What is aikido?
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that evolved out of the older schools of Japanese martial arts. It is a distillation of various practices, including weapon ones, and its main influence has been from Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujitsu and kenjutsu (the parent art of modern kendo).
What is involved in training?
Being a grappling art for the most part, one is expected to practice with a partner or in groups. A degree of joint flexibility helps the practitioner safely receive the locks and pins that are common in a training session. Training begins with a series of warm ups and basic techniques and rolls. As the class progresses, the techniques become more involved. Class ends with meditation practice to calm the mind down.
Why are weapons used in training?
Weapons are used for both historical and teaching reasons. As most Japanese martial arts involve the use of weapons, knowledge of them provides an insight into many techniques. The weight of a weapon also forces the student to use the proper muscle groups to generate power more efficiently.
Who can practice aikido?
Anyone can pick up aikido. There is no limit on age. Being one of the few non-competitive martial arts, there are no weight divisions and tournaments. Participants in a class simply pair up with a partner and do the techniques demonstrated by the instructor. Group practice is also included to give the practitioner a sense of space management when faced with multiple partners.
Will I experience muscle soreness after training?
As with all physical exercise, some discomfort will occur in the muscles and ligaments. These usually subside within a week. Their frequency diminishes also as your body gets used to the unusual movements. Areas to expect soreness are the legs, shoulder, arms and abdomen. Bruising on the forearms are also expected in the grasping techniques.
What are the costs associated with training?
Other than the semester training fee, it is a smart choice, as your training progresses, to invest in training clothes which are sturdier than t-shirts. You can buy them from the club for $37 for a karate type one. To also train at other affiliated clubs, it is advisable to join our national organisation, Aikikai Australia.
Are you part of a national organisation?
The club's instructors are sent by Aikido Victoria and all grades are issued by Aikikai Australia, via Aikido Victoria. This means that you can continue to train interstate with little variation in what you have already learnt. Black belts are issued directly from Japan by the Aikikai Foundation and recognised by the International Aikido Federation (IAF).