COVID-19 and resumption of practice
Our principles for practising aikido in the context of COVID-19 are:
- Protect our health and that of our families and communities;
- Comply with legal requirements;
- Follow the recommendations of the UK's Joint Aikikai Council.
With those principles in mind, we are currently practising with the following caveats:
- Two sessions per week (Thursday, 17:30-19:00, and Saturday, 10 am-12 noon).
- Both sessions are at Leighton Sports Centre, Westbury.
- Hands and weapons must be sanitised; please cultivate the habit of sanitising hands and weapons frequently during the session.
- Be prepared to arrive, practise and leave without using the Leighton Sports Centre changing facilities, in case these are out of use.
Students are no longer required to submit a COVID-19 Indemnity Form before each class, but it is a condition of practice that you do not attend if you have COVID symptoms or have reason to think you might expose other members to infection. If you develop symptoms in between sessions, you should notify the club.
We review the safety factors regularly and will adapt as conditions and facilities change over time.
Aikido is a modern discipline with its roots in Japanese martial arts. Developed in the early 20th century by its founder, Morihei Ueshiba, and based on his background of rigorous training in traditional Japanese jujutsu, sword and spear techniques, aikido offers a comprehensive system of throwing, joint-locking and pinning techniques. It is effective as a martial art, but it is based on a philosophy of non-violence and self-fulfilment, and its essence goes beyond the resolution of physical conflict.
Ueshiba, often referred to as "O Sensei" ("the great teacher"), spent the latter half of his life developing his physical disciplines as a means of refining and uplifting the human spirit. He named the result 'aikido', which can be roughly translated as 'the way of harmony with natural energy'. Aikido is a true 'budo' path, in which training in a physical discipline is used as a 'Way' to spiritual growth. As a result, practising aikido has both physical and psychological benefits.
In recent decades, aikido has risen in global popularity while remaining true to the principles of budo. In accordance with the founder's ideals, aikido has remained distinct from sports, in which one person competes with another. Aikido offers a path for personal development, for people who want to fulfil their human potential.
Aikido is a Way
There is commitment and there is obligation.
Do not abuse or misuse the art of aikido.
Study carefully, honestly and humbly.
Respect your seniors and look after your juniors.
Sugano Seiichi Shihan - 1939-2010