FAQ - Pinner Aikido Club London

Frequently Asked Questions. If you don't find the answer to your question here, please feel free to enquire using using our online contact form. We always try to respond as soon as possible and your questions do help us to keep this section clear and helpful.

See our New Starters Guide to find out what to wear and what you can expect when you come along.

Do you run classes for children?

A: No. Classes are for adults over 18 only.

Are your instructors registered and qualified?

A: All our instructors are qualified and registered with the British Aikido Board.

Do you need to be very fit to practise Aikido?

A: The idea is to use technique not strength, so muscles and stamina aren't really needed.

Does the club purchase or provide gi's?

A: The club will provide you with clothing as part of your first months training fee.

Can I ask questions?

A: Yes, whether you are training or watching, wait until the sensei has finished demonstrating a technique and asked the class to continue, then raise your hand. Once you have seen that the sensei has noticed, you can put you hand down and wait for him to come over. Try not to be impatient if the sensei is held up by others, everyone wants their questions answered!

Can I just sit and watch?

A: Yes, there is a seated area by the mat. Its easier to get an idea of what its all about by joining in, but watching is fine. Let the sensei know if you want just to watch, and he will try to come over to answer questions and maybe demonstrate a few appropriate techniques.

Can I just turn up or should I call first?

A: Usually, it is ok to just turn up.

Can I park nearby?

A: There is plenty of free parking during the evening. Venue has spacious car park.

Can I wear socks?

A: Yes, they should be either white or black.

Can I wear trainers?

A: No, shoes of any kind are never allowed on the mats.

Can students get discounted rates?

A: No - Sorry there are no "concession" rates for students.

Do you run separate classes for beginners?

A: We introduce beginners in a separate area of the mat during the normal training session. The induction is structured towards integration with the main session, usually within a few weeks.

Do you train with weapons?

A: We occasionally practice with wooden training weapons - knife/ sword/ staff and chain. This shows how to defend against an armed attacker if necessary and helps the development of unarmed technique. Weapon use is not taught as an aggressive skill.

How long does it take to get to black belt?

A: Usually between 5 to 8 years depending on ability, commitment and attitude.

How much do gradings cost?

A: From white belt (starting grade) through to blue belt, gradings are free and are usually performed locally. The senior Brown and Black belt gradings however, are only held once a year and candidates travel to our Aylesbury venue to be examined by a senior grade panel. This helps to maintain our standards nationally and helps provide topics for our day courses, which are run by senior dan grades. Senior gradings are charged at slightly different prices depending on the grade being attempted but are presently in the order of £25.

How old do you have to be to join in?

A: The classes are run for adults only - that is to say age 18 and up.

What should I wear when visiting the club?

A: Loose clothing, preferably without buttons or zips as these could be uncomfortable and dig in. Clothing that can stretch a little is perfect as it is more comfortable when learning to roll. It's also a good idea to bring flip flops (the Japanese call them "zori") to prevent dust or dirt from being tracked onto the mats. Jewellery should be left at home as it can be a safety risk. A necklace for example could pull tight risking damage to your neck and perhaps causing a finger to get caught. Cosmetic jewellery such as studs and eye bars could get caught and cause injury but in practice, adults are usually allowed to make their own decision. Please also note that the club cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to guests' property.

Am I too Old or Unfit to train?

A: There's an old saying "you are as old as you feel". You certainly won't be pressured into doing more than you can do but there obviously is a physical side to training eg. rolling breakfalls. You will be shown how to do these safely and you can take your own time to become confident and proficient. Ultimately, you are the best judge of what you can do, so come along and watch and only decide when you know what you will be doing. There is plenty of seating and you and your friends are welcome to visit.
The only rule is not to distract the training going on, so responsible behavior is a must.

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Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art and is very different from disciplines such as Karate, Kick Boxing, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, MMA, BJJ, Kempo and Krav Maga where there is emphasis on kicking, punching or wrestling.

Aikido is an extremely efficient self defence (also as Self-Defence Women London) system utilising balance-taking and posture-breaking movements to achieve joint locks, pins and throws. It contains elements of Ju Jitsu, Kendo, Judo and other budo.

Aikido Classes are held every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at our Harrow dojo, and Thursday evening at our Pinner dojo in NW London. Pinner Aikido Club London is a part of the Kai Shin Kai International Traditional Aikido Association (KSK), which is a member of the Aikido Alliance.

Aikido is essentially a non-violent Martial art system that encourages the avoidance of confrontation and harmony with an aggressor. The classes are well attended with Aikido students always on the mat and aimed at all levels, from beginner to advanced but everyone is welcome to come along regardless of fitness or experience.

Our Aikido students work at their own pace during the training sessions and no one is forced into doing anything they are not comfortable with.
Pinner Aikido Club in London can help you achieve self-defense skills, self-esteem, confidence, and fitness. Most of all though, our classes are fun.

You do not have to be competitive or naturally athletic to take part in the Aikido class. Learning Aikido is about self-improvement and self-confidence.

Regardless of your size, body type and current level of physical ability or disability. If you are looking for a healthier, more confident way of life, then the modern art of Aikido may well be for you.

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