Beginners' Classes in the Japanese Martial Art of Aikido
in
Berkshire.

Find us
in
West Reading
(Thursday & Sunday)
and in
Caversham
(Tuesday).

Please email us for more information.
Aikido technique at the Reading YMCA dojo



Member comment: "It is a rigorous, traditional training, including all aspects of a complete martial arts 'dojo' experience."

The Best Martial Art For You

Our top tips for choosing the best martial art for you

There are a lot of martial arts out there, including Aikido, Karate, Judo, Kung Fu and Taekwondo to name only a few. Here, we’ll give you our top tips for finding the best martial art for you and a few things you need to think about before you start training in the martial arts, something that could easily develop into a lifelong study. Many martial arts or individual martial arts clubs like to promote themselves as being ‘the best’, but before you can define what the best martial art is for you, it’s important to define what you want from a martial art. Some people just want an interesting way to keep fit, some a means of self-defence, others want a route to self-development and some people want to compete. Ultimately, it will all come down to which martial art you will enjoy most and, therefore, which one you’ll continue to train in, come rain or shine, week after week, year after year. There are literally hundreds of martial arts and martial art styles, so only a few are mentioned here as examples – it’s not a comprehensive list!

Who invented my martial art?

Chinese martial arts, Japanese martial arts, Korean martial arts, Brazilian, Israeli, Indian, the list goes on. Except if you have a particular wish to work within or to learn about a particular culture as part of your martial arts training, it probably matters little to most people where their chosen martial art originates from. In the end, there are only a certain number of ways in which an attacker’s body can be hit or twisted effectively; this was once demonstrated by Tomita Sensei at an Aikido course in Preston, when he showed a picture of a carving in a book about ancient Greece of a ‘wrestling’ technique, where the handgrip is identical to the Sankyo technique of Aikido (The Pancrastinae).

What happens in my martial art?

However, what you actually get to do in your chosen martial art will be much more important. Obviously, we like the throwing and immobilisation techniques of Aikido with its non-aggressive, non-competitive approach and the concept of redirecting an attacker's force. At the crudest level, although all these martial arts have a lot more to them, if you like the idea of punching / hitting / kicking, then arts like Karate, Taekwondo and Kung Fu will attract you, and don’t forget to check out Boxing too. If you’re highly competitive and you like to fight and win, then you’ll want to get involved in competitions, so Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Judo, MMA and Muay Thai might be for you. Then there are the grappling arts, like Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Sumo and Wrestling. That’s not to say that any of these definitions are mutually exclusive, so there are non-competitive forms of Judo, there are Karate styles that contain throws and immobilisations, there’s even a competitive form of Aikido, called Tomiki Aikido after its founder. A lot of what is taught in any martial art is a reflection of the specific interests and skills of the teacher in the specific club that you attend and of the organisation of which they are a member, so your choice will often just be dictated by what is available near you.

So, enough of the intro, here’s our top tips on choosing the best martial art for you:

  1. Decide what YOU want from a martial art, and make sure the martial art, club and instructor you are thinking about offer it.
  2. Check out the background of the senior instructor: Who were they taught by? How many years have they been training and teaching? Do they have recognised qualifications to teach? Do they still train and attend courses to keep improving their skills? Don’t be impressed by a flashy grade or title that has little basis in reality.
  3. Find out about the classes available and whether they will fit in with your work, social and home commitments, so you can commit to training regularly.
  4. Find out about costs. There are some martial arts schools run by professional instructors that are more interested in your money and getting you to pay for your next grading than in training you (there are also many very good professional teachers – it’s all down to your research).
  5. Check that the martial arts club you are thinking about lets you watch a session and/or try training for free before you have to hand over money – never feel pressured into signing up before you’re sure it’s what you want.Aikido weapons training
  6. Make sure you feel welcome when you first attend to either watch or try your first session. Will you enjoy training regularly at your chosen martial arts club?
  7. Before or after the training session, talk to the teachers and some of the students. Find out what they have to say and what the overall atmosphere in the martial arts club is like.
  8. Is safety emphasised throughout the training at your first session – your own and anyone you train with?
  9. Are you taught as an individual at your first session with specific attention to what you are capable of and how you learn, or are you just thrown in at the deep end and expected to get on with it somehow?
  10. Turn up, train hard, have fun!

If you think Aikido might be the martial art for you and you would like to experience what training at White Oak Aikido is like, you’re always welcome to come and watch or join in for a free taster session on any Thursday or Sunday at the YMCA in West Reading, or on Tuesday in Caversham – we look forward to seeing you.

Martial arts in Reading – find out if Aikido is the right martial art for you

For more information about training in the Japanese martial art of Aikido in Reading, Berkshire, please contact us

To find out more about getting involved in the martial art of Aikido in Reading:

Home page of White Oak Aikido in Reading, Berkshire, UK
Info for Beginners at White Oak Aikido Club and at Reading University - some more details about the Aikido clubs and what to expect if you come along.
Joining White Oak Aikido or Reading University Aikido Club.
or please Contact Aikido in Reading if you have any questions about Aikido or the club.
...and here's some pages about Aikido in the past.

Chi Gung (Qi Gong) classes in Basingstoke and Caversham, Reading.

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