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Aikido Classes for Adults

martial arts classes dublin adults

Tomiki / Shodokan Aikido
Martial Art Classes - Sport Aikido Classes - Self Defence 

The best way to find out what the Martial Art of Tomiki / Shodokan Aikido and what Sport Aikido is all about is to come along and try a class for free. Beginners are always welcome, and even if you want to just try it out for one session to see if you like it .......come and play! 

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 class is FREE!  (2 hours)






What to Wear

If you already have a Judo or Karate suit then bring it with you. If you don't, you can wear any loose-fitting clothing such as tracksuit bottoms and a sweatshirt. 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 training mats.

OK, so you've found the dojo (training hall), what next? 

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. 

Getting started... formal etiquette

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 beginning 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 eliminate outside world concerns before starting. "Mokuso yame" is the signal to stop meditation and open one's eyes again. "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 this Japanese dojo etiquette 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 are any new students present.

 A few additional Japanese words you will hear during each class are:" 

  • 'Kiritsu" -stand up, (always raising the right leg first)
  • "Seiretsu"' or 'Shugo' - line up,  
  • "Yame" - Stop,
  • "Matte" -Pause/Wait,
  • "Hajime" -Begin,
  • "Hai!" -yes,  
  • "Kotai" - Swap over,
  • "Ukemi" - breakfall,
  • "Uke" - the person who does breakfall,
  • "Tori" - the person applying a technique to uke.

Warming up

We spend a little while getting warmed up. We often start by lightly jogging around the mat to get the heart pumping faster, 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.

To complete the warm-up 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. 

Breakfalls (Ukemi)

In Aikido, we spend a lot of time receiving technique, falling to the mat and getting back up. We have specific ways of receiving technique and falling to avoid injury 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. 

Techniques (Waza)

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 storeroom (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 intriguing.  Hopefully, you would have had some fun and will want to come back for more! 

How much does membership cost?

€100 per month 

Your first (2 hours) 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 available for full-time academic students and those unemployed.  On average one month's 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 commitment imposed. However, we would ask that you provide one month's 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 British Aikido Association (BAA), the association to which our club is formally affiliated. Adult membership of the BAA is £35 per annum and this should be paid directly to the BAA. Membership of the BAA entitles our members to access Seminars, Official BAA/JAA grading events as well as subsidised insurance coverage for our members. 

You can pay your BAA membership annual dues to the BAA directly by Bank Transfer (BACS) to:-

IBAN: GB88HBUK40370411459422

or you can give the equivalent in Euro to Keith or Pam and they will make a transfer on your behalf.

Martial Arts Training uniform

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 club 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 stronger and able to better withstand grabbing, pulling and contact with the mat.

 We really look forward to meeting you. If you have any questions or want to book in for a free introductory class please call the number on the top of the page or message us via the DUBLIN TOMIKI AIKIDO facebook page and we will get right back to you.


martial-arts classes

€ - Paying your monthly subs - €

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. Monthly subs go towards the expense of running the club; i.e. hall rental, cleaning, IMAC compliance, and the purchase, storage and maintenance of training equipment (mats). Your first month's subs can be paid in cash, however, thereafter monthly subs need to be paid on the 1st of the Month by bank transfer or standing order directly to the club bank account only.

IBAN : IE59AIBK93331765622011

We really appreciate your help and consideration as it helps greatly to reduce administration overhead and keep the club running smoothly.

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