I’m a complete beginner, is that OK?

Please don’t be worried: we’re a welcoming club. Everyone at the club started as a beginner, too! Taking the decision to actual join a martial arts class to learn is probably the hardest step.Once you’ve started training, you’ll find information for beginners useful

Are there any restrictions on joining a class?

Not really. The minimum age is 14 and all under 16s must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. Ideally the parent/guardian would practice as well although alternatively the parent/guardian can watch from the side of the class. Parents/guardians that do join the class must be insured – see the FAQ: “Will I be insured?”. Anyone seeking to join the club does so at the invitation of the Club Instructors.

How fit do I need to be?

Aikido involves gripping, holding, twisting, bending, turning and rolling. You’ll need a certain level of fitness for this although we encourage people to work to their own level of flexibility, suppleness and fitness.

If you’ve any particular medical or physical condition we ask that inform the instructor of this before joining a class. You can also get in touch through the Contact Us page.

When and where do you practice?

Can I watch a class?

Of course. We wouldn’t expect that anyone who might be considering learning a martial art should have to join the practice: you probably just want to have a look. Feel free to bring a friend if you wish. It’s best to plan to stay for the whole class, as this also means you can chat to people (not just the instructor) at the break in the middle of lesson. It’s nice for us to know in advance that you’ll be coming along to watch a class, so let us know through the Contact Us page.

If I wanted to join a class, what should I bring?

You need to be insured before you start a lesson: see the FAQ: “How much will it cost?” Please complete the Membership Forms before joining a class. You don’t need any special clothing to begin with: tracksuit trousers or leggings, and a short or long-sleeved t-shirt are fine: whatever you’re comfortable in. We normally practice bare-foot (unless it’s really cold!) however clean white or black socks are acceptable if you don’t want to go bare-foot. NOTE Separate male and female changing rooms are provided.

How much will it cost?

There are three main costs in aikido: Class fees, Membership/Insurance fees and equipment costs. You will not have to pay any class fees for your first class. However you must to be insured before you start a lesson. This means either a temporary British Aikido Federation membership and insurance (£5, to a maximum of three ‘taster’ classes) or full year British Aikido Federation membership & insurance (£30 per year, with concessions £20. NOTE If you take out a temporary membership, then any full year membership fee would be discounted by the £5 you’ve already paid).

After your first lesson you’d have the following costs to pay:
• Class fee: see our What’s On page

If you decide to continue training then there could be the following costs:
• An aikido suit (aikidogi) £20-£40 (depending on quality)
• Grading fees of £12 (optional: there is no requirement to grade and those who do might grade once per year.)
• Equipment cost of c£25 (optional: the club provides wooden training weapons although most regular students purchase their own so that they can practice solo exercises such as suburi out side of classes.)