Lessons cost £4 and last for 2 hours.
What other costs are there?
Before your first lesson you will be asked to complete a membership form and hand it to the instructor. The form provides you with temporary insurance to allow you to practice Aikido for one lesson. If you intend to keep practicing then you will need to pay an annual fee of £20 (£10 if unwaged) to cover insurance and membership fees.
You may also wish to purchase a gi (white training outfit). This is not because you have to, but because it is the most comfortable thing to wear when training. What we recommend is the hard wearing kind of gi that can afford more protection. Ask your instructor about buying a gi and we will make the appropriate arrangements. The cost is about £30.
Once I join, how long until I get my black belt?
To be proficient in Aikido can take a while. Aikido is a very subtle art and we do not walk up and down a hall punching the air and shouting. A wise sensei once said, “Aikido is like a marathon, not a sprint. Obtaining a black belt (or first Dan grade) can be seen as passing your apprenticeship, meaning that you are a competent beginner and have become proficient in the basic techniques”. How long it takes you to reach that level depends entirely upon the student.
How often do you grade?
Formal gradings are held twice a year. However you should be aware that your instructor will be assessing your ability at each lesson, and you will only be invited to grade if you are considered capable of passing.
How many grades are there?
You will notice that we do not have a coloured belt system in operation because traditionally, there is just white and black (kyu grades and dan grades). There are 6 kyu’s after which you would go for a Dan grading (Shodan). Dan grades operate on a scale of 1 to 10 in Aikido.
Do you train with weapons?
Aikido techniques were developed from weapons techniques and we practice with weapons (bokken, jo and tanto) as a way of teaching the unarmed techniques. Once you are familiar with the basic techniques you may wish to purchase a bokken and jo for weapons practice.
Where can I find an Aikido club?
Obviously your first choice should be Aikido Gakko Ueshiba, but if you”d like to find a club more local to you then visit the National Aikido Federation website at and check out the club directory.
Are you an ‘open club’? Is it safe to practice Aikido?
That is, what are our Equal Opportunities and Health and Safety policies?
Our policy is to ensure that everyone is treated equally. As a part of Bushin Aikikai we are committed to ensuring that the health and safety of all practitioners is maintained at all times in our Dojo.
Do I need to be super fit to practice Aikido?
Levels of physical fitness are not that important. Of course, if you have any concerns about your health, then you should consult your doctor before engaging in any kind of exercise.
In Aikido we train in pairs and at the ability of the weakest member in any given pair. What this means is that anyone may come along and try Aikido and will be able to walk out in one piece at the end.
At what age can I start to practice Aikido?
You can practice Aikido with us safely if you are 18 years of age or above. If you are younger than this then we recommend looking for a club in your area that can accommodate you. You can use the BAB club directory to find a club in your area.
What should I wear to my first Aikido class?
Loose fitting, comfortable clothing is advisable. For safety reasons we ask that you do not wear any jewellery when training.
I think that I want to try Aikido, but I’m not sure. Could I come and watch a lesson?
Of course, spectators are welcome at all of our classes.
We ask that you behave in a respectful manner (do not talk over sensei while a demonstration is being made) and that you do not walk on the tatami (training mat) if you are wearing shoes. Please introduce yourself on arrival and we will provide you with somewhere to sit whilst watching.