Aikido kanji
White Oak Aikido Reading Berkshire
offering classes in the Japanese martial art of Aikido since 1991

...the way of the warrior   ...the way of harmony
Caversham Heights Methodist Church Hall, 74 Highmoor Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 7BG
Aikido kanji

Starting Aikido at White Oak Aikido Reading

Welcome to Aikido!

Training Options for Beginners

Start when you want!
Taster session - Free.
Aikido Foundations Course.
Eight-week course £60
(£50 unwaged).

Caversham, Reading
Tuesdays 20:00-21:30

  For more information and to book your first visit  or phone:

 N.B. You must be over 18 to train.

Member comment: "Both the White Oak Aikido club and the Reading University are great places to learn Aikido."

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.

Training in the martial arts is a long term commitment, which is why we set up the eight-week Foundations Course. This establishes the habit of regular training which is what will enable you to make real progress. Your Foundations Course includes online access to a lot of useful information and videos about Aikido in general, the basic techniques and exercises, so you can continue your study of Aikido at home or if you have to miss a class - your martial arts insurance is also included in the cost. The eight-week Foundations Course costs £60. Please contact us for more information, or we will explain the details to you and you can ask any questions at your first session.

What to wear

All you require to begin your Aikido training is loose comfortable clothing (a tracksuit and t-shirt are ideal). No shoes 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.


Teaching AikidoTypically the instructor demonstrates an Aikido technique and then the students pair up and practise what has been shown, alternating the roles of nage (the thrower) and uke (the receiver). 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 someone more experienced than by detailed verbal description but, if you are having  problems, you are always encouraged to ask for help. During your Foundations Course, you will be with a more experienced student or one of the teaching team to guide you through your training.

Grades and gradings

Aikido students begin training at the rank of 7th Kyu (red belt) and then progress through white, yellow, orange, green and blue belt to 1st Kyu (brown belt) and then on to Dan grades (black belt). Gradings occur at roughly three monthly intervals and if you average two training sessions a week, then you could be ready for your first grading after about three months. Of course, this depends on the individual. The emphasis is on learning and enjoying rather than concentrating on grades!

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 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. They are set out in your Club Handbook to which you get access 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 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 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.

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

Home page of White Oak Aikido Reading, Berkshire, UK
Aikido Training Times and venue details for Caversham Heights Methodist Church Hall.
Joining White Oak Aikido Reading.
Or please Contact us if you have any questions about Aikido or the club.
...and here's some pages about Aikido in the past.

Chi Gung / Qigong workshops in Bramley

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