direct its force, often finishing with a throw, lock or pin. Defences against a great many forms of attack are taught. Aikido offers a versatile and effective method of self-defence which may appeal to those for whom the more aggressive or competitive martial arts have less appeal. It can also help people to increase their confidence levels.
How do you practise Aikido?
Aikido is practised in a class with participants working in pairs, taking turns to defend against an agreed attack and performing a particular defensive technique. Great emphasis is placed on the safety of both participants.
What should I wear to practise Aikido?
The only requirements for starting are some loose clothing such as T-shirt and track suit bottoms and a willingness to try it out. If you find you enjoy Aikido then you would buy an inexpensive, white judo suit (dogi).
How do you progress in Aikido?
Aikido, like other martial arts, has a grading system. New students begin by working towards testing for gokkyu (fifth grade). This progresses through to ikkyu (first grade) and then on to shodan (first degree or blackbelt). Aikido has nine dan (degree) grades.