"Avoid confrontation, harmonise with the unavoidable and maintain grace under pressure."


 What is Aikido?

Aikido is a non-violent, non-competitive martial art which is Japanese in origin. Aikido training emphasizes timing, distance, and blending with an opponent's force to overcome an attack. It is a highly effective form of self-defence for both women and men.

Where does Aikido come from?

Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883–1969) in the first half of the 20th century on the basis of Daitoryu Jujitsu, a martial art based on sword techniques. Ai stands for Harmony, Ki for the Universal Energy and Do is the Way we are walking. Thus Aikido shows us the way to come in harmony with us, the world and the universal energy.


How do we practise?

In our training, we emphasize maintaining our balance and centre while developing a keen awareness of our surroundings. A person's natural reaction to the extreme stress of an attack is to tense both mentally and physically. Such tension puts the victim of an attack off balance and makes it difficult to respond effectively. One of the central goals of our Aikido training is to learn to lower and relax the body and free the mind from fear during an attack.

Most practice is done with a partner. Each works at his or her own level of ability, alternating as uke (the attacker), and nage (the one who receives the attack). Both roles are stressed as each contributes skills that enhance overall sensitivity and control.

The philosophy behind Aikido

In Aikido it is possible to create a completely new philosophy. Aikido does not have to stop at self-defence. Defence is the same as attack. Aikido is a way to create a situation where it is difficult to attack. If an attack does not happen, defence is not necessary.


Who can practise?

Women and men of all ages can practise Aikido. The classes in the Down Leisure Centre are aimed at adult beginners but more advanced are very welcome.

You don’t need a gi (Judo uniform) at the beginning; to wear clothes in which you can move freely that cover your knees and elbows such as a long-sleeve T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms are fine. Please remove all jewellery and be on time.