Frequently Asked Questions

kaiten-nage_gavinWhat time should I arrive for practice?

Arrive for practice 15-20 minutes before the start time. This will allow time to prepare the dojo and for you to get changed.

What should I wear for practice?

Most beginners wear lose clothing (tracksuit or T-shirt and jog pants). Most people who have been practising for several weeks or months invest in an Judo/Aikido suit, known as a do-gi. A do-gi can be purchased on-line or at a sports shop. They can vary in price dependent upon the quality and weight of the fabric.

How fit do I need to be to practice Aikido?

It is not critical to be able to lift heavyweights or run a marathon to practice Aikido. Fitness levels need to moderate as we encourage people to practice at their own pace and ability. It is, however, important that you let the class instructor (or Sensei) know if you have any specific medical conditions or medication requirements before you begin practicing.

What does it cost to practice Aikido? Will I be insured against any injuries?

The £25 yearly fee covers individual insurance against injury. Details of levels of cover are available on request. All instructors are covered by indemnity insurances.

What kinds of things will I learn at the lesson?

Generally, the class instructor (Sensei) will demonstrate a technique or movement, which the whole class will practice. You will then find a partner and taking turns you will practice the technique on each other. You will experience initiating an attack; performing a defensive movement against an attack and then a full counter technique to the attack. There will be a degree of physical contact with your partner, you will be taught controlling applications from grabbing and striking situations. Aikido techniques can include arm locking and throwing applications. During the course of a lesson you may also get to practice with wooden swords (bokken), spears (jyo) and knives (tanto)

Who will be teaching me?

Any one of the two ‘black belt’ level instructors listed in the instructors section of this website. Each instructor will have a slightly different view on Aikido which will enhance your understanding of the Martial Art.

What is the grading system?

Generally a beginner will start with a red belt. After completing a grading (examination) you can progress to the next grade 6th kyu or white belt. After the successful completion of the next grading you will progress to 5th kyu or yellow belt. Then 4th kyu or orange belt, 3rd kyu green belt, 2nd kyu blue belt, 1st kyu brown belt then onto black belt or sho-dan.

What do I have to do in a grading?

Please refer to the grading syllabus section of this site and enjoy the clips in the Techniques section. For detailed information, please contact one of the instructors.

How long does it take to reach the level of black belt?

Generally, it takes about 5 years. Some people are quicker and others slower – it really depends on you,  how much you practice, how well your mind and body adapts and how well you understand Aikido techniques and principles.