Try something NEW in 2014
FREE TASTER AIKIDO LESSON
Come and try this exciting martial art for free with no commitment.
It might just change your life.
people are friendly and helpful.’
‘It’s about developing your own skills in a safe environment.’
‘I tried a few martial arts and found Aikido intriguing.’
fun and challenging.’
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or phone:01189701781
N.B. You must be over 18 to train.
Welcome to the White Oak Aikido Dojo in Reading, Berkshire UK. We run a special Aikido Foundations Scheme to provide beginners (aged 18+) with a structured introduction to this exciting martial art. You're always welcome to come and watch one of our Aikido sessions and talk to us before your first actual training session which is free, so you have a good opportunity to see if you will enjoy Aikido, whether it is the martial art for you and whether you like the club before committing to anything. Experienced Aikido practitioners can also join or visit us (please have your British Aikido Board insurance certificate with you). We also run an Aikido club at Reading University, which operates during term times offering Aikido training for Reading University students.
What is Aikido?
Aikido is a fascinating and engrossing, traditional Japanese martial art, a way of defence, that uses an attacker's strength, momentum and aggression against themselves in order to resolve a conflict. Historically, Aikido's techniques originate from the throws and joint locks of jujitsu, and from sword and staff techniques, which optimise the body's movement to obtain maximum efficiency and power. Aikido develops a deep kinaesthetic understanding of how the body works and how this power can be used with maximum efficiency to affect another human being and achieve a desired resolution.
Aikido is a martial art that does not rely on the practitioner being stronger, fitter or faster than an attacker, so it can become a lifelong study. Aikido is a very flexible martial art, where the practitioner learns to use a level of response appropriate to the situation. Emphasis in Aikido training is placed on absorbing and redirecting an attack rather than blocking or parrying. Aikido teaches the importance of achieving mental calm and control of one's own body in order to deal with an opponent's attack without causing unnecessary harm. At one extreme, a form of Aikido is used by the Tokyo riot police but unlike some other martial arts, the ultimate aim of modern Aikido is to control, rather than to maim or kill an opponent.
By training in Aikido, we learn to deal with a wide range of realistic physical attacks but Aikido is much more than an effective method of self defence. The martial arts have long been considered as a path to personal and spiritual growth and development of the human character, as much as a way of dealing with physical conflict. The qualities of the ideal warrior - courage, decisiveness, strength, clarity of mind, compassion - are also some of the ideal qualities of the human being. In Aikido, conflict is not a contest against others, but an opportunity to forge oneself and overcome the true enemies, which are within. A favourite saying of Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei, the founder of Aikido was, "True victory is self-victory."
Aikido is a
martial art in which fitness, suppleness, good posture and
co-ordination are all developed through practice. Aikido
teaches the efficient use of the body to maximise its
power, which is why many people who have trained in Aikido
over a period of years are able to continue into old age.
Self confidence grows as we train in Aikido and, as
co-ordination and balance improve, we reconnect to being
present in our bodies and to occupying our personal space.
Aikido teaches us to identify our boundaries and gives us
the skills to defend them. As we gain confidence in our
Aikido abilities, we can move away from adrenaline fuelled
'flight or fight' reactions and instead choose to respond
in a manner appropriate to the situation. The same Aikido
approach can be extended to non-physical conflicts and
Modern living tends to make us wary of
physical contact. Aikido teaches us to work in close
contact with another person in scenarios where physical
contact is at its most threatening. The contact between an
attacker and a defender in an Aikido technique is similar
to the contact in many forms of bodywork - firm enough to
guide but without imposing or forcing. Aikido is a
dynamic, expansive, moving martial art. Aikido gives us
the opportunity to express ourselves freely through
movement. The absence of tension and resistance helps to
release the ingrained constraints on our bodies and our
movement, that give rise to frustrations, energy blockages
and illnesses. Aikido teaches us to face our fears of
confrontation and to learn a new way of resolving
conflict. Through body movement and the development of Ki,
Aikido aims to harmonise an individual's body, mind and
spirit, whilst they are learning to move in harmony with
another human being both in performing and receiving
Aikido techniques. Aikido develops physical relaxation,
mental calmness and awareness in order to be able to
respond freely to what occurs. Regular training in Aikido
helps practitioners to become centred and grounded and
thereby better able to deal with the stresses of daily
The White Oak Aikido Dojo (Reading, Berkshire) is a member of the Institute of Aikido, which was established in 1973 and is a founder member of the British Aikido Board (BAB), which is recognised by Sport England as the governing body for the martial art of Aikido in Great Britain. White Oak Aikido was founded in 1991 based at the YMCA, Parkside Road, Reading Berkshire, and carries on an Aikido tradition in Reading which was first established in 1969 at our sister Aikido club at Reading University.
To find out more about getting involved in
the martial art of Aikido in Reading: