Why learn Aikido?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido
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The secret to success...
4 main elements that lead to a successful Aikido defense....
- Distance - maai
- Timing/readiness/awareness - Zanshin*
- Strikes - atemi
- Balance/take posture - kuzushi

Aikido specializes at grappling range, with throws, locks, and pins. In it's true form Aikido relays heavily on kuzushi (unbalancing an opponent). This is achieved with timing but also atemi (striking)... Which may surprise a lot of readers! So yes -  we're saying Aikido relies a very high percentage of the time on striking your opponent / attacker - but used mainly as a distraction to achieve kuzushi - although with much less focus than in other martial arts, such as Karate were a strike is the technique - in Aikido the strike is used to take your attackers / uke's mind - followed by an immobilisation / lock or throw.

*Zanshin (Japanese: 残心) is a term used in the Japanese martial arts. It refers to a state of awareness - of relaxed alertness. This is very important in all martial arts... But especially so in Aikido as we don't want to use strength in our techniques.
I struggle to remember all the techniques!... If a beginner can’t remember the techniques after class is over, he or she should not be concerned or discouraged because with regard to learning techniques, the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba said, “Learn and Forget, learn and forget.”
By this, he means the ability to perform Aikido techniques is not based on the power of memory, but by practicing continually. It is through continuous training that we remember and learn Aikido techniques. It takes time.

Do you teach weapon work in Aikido?
Yes. All Aikido is based on weapons work (a lot from the Samurai). We practice techniques (attack & defence) with traditional weapons: Jo (4' stick), Tanto (wooden knife) and Bokken (wooden Japanese sword).
How long does it take to learn Aikido? Everything depends on you & how often you train!... Along with your determination and desire and being open to try new things. There are potentially hundreds & hundreds of combinations of attacks & techniques. With this in mind any reputable martial arts school should tell you it takes on average 6 - 8 years to achieve 1st Dan grade.

You'll never get bored! Because there are so many combinations of attack & defence techniques to master... you'll find each class has something new & different to offer......
Why aikido?
The aim of Aikido is to control and subdue an attacker or attackers by taking their posture and then using locks or throws to neutralise their aggression.
Aikido is a difficult art to learn (perfecting balance, distance (Maai), good posture & precision movement), It takes patience & dedicate to master. It relies on correct application (timing), not strength or power therefore doesn't rely on size, gender or age.

You can learn Aikido at any age without any preparation. Students of all ages practice Aikido. You can develop Aikido mastery from a very young age. Our dojo prefers students age 14 and up as bone & joint development is well established by then.

Is Aikido suitable for women?.... Yes - it's perfect!  As opposed to other martial arts, in Aikido there is absolutely no advantage in being bigger and/or stronger....because of this anyone can practice Aikido! Weight by itself is not an obstacle. The locks and throws are extremely effective but they do not rely on brute strength. This means that a small person who uses Aikido can defend themselves against an attacker who is much bigger and stronger. It really works!!
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