Aikido Whitton
                                            and Aikido Reading logoWhite Oak Aikido
Aikido in Reading Berkshire
Aikido on Powys, Shropshire, Herefordshire Borders
offering classes in the Japanese martial art of Aikido since 1991

...the way of the warrior ...the way of harmony

Starting Aikido at White Oak Aikido Reading and Whitton

You're welcome to watch as many of our Aikido training sessions as you like and try a taster session - all free of charge and without commitment, before you join and commit to training in Aikido. Whilst at the dojo, you can also ask the instructors any questions you may have or talk to the other students before or after training.

Your first Aikido class

Contact Reading Aikido:

Email Reading Aikido

Phone Reading Aikido
07743 301199


Contact Whitton Aikido:

Email Whitton Aikido

Phone Whitton Aikido

 N.B. You must be over 18 to train. 

Aikido throw -
                        kotegaeshiEntering a martial arts dojo for the first time might be a daunting experience. The media often portray a martial arts club as somewhere people shout at you a lot and make you do press-ups if you get anything wrong. Thatís not us! We strive to create an environment where you feel welcome, you can learn, progress safely at your own pace and enjoy your training. One new student said that the thing he remembered most about his first practice at White Oak Aikido was how much everyone smiled. However, Aikido is a martial art and we will also do our best to challenge you both physically and mentally.

Your first few sessions are really heavy on the basic posture and movement exercises, before progressing to any throws or immobilisations, so donít expect to be able to do what the more senior members are doing after your first week! Above all, we stress safety and ensure that you understand how to apply and receive techniques safely at all stages of your training. Especially when you first start, youíll always be working with a more experienced student, as well as having in depth teaching and feedback from one of our qualified coaches.

What should I wear for Aikido?

All you require to begin your Aikido training is loose comfortable clothing (tracksuit trouserAikido technique - Nikyos and a t-shirt are ideal). No shoes or socks are worn and all jewellery must be removed for safety. Sandals (zori) of some sort should always be worn to the edge of the mat to avoid treading any dirt onto the mat. Nothing else is required except the curiosity to try and see if you like it! In due course, you can purchase Aikido training uniforms (gi), jo, bokken and tanto through the club - You'll find it cheaper and we use any proceeds to subsidise course attendance for members. Dan grades wear hakama, pleated skirt-like trousers which formed a traditional part of samurai clothing. Coloured belts are used to indicate grades.

Structure of an Aikido class

The class starts with a warm up and some basic exercises. Then, typically the instructor demonstrates an Aikido technique and the students pair up and practise what has been shown, alternating the roles of nage (the person doing the technique) and uke (the person receiving the techniquer). Japanese names are used for the techniques, but instructions are given in English. Most techniques are easier to understand by observing and attempting to copy what has been shown rather than by detailed verbal description but, if you're having  problems, you're always encouraged to ask for help - one of the teaching team will always be happy to offer guidance. At the end of the class, there's usually a summary of what we've done and a cooling down session.

Aikido training at home

To support your Aikido training in the dojo, you'll have access to Kyu Said? This unique and comprehensive online resource is available to our members in both Whitton and Caversham. It's designed to help you review what you've done at training and also offers a variety of videos and other information about Aikido.

Aikido grades and gradings

Aikido students begin training at the rank of 7th Kyu (red belt) and then progress through white, yellow, orange, green and blueTeaching Aikido belt to 1st Kyu (brown belt) and then on to Dan grades (black belt). Gradings occur as students reach the required standard which, of course, depends on the individual. The emphasis is on learning and enjoying rather than concentrating on grades! We do not hold competitions, and there is no sparring. Gradings are a demonstration of your skills and knowledge.

Aikido weapons training

Since many Aikido movements are derived from the use of weapons, training with weapons can improve performance and understandingJo training outdoors of the empty-handed Aikido techniques, as well as helping to train the body. At White Oak Aikido Whitton and Reading, we train with jo (wooden staff) and bokken (wooden sword). This takes the form of solo practices (suburi and kata), as well as partner practices. Other weapons training includes defences against knife (tanto) attacks and methods of disarming an opponent.

Behaviour and etiquette in the Aikido dojo

There are a number of guidelines of what is expected from you at an Aikido practice that are there to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment. These are given to you when you join the Aikido Foundations Course. They are only general points to bear in mind rather than hard and fast rules of behaviour; training at White Oak Aikido at both Whitton and Reading is fairly relaxed (etiquette at other dojo/organisations may differ).

You'll see the more experienced students bow at several points during an Aikido practice. By bowing, you show respect and thanks to O Sensei, to the instructor or to your training partner. It also provides a physical reminder to concentrate on the task at hand and to take into consideration the abilities of your training partner when performing a technique. Just copy what the other students do and you'll soon get the hang of it. In Japanese society, a bow is akin to the western handshake, it does not have any religious significance. However, if bowing is an issue for you, please discuss it with us.

Visiting Aikidoka

More experienced Aikidoka visiting from other clubs should please contact us before your visit or you will be unable to train. You will need to conform to our COVID-safety procedures. Also, due to the insurance requirements of the British Aikido Board, you will need show that you have insurance suitable for this martial art in order to join a session.

  • If you are a member of the British Aikido Board, please bring your current insurance certificate.
  • If you are a UK resident, we may be able to insure you for your session, please contact us for details.
  • If you are visiting from outside the UK, you will need to show proof of insurance in English. Please contact us in advance.

Watch our Aikido video here!
Not what you'll be doing when you start, but sometimes our more senior grades like to show off a bit!
Find out more about getting involved in the martial art of Aikido in Whitton and Reading:
Home page of White Oak Aikido UK
Or please Contact us if you have any questions about Aikido classes in Reading or Whitton.

...and here's some pages about the past - Aikido in the old days

Weekly Chi Gung / Qigong classes in Craven Arms Shropshire

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