Upcoming events

Some key Aikikai courses we are hoping to get to - there are many more!


5th - 6th March 2016

Neil Blacknell (5th Dan Aikikai)

Ashburton, Devon


13th March 2016

Kawachi Sensei Farewell Course

Taunton, Devon


16th - 23rd April 2016

Christian Tissier (8th Dan Aikikai)

Stage de Paques, Paris, France


6th - 8th May 2016

Larbi Sensei (6th Dan Aikikai)

Weston Super Mare


11th June 2016

Phil Rozier (4th Dan Aikikai)

Ashburton, Devon


19th - 24th July 2016

Pascal Durchon (6th Dan Aikikai)

Ashburton, Devon





Welcome to the South Devon Aikikai

Thanks for looking at our site, which is about the South Devon Aikikai; who we are, where we practise, what we practise and why we practise!


If you want to learn aikido with us, please just contact us and come along for a free trial session (wear something like a tracksuit - something loose and comfortable).  



What is Aikido?


Aikido is a modern martial art; developed from ancient martial traditions, but (argueably) more relevent to a non-feudal world than many others.  It is an idealised model - less immediately martial than boxing but with a longer term aim.  You can practise and improve in aikido for the rest of your life.


"If we practise with strength then at some point we meet the block, after which comes old age, which can only be experienced as loss"


We learn in a framework of negotiable cooperation.  It is not a sport - there are no rules, no categories of age or gender or weight.  We practise and deepen martial princples (which can have numerous applications) by working with all others.  


Learning aikido is a potentially life changing experience because the framework allows us to explore human interaction and what it is to be a human being within a structured progression of increasingly demanding techniques where we addresss our responces to violence.  


The agenda is to develop good alignment in movement, and embed techniques which allow an attack to fail.  It is a physical, psychological and (with enough regular training) spiritual discipline (in the sense that training can effect fundamental change in one's responce to exterior influences).  



A word about different types of aikido


O'Sensei - Morehei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969) (who created aikido) had many students.  All were different, in physique and mentality and O'Sensei did not try to make clones of himself, rather he allowed each person to gain (in their own way) from the study of the art.  A few had very strong backgrounds in other martial arts or had particular perspectives (health or self-defence) and some of these formed their own groups, seperate from the aikikai (the main body of practitioners). Goza Shioda formed Yoshinkan Aikido, Koichi Tohei formed Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, Morihiro Saito formed Iwama aikido,  ...  


In my experience, at high levels, it can be hard to distinguish between these styles, but in the early stages the differences are often highlighted.  


It is a fundamental precept in the aikikai that (having learnt the basics - normally at shodan - 1st degree black belt) one should start to develop one's own version of the martial art - an expresion of your own personality, physique and propensities.  Every person is different, and training in aikido is something that effects different people in different ways.



Rick Smaridge

Next Course at Ashburton !

South Devon Aikikai 19 - 24 July 2016 Pa[...]
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