West Huntspill Aikido club

Traditional Aikido practised with an open mind and heart.

'Violence is a solemn reality to be confronted with the utmost seriousness' - Yukiyoshi Takamura

 

Etiquette - Why bother?

As a traditional dojo we require a certain level of discipline and etiquette.

It needs to be understood that we do not practise Aikido as a sport or a hobby, it is our martial art. In order to learn safely it is necessary to trust the person we are partnering with to a very high degree. If this trust cannot be earned then bluntly put the art cannot be practised and neither of you will improve. If you are cutting at me with a sword I really want to know that you are focussed on the task at hand for both our sakes.

So, in order to practise safely a feeling of 'zanshin' (awareness) trust and self discipline must be fostered.

These moments of formality allow you to relax into your aiki mindset, clearing the thoughts of day to day issues, focusing on the task at hand and minimising the risk of injury for you and your partners.

The following basic requirements exist to prevent accidents to both yourself and your partner and to make your practise a pleasant one, we must ask that you respect and adhere to them.

Safety and hygiene

General dojo behaviour

Discipline

We have no desire or intention to run a boot camp, the disclipline we wish to observe comes from within you as this is the only kind that means anything. However the techniques we practise have dangers and we must ask that you respect the advice of the teachers. Incorrect application or receiving of a technique can cause harm to self or others.

Seiza (Kneeling)

The most polite way of sitting is in seiza. with your shins on the floor and bottom on your heels, big toes crossed, back straight, shoulders relaxed with knees around one fist apart. Keep your gaze level with chin slightly tucked in. Hands are placed near the top of the thighs. If you are required to sit for a length of time, you may relax and sit cross-legged, provided you do not show the soles of your feet.

Making rei (Bowing)

From seiza

Begin by bending forward (back straight) sliding the left hand from the thigh to the floor, fingers together, thumb out. Next slide the right hand to the floor. The thumbs and forefingers of both hands touch slightly, creating an arrowhead shape on the floor. Lower your forearms to rest on the floor keeping the back straight and head properly aligned. Apart from it being rude to show the back of your head, keeping the head and neck aligned with the back allows you to see peripherally all around. To recover from the bow, simply straighten the arms, keeping the hands on the floor. Slide the right hand back up the thigh first, then the left hand as you straighten the back and return to the starting position.

A standing bow

This is executed similarly with the back straight, head and neck aligned, but the hands remain relaxed at the sides. Once again you should be able to peripherally observe your surroundings. In particular you should be able to observe the person or object you are bowing to.