A traditional martial art for modern life

Aikido is a Japanese martial art that promotes fitness, flexibility, resilience and body awareness.

Aikido techniques involve unbalancing and then throwing and/or pinning an attacker. Techniques rely on blending movements and good body mechanics, especially rotational movements originating from the lower body.

There is no competition or sparring in aikido. Partners alternate in the role of attacker or defender, and all techniques are applied in a controlled fashion, for safety.

Modern aikido is an art. The defender aims to destabilise the attacker, while the attacker constantly works to recover stability and maintain presence. The interaction between both is at the centre of aikido practice.

Aikido is part of the Japanese tradition of budō, or ‘martial ways’. The purpose of budō is self-development, promoting calm, focus, discipline and compassion.

During training, each partner adapts to the level of the other. This allows new and experienced, young and old, weak and strong to train safely together. Because of this, Aikido practice can be slow and gentle or powerful and intense, depending on the level of the partners involved.

Aikido beginners’ courses

We regularly run six-week beginners’ courses. These introduce you to the fundamentals of aikido, including stretching, rolling, falling safely, basic throwing and pinning, and traditional dojo etiquette.

See our Classes page for dates and more details.

About the club

The instructor, Pádraic Moran, has practised aikido for 25 years. He regularly attends international seminars in Ireland, the UK, and France, and has travelled three times to the Tokyo international headquarters (Hombu Dojo). He currently holds the rank of 3rd dan (3rd black belt).

Pádraic works directly under the technical supervision of Philippe Gouttard (7th dan, Shihan), one of France’s most senior instructors.

We also have a long-standing friendship with the Dublin Aikikai group, headed by Michael O’Donovan (5th dan), and we regularly train together.

A typical aikido class

Aikido practice follows the traditions of a Japanese dōjō ‘training place’. The atmosphere is quiet, calm and focused.

We begin with a seated bow. There follow about ten minutes of warming up (aiki taisō), then some rolling practice (ukemi) and footwork exercises (tai sabaki). Most of the class is given over to partner practice. After the instructor demonstrates, students practise in pairs. Each student takes turns in the role of attacker (uke) and defender (tori). Most classes usually end with some free practice. The class then concludes with another seated bow.

New students gradually learn traditional dojo etiquette (rei). These customs and habits are centred around expressing respect: self-respect, respect for your training partner, respect for the instructor and the art, and respect for the place you train in.

(Read more about aikido training on our Blog.)