Information for Beginners

Aikido does not depend on physical strength, it is especially attractive to children, women, and older people. The real purpose of Aikido training is to strengthen the quality of the student's life. There are many reasons for practising Aikido. Aikido improves physical conditioning, concentration, and mental clarity. It is a practical self-defence and helps develop balance and co-ordination.

Can I watch a class before joining?

The YMCA Aikido Club encourages everybody to watch a class to see what goes on. Practices are being held in dance studio which has a sitting area. Please remember that the start of any class is unlikely to be very spectacular, consisting mainly of a warm-up and basic exercises. Also be aware that no two classes are the same, the content and level of activity will vary from class to class as the instructor sees fit.

What will I need to do before my first class?

You will need to join the United Kingdom Aikikai - this will automatically provide you with insurance cover for Aikido practice. Fill in the form provided UKA membership and pay the annual membership fee before your first practice. Make sure that you have something suitable to train in. If you have previously practiced some other form of martial art (karate or judo etc.) you may have a keikogi which will be suitable. If you haven't got a keikogi something like track-suit trousers and a tee-shirt are Ok. Please don't wear jeans, they tend to be stiff and difficult to move in and, if they are rivetted, downright dangerous! Remove any jewellery and make sure that your finger and toe nails are cut short. If you have long hair provide some method of tying it up (no hair clips). This is for your own safety as well as that of your training partners.

If you have any special medical problems, do make sure that the instructor is aware of them. If you carry an asthma inhaler for instance, bring it into the dojo with you and make sure that someone else knows where it is.