Regular adult martial arts classes are held on Tuesday and Friday in the Belgard Community Centre (opposite the Luas Belgard stop). We recommend that you arrive for your first lesson at least 20 minutes early so you can meet the Chief Instructor and introduce yourself. ...and remember your first session is FREE! (2 hours)
If you already have a white Judo or Karate suit then bring it with you. If you don't, you can wear any loose fitting clothing such as track suit bottoms and a teeshirt. Long hair should be tied back and all jewellery removed before stepping onto the mat. As you will be training barefoot we recommend that you bring flip-flops to wear from the changing area to the training area to minimise dirt and unpleasant bacteria being brought onto the matted area.
The main thing is to come in and introduce yourself to the instructor. If in doubt just say hello to a classmate and they will point you in the right direction. You will find our members very friendly and keen to welcome newcomers. You can bring your shoes, bag, coat and any other bits and pieces into the hall. Please put your mobile phone on silent.
Once the formal start is signalled by the instructor, unranked and kyu grade students all line up facing the shomen (front wall of the dojo) in grade order from lowest rank on the left. Instructors and coaches will line up facing you, again in rank order, lowest grade on the left.
The class instructor (Sensei) or a senior student (Senpai) will shout out a few Japanese instructions begining with "seiza", meaning all students should adopt the traditional japanese sitting position (kneeling). Shortly after, they will call "mokuso" (meditation) to indicate that all students should close their eyes and try to calm their mind, the purpose of which is to allow each student to think on the class ahead and eliminate outside world concerns before starting. "Mokuso yame" is the signal to stop meditation and open one's eyes. "Shomen" or "Shomen-ni-rei" signals for all to face forward toward the front of the dojo where a picture of the founder is often displayed. "Rei" (Respect) signals for all present to show respect to the founder by bowing. (Bowing is a Japanese cultural practice to show mutual respect between elders, teachers and students. It is in no way intended to be demeaning or have any religious context). "Sensei-ni-rei", means prepare to bow the teacher ( instructor of the class) and finally "otagai-ni rei" prepare to bow to fellow students completes the formal starting ritual.
If you get lost at any point, just follow someone next to you. Don't worry! we all found Japanese dojo etiquette unusual and a bit strange at the start. No-one will laugh at you, and the instructor will explain clearly and in more detail what to do if there is any new students present.
A few additional Japanese words you will hear during each class are:"
We spend a little while getting warmed up. We often start by lightly jogging around the mat to get the heart pumping, nothing too strenuous. We then spend a couple of minutes warming up joints - Not stretching, just moving each joint to the natural limit of movement, so that it is nice and loose and ready for practice. Follow the instructor or someone next to you if you are unsure of any exercise.
Next up, we normally loosen up the wrists with several specific stretching exercises. Because Aikido techniques often involve wrist and arm locks, we stretch the wrists out beforehand so that when the techniques are applied, we are better prepared to receive them. Don't worry, some of these exercises do involve some weird grasps and manipulation of your hands and arms, someone will come and show you exactly what to do.
Once warmed up and stretched, we sometimes do some basic fitness exercises such as sit ups, squats etc. Don't worry if you can't do everything, only do what you can. Stop for a breather if needed. Your stamina will improve in time.
In Aikido, we spend a lot of time receiving technique, falling and getting back up. We have specific ways of receiving technique and falling so we don't get injured and which allows us to practice on each other again and again. You will be shown the basics so you can start to train safely. During practice, your partners will be aware of your abilities and will take great care not to be forceful or injure you in any way.
Once you are loose and warm, we get on to the meat of the session. The Sensei (teacher) will demonstrate a principle, drill or technique - typically using one of the more experienced students.
Everyone splits up into pairs, and you spend the next couple of minutes trying to work out which way up your hands are supposed to be before you start, and you realise that the technique has more to it than might first have appeared. After another minute or so, the Sensei will come over and show you again how to improve your technique - and you just start to get the idea when they call everyone back to look at the next technique.
After a few more techniques, all seemingly easy but with hidden complexities that mean you end up facing the other way - or holding the wrong arm - you find a technique which you can do! When you grab here, step just there, twist the wrist like so, and apply pressure like that - and this is the point at which you realise that Aikido is a sophisticated art that can be very effective.
All too quickly, we all line up again and looking at the clock, you realise two hours have slipped by - it doesn't seem like it!. After a couple of bows, you make your way off the mat (bowing finally to the mat as you step off). Before we get changed we put the mats back in the store room (everybody is expected to give a hand regardless of rank). When all is done, you start putting your shoes and socks back on, feeling warm and slightly tired - but feeling like you've really experienced something different and that you're now part of a unique group. Hopefully, you would have had some fun and will want to come back for more!
€100 per month
Your first (2 hour) class is FREE. After that classes are paid for monthly in advance. Classes are 2 hours in length, held twice per week so our fees represent good value (approx €6 per hour) . A subsidised rate of €60 per month is avaialble for full-time students and those unemployed. On average one months attendance equates to 16 hours of training. In some months, additional sessions are also run for those preparing for competition. There is no annual contract or long term financial comittment imposed. however we would ask that you provide one months notice if you intend to take a break.
For the first month, you'll be covered by the club's general insurance. To continue to train after the first month you must become a member of the BAA (British Aikido Association). (£20 per annum paid directly to the BAA).
You do not have to buy a training uniform (dogi) until after your first grading, however you will find that the sooner you get one, the quicker you will feel part of the group and the more comfortable your training will be. We recommend you purchase a lightweight judo suit rather than a karate suit as the jacket and trousers of a judo suit are are stronger and able to better withstand grabbing, pulling and contact with the mat.
We look forward to meeting you. If you have any enquires please call the number on the top of the page or contact us via the DUBLIN TOMIKI AIKIDO facebook page and we will do our best to answer your questions.
It's important to take into account that our club is run by volunteers during their spare time on a totally not-for-profit basis. Your monthly subs go towards the expense of running the club; i.e. hall rental, cleaning, IMAC club registration and compliance, and the purchase and maintenance of training equipment (mats). Your first months subs can be paid in cash, however, therafter monthly subs need to be paid on the 1st of the Month by bank tranfser or standing order directly to the club bank account only.
We really appreciate your help and consideration as it helps greatly to reduce admin overhead and keep the club running smoothly.
as a Mature Student
Aikido Uniform / training suit
Adult 7th- 1st Kyu, 1st - 7th Dan
Self Defense, Competition and Fun!