Like to try?
Find out more here about how to start your journey at Malvern Aikido.
Some frequently asked questions:
I'm a complete beginner, is that OK?
Please don’t be worried: we’re a welcoming club. Everyone at the club was a complete beginner, too! Taking the decision to actually join a martial arts class to learn is probably the hardest step. Once you've started training, you'll find advice for novices useful.
Is it possible to just watch a class to get a better idea of what's involved?
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 any break or at the end of the class. Please let us know via email in advance that you'll be coming along to watch a class.
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 if you have any concerns.
How much time should I commit?
As with learning any skill or knowledge, the more time invested then the more rapid your understanding should become. Malvern Aikido has two classes per week (details on the Where & Where page) and to make reasonable progress we would advise that you attend both classes. A few of our members train only once per week. In addition to our weekly classes, there are courses - such as Spring and Summer Courses, and grading events. Some are held in Malvern, but they are mainly delivered at other venues in the UK. We try to attend these other events too where possible.
How much will it cost?
There are no membership fees for the Malvern Aikido but you will be obliged to join the British Aikido Federation. Membership is currently £35 per annum for employed people (concessionary rates are available) and membership includes personal accident and public liability insurance. Other costs initially would be class fees ("mat fees") and costs for purchasing an aikido suit (keikogi).
There seems to be a lot to get to grips with, including Japanese terms. How will I get to grips with it all?
Just as with any hobby, pastime or sport, there are terms (see Glossary) to describe techniques, procedures and etiquette. Japanese is the language of aikido worldwide, so the terms we use are Japanese. We also follow traditional Japanese etiquette.
Don’t worry: follow everyone else and you’ll soon pick it up!
Will I be safe?
Our instructors will guide you through introductory movements and techniques. Generally students train together (usually in pairs) and so you can discuss with your training partner(s) if you have any safety concerns. Students are always encouraged to work within their own limits - and have the responsibility to make other people aware there are any issues. We ask that students inform us of any relevant medical or other issues that may affect training prior to starting at Malvern Aikido. If you have concerns about your fitness level, you can take the training at your own pace. Whilst training in organised classes you will have personal accident and public liability insurance in place. You can also read further information on safety.
So… I want to try - what do I need to do?
Our classes are for adults aged 18 years or over, and what you need to do to join is pretty straight-forward:
- Let us know which class you’ll be attending - by email
- Read the advice on class structure and safety information.
- Turn up to watch or turn up to train!
If you wish to train please bring £5 provisional insurance payment, which will provide insurance cover for 3 taster sessions. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing: stretchable fabrics, jogging trousers/leggings and a t-shirt are ideal. Your clothing should not have buttons or zips as they might be uncomfortable. Note that separate male and female changing areas are available. Please leave jewellery at home or remove them as these might cause injury. We train barefoot however if you wish to wear socks they should be black or white, and with grip so you do not slip.
What happens next?
You are welcome to have up to 3 taster sessions for free, other than the provisional insurance payment. If you like what you experience and wish to continue training you will need to take out full membership of the British Aikido Federation, and decide how you'd like to pay for class fees. Membership of the British Aikido Federation means that you can then take gradings if you wish (organised at regular intervals) and you will have insurance cover included in your membership.