KSMBDA Aikido is all about mind and body co-ordination, energy flow and skilful technique. If you're using physical strength, then you're doing it wrong!
We teach mind and and body co-ordination exercises and tests, to show that dynamic relaxation is stronger than physical strength.
We teach you how to roll, so that when you are the attacker and are thrown, you can safely roll out of the way. This differs from breakfalls, which we don't do, which involves a certain amount of physical strength and tolerance.
Yes. There are 3 demos taken from a recent course that show Aikido to beginners. See the Demonstration page.
There are also many YouTube videos available - see the Videos page.
Yes. All regular classes at all clubs are open to beginners, and you can just turn up unannounced. Just look for the Sensei (teacher) or any person with a black belt or a coloured belt, and let them know you are new, and you will be looked after.
All the courses are also open to beginners, with the exception of the High Grade courses.
For your first few times on the mat, we'd advise to wear something comfortable that is not restrictive such as a tracksuit and a t-shirt. After a few lessons, you'll want to wear a judo suit (gi) with a white belt, as that is more suitable for our practise. These can be bought from large sports shops or martial arts shops.
There are changing rooms at all clubs.
We work bare foot on the mat, although you can wear socks if you wish. We never step on the mat with shoes.
Please take off or tape up anything that might inadvertently catch on someone else, eg jewellery, earrings, watches etc.
Your first lesson will be free.
Subsequent lessons are approximately £5 per lesson; this may vary slightly across the different clubs.
Once you've attended a few times, you'll need to pay a membership fee. This is £40, and this covers your BAB (British Aikido Board) insurance.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art, and shares similar disciplines to other martial arts.
Bowing: We bow instead of handshakes. We bow at the start and end of lessons, and at the start and end of working with a partner.
Sensei: We call the teacher Sensei (sen-say) in the dojo (place of practice), instead of his first name. Sensei Kolesnikov is always called Sensei, even when off the mat.
Respect: We look after the attacker. It is not correct to throw them into a wall! If there's not enough space, we redirect the energy to throw them into a safe clear place.
A lesson usually follows this structure:-
The KSMBDA Aikido organisation follows a similar grading structure to other martial arts, where the practitioner wears a coloured belt to signify their rank. This also allows the defender to know whether the attacker knows how to look after themselves during the techniques.
The structure is as follows:-
There are gradings every 6 months, where you demonstrate the techniques in order to move to the next belt.
If you're practising twice a week you can usually progress every 6 months up to green. Thereafter it will take about a year to progress to the next belt.
All lessons are in English. However, there are several words of Japanese origin that we use:-
Dojo (doe jo): This is the name for the place of practice.
Sensei (sen say): This is the name for the teacher.
In addition, all the Aikido techniques we practise have Japanese names. See a list of these names. Initially you don't need to know these, as they will be demonstrated to you. In time, you'll learn them easily.