What does Airenjuku mean?
Ren, group or party
Juku, coaching school, lessons
It's difficult to translate much literally from Japanese to English. One translation is allegedly
"Little shed of harmonious people"
We are probably best described as a yin dojo in that much of our training places emphasis on ukemi and on settling down into our hips and legs, being sensitive to our partner's movement and energy and responding appropriately to complete techniques.
We welcome beginners of all ages (our oldest practitioner is of retirement age) and practitioners from other styles of aikido and the martial arts whatever their ability. All we ask is that you relax and have fun. "Aikido should be practiced with a feeling of pleasant exhilaration" - O Sensei
What is Aikido?Aikido is a non competitive Japanese martial art that utilizes timing, body movement, strikes, pins and throws to control the attacker. Practice of technique is done with a partner, taking turns throwing or being thrown.
Aikido educates and engages body and mind completely and becomes more dynamic and aerobic as you progress. It develops self confidence, body awareness, fitness, flexibility, relaxation, speed, timing, coordination, stamina and zanshin (present mindedness).
Aikido can be practiced fast or slow, powerfully or softly and ideally should be a blend of all the aforementioned. It can be practiced effectively by both young and old, male and female alike as the 'power' in the techniques comes not from muscle strength but from good posture, distance and timing.
For more information on Aikido please get in touch or come and observe a class, you'd be most welcome.
O Sensei's rules for training Aikido
1. Aikido decides life and death in a single strike, so students must carefully follow the instructor's teaching and not compete to see who is the strongest.
2. Aikido is the way that teaches how one can deal with several enemies. Students must train themselves to be alert not just to the front, but to all sides and the back.
3. Training should always be conducted in a pleasant and joyful atmosphere.
4. The instructor teaches only one small aspect of the art. Its versatile applications must be discovered by each student through incessant practice and training.
5. In daily practice first begin by moving your body and then progress to more intensive practice. Never force anything unnaturally or unreasonably. If this rule is followed, then even elderly people will not hurt themselves and they can train in a pleasant and joyful atmosphere.
6. The purpose of aikido is to train mind and body and to produce sincere, earnest people. Since all the techniques are to be transmitted person-to-person, do not randomly reveal them to others, for this might lead to their being used by hoodlums.
Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba's addendum to the rules1. Proper aikido can never be mastered unless one strictly follows the instructor's teaching.
2. Aikido as a martial art is perfected by being alert to everything going on around us and leaving no vulnerable opening (suki).
3. Practice becomes joyful and pleasant once one has trained enough not to be bothered by pain.
4. Do not be satisfied by what is taught at the dojo. One must constantly digest, experiment and develop what one has learned.
5. One should never force things unnaturally or unreasonably in practice. One should undertake training suited to his body, physical condition and age.
6. The aim of aikido is to develop the truly human self. It should not be used to display ego.