Step by Step Guide to starting - Step 1

Find a Lancashire Aikikai club near you - Lancashire, Merseyside, Manchester. See box on this to the right

Information on this web page was written prior to COVID and may have changed. COVID and return to practising has effected clubs differently and for the current position regarding times, costs we suggest you contact our local Club directly.

We study traditional aikido but there are other styles - choose a club and style that suits you. Go and watch or better still turn up to have a go.

Q. Do we run beginner's sessions? 
A. Not generally - classes are taylored by the instructors for those that are there and their abilities.

Q. Can I just turn up and have a go?
A. Yes - read on - we need to cover some paperwork so turn up before the advertised time - costs vary club to club. COVID may have changed this - contact the local Club before turning up.

Q. What to wear?
A. We recommend you wear something loose and un-restricting like a track suit. Please try to avoid anything with zips/buttons etc. Shorts aren't the best idea. Gi's from other martial arts are fine as well.

Q. Do I need to be fit?
A. No level of fitness is required to start only a willingness to learn and have a go. Through Aikido you will improve your fitness and flexibility but there is nothing to bar any one having a go unless you have medical advice against this activity. Our induction process covers a health declaration - so that we are aware of factors that may limit or alter the way we might cover parts of what we might want to teach you.

Q. Are training sessions on all year round
A. Yes - except in holiday seasons when certain classes may be cancelled. Contact the local club for details.

Q. How big are classes?
A. Class sizes vary club to club and night to night. Typical class sizes in our Association are 8 to 20.

iriminage technique

What is a typical class

If you are new then you will need arrive 10-15 minutes or so before the start time to be inducted - as this is a physical activity we need to understand if there are any medical issues that could effect your practice as well as taking your contact details. Forms vary slightly club to club in the way we record where you heard about a club - but you can view a typical form and complete that and take it with you

The start time is the start of the class. So students turn up before hand to change and also lay the mat if this is needed.

The class formally starts with acknowledgement and respect to each other through bows and the Founder of Aikido. (This were you just need to copy others).

Warm up exercises to prepare the body for the class are undertaken in just the same as any other physical activity.

Practising basic movement and turning exercises usually follow on.

Then the main class content of learning techniques - each student practises to improve taking it in turns to do the defence. The technique can be taught as a series of progressive steps or overall. The opportunity to learn from higher grades or practise at your own level will occur during the class.

If your are new you will be taught how to move out of techniques including rolling breakfalls.

It will all seem strange at first and you will not remember very much from your first classes ..... the osbstacles tend to be standing posture correctly and which hands to use but gradually the mist will lift as you return to practise techniques you have done in earlier classes. One of aspects of aikido is the breadth of material to be learnt - this stops you getting bored but equally could be one of fustrations if you expect to master skills very quickly.

The class can then move on to studying weapon work in relation to Aikido.

Cool down.

Formal end of the class and putting the mat away if this is needed in the location.

What to Wear

We normally practise in a Judo or Karate suit.

However there is no need to buy one until you are hooked on Aikido. Loose trousers or a jogging suit is fine with a top that is not to thin. A rugby shirt type is fine.

In order to avoid grit or dirt going onto a mat - we tend to wear flip flops or sandels to the mat edge. Provided you can get to the mat edge in anything other than bare feet then that is acceptable.

Training Costs

Mat fees range from £4 to £7 per session or some clubs offer a monthly basis instead. Some offer special pricing for your first few practices but this varies club to club. Details are provided with the individual club pages on this website. We insure everyone, via the national Governing body scheme, before they put their foot on the mat for everyone's protection and treat you as a temporary member for the first month.

Full Aikikai membership fees are not paid till towards the end of your first month with us pro-rated membership fee valid at the time you started which will be no more than £12. (Concession rate available for students, retired & unwaged)

Full membership is required once the 4 week temporary / trial membership has expired because insurance is only effective when a person is in membership.

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Shihonage technique