Beginners Q&A

Do you have beginners Classes?

We welcome beginners. You will join in with the main class rather than attend a special beginners course. Don't worry, there are always beginners in a class so you won't be alone. We make sure you receive plenty of attention and we keep things within your ability. We have most beginners on Tuesday nights - so you might feel more comfortable on that night so if you want to see how we treat beginners then Tuesday is OK. Though don't let that put you off if another night is more convenient. Thursday is a little more for the seniors (though beginners are welcome) so it's a slightly different emphasis. So take your pick, though to be fair any night should give you an idea of how we operate and what we're like.

Can I just watch?

It is a big step to turn up at a club not having any experience of what you're in for. You are welcome to turn up any night and check us out - to see if what we do bears any relation to your expectations. The impression you get from books may differ from the reality of our practice so, do have a look and feel free to ask questions.

Come prepared to have a go and jump in the deep end straight away. We are friendly and not too formal.

What should I wear?

Loose clothing will do, typically t-shirt and track suit bottoms. As Aikido involves movement you'll be much more comfortable in clothing that allows you to move. If you have clothing from another martial art it is quite acceptable to wear it.

No jewellery on the mat (risk of injuries) though taping over rings/ear-rings etc. is allowed when you cannot remove them.

What should I tell you?

Medical conditions - Aikido is physical so it's your responsibility to tell us of any medical conditions that we should be aware of. This is an important safety consideration, both yours and ours. In the main we can cope with most medical conditions and are certainly willing to work with you so that you and others can enjoy a safe practice.

Do I need to be fit?

You are responsible for your body, if you're not fit (even if you are you'll be using different muscles) then you’ll need to take it easy to start with. So look after yourself, work hard but stay within your limits, you will/may/should ache the following day or so after practice so be prepared for it.

How much does it cost?

Not a lot; a single 2 hour practice is currently £4.00. Membership is at present £40.00 and covers club, BAF memberships and insurance. Suits are basically judo suits we can supply them and from us they cost about £30.00.

Must I become a member?

Yes, it is essential that you become a member as the insurance covers you and the people you practice with, this must be done within two weeks of starting. There are concessions available for students, unemployed, senior citizens and juniors (we don't publish these on the web site as it depends on circumstances - so just ask).

Please arrive 15 minutes early for any of the training sessions. This is to help prepare the Dojo (training hall) for practice. Warm up and preparation are essential for safe practice if you arrive late please raise your hand at the side of the matt and await permission to come onto the mat. This ensures that the instructor has seen you and can instruct you to warm up properly before joining in the practice.

Observe basic etiquette, a simple bow is made when entering the Dojo and a kneeling bow is made at the start of practice and the end.

Try to relax as much as possible and listen to the instructor he/she will help you with any questions you may have. We try to maintain a friendly and relaxed atmosphere during practice and want students of Aikido to study in a positive manner.