University of Bristol Aikido Club
Aikido is a comprehensive and effective martial art which provides a basis for both physical and spiritual development. It is accessible to everyone, regardless of size, strength, age or gender, because it uses whole-body movement in techniques which are designed to diffuse an aggressor's attack rather than to inflict injuries.
The emphasis in practice is on co-operation rather than competition, and practitioners learn to look after each other and themselves so that throws and locks can be practised safely. Experienced practitioners learn to defend themselves against multiple armed and unarmed attacks. Many Aikido movements are derived from traditional Japanese sword and staff forms, and training in these forms is an additional part of Aikido.
Classes begin with stretching, moving and breathing exercises, and since Aikido is based on full and natural body movement, it exercises every limb and joint of the body, developing flexibility, muscle tone, co-ordination and reactions. Aikido offers an absorbing way to maintain health and vitality within a framework of aesthetic movement, and regular practice results in a calmer and more relaxed mind, and a stronger and more supple body.
We are a Bristol University Recognised Sports Club affilated with the British Universities Aikido Federation (part of the British Aikido Federation). The BAF has "Full Recognition" status from the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo and is headed by Minoru Kanetsuka (7th Dan).
The sessions are taken by Professor James Ladyman (2nd Dan Aikikai, Sports UK registered coach) who has studied under Kanetsuka-sensei for 18 years. We also have regular courses with Kanetsuka-sensei himself.
The club itself provides a friendly and inviting atmosphere in which to train. Although numbers vary throughout the year (since we're a university club, exams tend to take their toll!), the club has accumulated a growing number of regulars and there is always a decent turnout.