• Culture

    Aikido is a relatively new Japanese martial art, typically practiced with rich traditional Japanese custom – lots of kneeling & bowing involved.

  • History

    Aikido came from Jujitsu which came from the need to fight soldiers in body armour. Striking would not work so grappling arts evolved.

  • Founders

    Japanese martial arts master Morihei Ueshiba, nicknamed 'O Sensei' ('Great Teacher'), is regarded as the founder of Aikido.

  • Today

    Aikido is growing in popularity thanks to wide-spread appreciation of the general high standards of classes and etiquette within them.

  • Famous people

    Steven Seagal, the famous "beat 'em up" action movie star, has held a very high grade in Aikido since his teenage years.

  • Style

    Aikido is mostly about grappling, not striking. It's like jujitsu but more graceful, less brutal. Like judo but more traditional, less sporty.

Aikido in Birmingham...

Training in Birmingham's aikido clubs is okay if you're interested in aikido and don't mind following the traditional formalities. As a beginner, you may be practicing rolls (similar to what you might do in Ninjutsu) and punches (similar to what you'd do in Karate). But mostly it's about wrist-grab defence when you're a beginner. Attacker grabs Defender, then Defender does one of half a dozen moves to put Attacker into arm-lock and often falling down to the floor. It's said that these wrist-grab defence techniques aren't practiced by beginners in a way that perfectly represents what would happen in a street-fight, but it's about helping the student to become familiar with the key principles of Aikido which can later be more fluidly exercised in less restricted practice.