Beginners Information

Some useful things to know about a class

  • Beginners are always welcome at Sandown Aikido Club, we all had to start at some point!
  • Your first session is free, sessions are charged at £4 thereafter
  • Most Aikido training is with a partner. If you are new to Aikido, your partner will help you through the technique
  • You do not have to be fit to start Aikido, but the instructor should be told if you have any medical condition or disability
  • Correct clothing for Aikido is a white judo or karate suit. We do not expect beginners to have this – come in clothes that allow you to move freely
  • The UKA awards grades, but adults do not show their grades by wearing coloured belts: someone wearing a white belt could be a complete novice, or a few weeks away from being awarded a black belt
  • No jewellery may be worn when practicing
  • Aikido is rooted in Japanese tradition, so some of the things we do can seem strange at first
  • Shoes are never worn on the mat, but are put on as we step off the mat to keep our feet (and the mat) clean. Traditional Japanese homes did not have western-style chairs or beds, so people sat and slept on the floor. It was important to keep the floor clean at all times
  • We follow traditional Japanese etiquette. Don’t worry about it – just copy everyone else until you pick it up
  • For insurance purposes, you need to join the UKA after two classes

Aikido – What’s in it for you?

There are many benefits of practicing Aikido;

  • Stretching akin to yoga exercises
  • Body conditioning, movement and overall fitness
  • Breathing exercises
  • Relief from stress and enhancement of well-being
  • Self-defence and martial art prowess
About Aikido

Morihei Ueshiba

Morihei Ueshiba

The word “aikido” is formed of three kanji: 合 – ai – joining, unifying, combining, harmony 気 – ki – spirit, energy, mood, morale 道 – dō – way, path Aikido can therefore be translated as “the Way of Harmonic Energy”


AIKIDO was created by Morehei Ueshiba – known throughout the aikido world as ‘O Sensei’ which means ‘great teacher’ – Aikido’s guiding principle is harmonisation.

The art develops centered, flexible, dynamic movement (tai sabaki) in its practitioners which when combined with neutralization or projection techniques (waza), creates a powerful, almost effortless system to control aggressors.

Because harmonisation – not confrontation – is at the heart of aikido, it has a simple ethic: if attacked, offer a sincere, robust defence but without hurting your aggressor. Although it does take time to become proficient, the training is enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. People of all ages and abilities benefit in a variety of ways from embarking upon the Aikido journey.

The attitude of Aikido is based on non resistance rather than the confrontation of strength on strength. An attack is not blocked it is re-directed and controlled in a way that causes the assailant to be thrown by the force of his own attack. In addition to throws, Aikido employs a variety of techniques applied to the attackers joints. When applied these techniques will leave no serious injury only the swift neutralisation of an attack. However, if necessary, the techniques can be lethal.

Aikido is perhaps the most subtle and graceful of the martial arts and embraces an immense range of techniques that may be employed against all manner of attack, armed or otherwise. It is unique in that it teaches the practitioner to defend against attack by more than one assailant and when performed correctly, requires no great physical strength and may be practiced by anyone regardless of age or sex. Its effectiveness is due to the fact that it has no set rules making it one of the most practical forms of self defence. It also provides a form of all round physical exercise that could hardly be surpassed promoting suppleness, agility, increased coordination and speed of reaction. Aikido is a most effective martial art recommended for those whom the more aggressive and competitive arts have less appeal.

Foundation of Aikido

Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba after extensive training in Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu under the instruction of Takeda Sōkaku. He was also known to have studied Tenjin Shin’yō-ryū with Sensei Tozawa Tokusaburō, Yagyū Shingan-ryū under Nakai Masakatsu and Judo with Kiyoichi Takagi. Along with these unarmed throwing and joint locking techniques Ueshiba also incorporated armed combat into the development of Aikido principally introducing the technical structure from the art ofKenjutsu and training techniques derived from the spear (Yari) and short staff ().

About UKA

The United Kingdom Aikikai (UKA) was formed in 1985 by Mr.W Smith and other senior teachers, all with at least 25 years experience in teaching Aikido.

The newly formed organisation was initially supported by K. Chiba Shihan, who was the founder of Aikido in the UK and was a direct student of Ueshiba Sensei. Chiba Shihan was sent to the UK to build on the work started by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Its formation came from a desire to create an organisation of sincere, dedicated practitioners that integrates and encourages training within everyday life. This philosophy remains within core UKA values today

The UKA is directly affiliated to the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, the world headquarters of Aikido. Senior teachers from Hombu visit the UKA on a regular basis ensuring teachers of the UKA are kept on top form! All members grades are awarded by senior UKA teachers and are authorised by Hombu dojo ensuring that all ranking is recognised world wide.

The UKA is affiliated with the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, the world headquarters of Aikido

The present head of Hombu Dojo is Moriteru Ueshiba the grandson of the founder who travels throughout the world teaching seminars. In 1999, the UKA was honoured to receive Moriteru Ueshiba as its guest. The Hombu Dojo monitors the standard of Aikido amongst the thousands of practitioners around the world.

Senior teachers from Hombu Dojo regularly visit the UKA to ensure that the high standards of teaching within the UKA are maintained. All UKA grades are awarded by senior UKA teachers, who are authorised by Hombu Dojo. This authorisation guarantees recognition of all ranking throughout the world.

this page is a sub from uka

UKA Membership

Membership with the United Kingdom Aikikai

All students are required to have insurance to train on the mat. Membership costs £32 per year for adults and £20 per year for juniors (under 16). This insurance covers you for one year and entitles you to train at any United Kingdom Aikikai club run by a qualified instructor.

To apply please follow the instructions below:

  • Download this FORM, fill it out and email it as an attachment to nathan@vul.iowaikido.com remembering to included two suitable photos of yourself in the email.
  • OR

  • You can print the form and fill it out by hand.

The Fee can be paid to Nathan at the club.