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 resuming practice in August 2020 with the following caveats:
- One session per week (Saturday, 10 am -12 noon)
- Outdoor practice only, consisting of weapons work and tai sabaki: no physical contact
- Six people or fewer per group, with social distancing within and between groups
- Students will be required to submit a COVID-19 Indemnity Form before each class
- Hands and weapons must be sanitised; weapons must not be exchanged or shared
- Be prepared to arrive, practise and leave without using the Leighton Sports Centre facilities
We will review the safety factors regularly and 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