About aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art. It teaches techniques that blend with the movement of an attacker, leading them off-balance and allowing them to be thrown or pinned to the ground.

Aikido techniques teach timing, sensitivity and especially co-ordinated body movement, to bring an attacker under control without relying on brute force.

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

The aikido training method involves partner practice where each partner adapts to the level of the other. This allows new and experienced, young and old, weak and strong to train together for mutual benefit. Aikido practice can therefore be slow and gentle or extremely intense and powerful, depending on the level of the partners involved.

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    About the club

    Pádraic Moran has practised aikido for over 20 years. He trained in several clubs in Ireland and England before establishing Atlantic Aikido in Galway in 2011.

    He regularly attends international seminars in Ireland and France, and has made three trips to Tokyo to practise aikido in the international headquarters (Hombu Dojo).

    Pádraic works directly under the technical supervision of Philippe Gouttard (7th dan), one of France’s most senior instructors. Philippe awarded him his 2nd dan (2nd degree black belt) in 2014.

    We are also closely connected with the Dublin Aikido group, headed by Michael O’Donovan (4th dan).

    Atlantic Aikido is dedicated to sharing the joy of aikido, to high technical and ethical standards, in a welcoming, inclusive and open-minded atmosphere.

    A typical 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.

    Sometimes classes include training with wooden weapons: bokken ‘wooden sword’, ‘staff’, or tantō ‘(wooden) knife’. These help to develop good body mechanics, sharpen the focus, and give insight into the origins of aikido techniques.

    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.