What is Aikido ?
Aikido is a japanese martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba in the 30s which was
developed during WW2.
It's a defense-based discipline, aiming to answer with a proportionate and immediate response to a given attack.
The point being to turn back the opponent's energy against himself.
Without strength but with efficiency. Unbalance the aggressor, projections and immobilizations are meaningful parts of aikido's practice.
For who ?
Men or women ; children, adults or elders ; sedentary or athlete, the practice of Aikido is suitable for all.
Is there a rank system ?
The kyu acknowledges the students' progess.
The ranking is done through an exam (takes place in the dojo). It'll be looking for the respect of martial values, a proper execution of the differents techniques and the work done throughout the year.
The teacher is the only one deciding whether or not you succeed or fail.
These grades are not mendatory. Nevertheless it's an effective way to gauge skills and technical proficiency.
There is no competition in Aikido, everyone improves and evolves at his own pace. No contest either amongst students. Only 2 belts : a white and a black.
What do we learn ?
During the lessons, a lot of topics will be approached, amongst them :
1) Techniques of defense with bare hands against one or several opponents (with or without weapons),
2) Anticipation, steadiness, reactivity
3) Stress management and breathing,
4) Using effectively distance and moves,
5) Increase one's adaptability (with unplanned attacks for example),
Tools and clothes :
In order to practice we use a keikogi, it includes a jacket, a trouser and a belt. After some years it's possible to wear a hakama on top of the pants.
3 weapons are currently used in Aikido albeit they represent a small part of the training.
1) The jo = staff
2) The bokken = wooden sword
3) The tanto = dagger
The club has enough of them for everyone but you can, if desired, bring your own.