Chishin Dojo came about through a need and desire to provide a space to offer a unique style of Aikido, Internal Strength, Yoga and natural therapies to a range of people. We understand the importance of community and hope to create a common connection among our students and friends.
At Chishin Dojo we want to make Aikido accessible to everyone. We open our doors to all people regardless of ability, race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexuality. Our mission is to promote 'unity in diversity'. We are a not-for-profit community based group, so any surplus profit is reinvested in the dojo, our teachers and social enterprise. The dojo has several schemes and options available to make Aikido & Yoga affordable to those on a low income.
We directly follow the teaching of Hiroshi Ikeda sensei with not only an emphasis on his internal elements but also his desire to bring together teachers and students from different Aikido organisations and backgrounds to share their skills, build friendships, and support the future growth of Aikido. By combining the knowledge of many instructors we hope to keep the full legacy of Aikido alive in the next generations of students and instructors.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Aikido is often translated as the way of harmony but we use the Chinese translation for the characters, which, far more accurately (as the charaters, or kanji, are Chinese) would say 'method for combining or joining stength'.
Aikido is performed by utilising the weight of gravity and the solidity of the ground to change someone's attack. The aikidoka (aikido practitioner) may utilise the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements or may enter very directly. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks. Aikido is a Japanese Budo and comes under the general umbrella of Jujutsu.
Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Omoto-Kyo religion. Many of Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba.
Chishin Dojo was formed in June 2007 and Hiroshi Ikeda sensei, 7th Dan Shihan of Boulder Aikikai kindly gave us our name. Ikeda sensei translated this as 'know one's self, one's heart; to (get to) know another persons' heart - to connect heart-to-heart.' In early 2016 we formed a new Aikido association in the UK called UK Aikido Shimbokukai.
The association organise a number of seminars and workshops throughout the year to give members a better understanding of Aikido and related arts. Many of these seminars are taught by highly regarded international teachers teachers and all UK Aikido Shimbokukai seminars and workshops are open to all students, no matter rank, affiliation or style.
The UK Aikido Shimbokukai, its dojo and members are part of Aikido Shimbokukai. The Aikido Shimbokukai is an association of instructors, dojo, and aikido practitioners whose common bond is the practice and development of Aikido. This group strives to bring people together for the exchange of experience and ideas through Aikido training and doesn't follow any one style or teacher, endeavoring to stay apolitical and broad-minded, and welcoming all who are interested in developing Aikido together.
The Aikido Shimbokukai is an Officially Recognised Organisation by the Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) and the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. We value our relationship with Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) and the Aikikai Foundation, and strive to support them as best as possible, through training and other activities.
The UK Aikido Shimbokukai are members of the British Aikido Board, the national governing body for Aikido in the UK.
Aikido has many styles and many forms – we might be classed as progressive – we are always looking for ways to improve and not just repeat what has gone before. Our dojo head directly follows the teaching and internal work of Hiroshi Ikeda sensei and has a very great interest in the analysis and study of internal strength and how it relates to Ueshiba's Aikido thanks to Mike Sigman. Both of these teachers keep stating that the other is essential to his continued growth in Aikido.
All of our grades and ranks are recognised by the Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) and the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. We value our relationship with Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) and the Aikikai Foundation, and strive to support them as best as possible, through training and other activities.
Most of our etiquette is fairly relaxed, if you're unsure of something then please ask or follow the other students.
- When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper etiquette to bow in the direction of O Sensei's picture.
- You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
- If you arrive late for a class then simply sit on the edge of the mat until the teacher is aware you're there.
- If you need to leave the lesson for any reason then please let the teacher know.
- Remove watches, rings and other jewellery before practice as they may catch your hair, skin, or clothing and cause injury to yourself or your partner.
- Please keep your fingernails (and especially your toenails) clean and cut short.
- Keep your training uniform clean, pressed, in good condition and free from offensive odours.
- Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to Aikido. It is impolite to talk whilst the instructor is addressing the class.
- It is usually considered polite to sit in seiza (knelt down) and to bow upon receiving assistance or correction from the teacher.
- Whoever is teaching is referred to as sensei only whilst they're teaching, if you are speaking to a Japanese teacher on or off the mat that you should always use the term sensei when addressing them.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Our monthly classes are £45 per month, and there are weekly options whilst you make your mind up before joining us.
WHAT KINDS OF PEOPLE DO AIKIDO?
We have members from all walks of life - Aikido is not limited to any one sex, sexuality or ethnic group.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FEMALE TEACHERS?
Yes! Please look at the teachers link above.
CAN I COME ALONG AND WATCH?
Of course! Please feel free to come along on any class and watch, ask questions, or better still, have a go!
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
Yes! We will cover the cost of your insurance before you step onto the mat to practice. Your insurance will cover you world-wide and lasts for 12 months.
WHAT DO I WEAR?
If you've done a martial art before then feel free to wear your existing suit, we only ask that you use a white belt if possible, if you've never done a martial art then wear something loose fitting.
HOW MUCH DOES AN AIKIDO SUIT (DOGI or KEIKOGI) COST?
Generally most people wear Karate or Judo type suits in order to practice Aikido, they cost from around £15 upwards. There are a few companies who produce Aikido specific dogi's and they are available from around £30 or so.
HOW DO I JOIN?
We get you to fill in a membership form before practicing with us to ensure that you're insured however if you enjoy Aikido then after 2 weeks we will make you a member of the association.
HOW MUCH IS THE MEMBERSHIP?
Membership fees run from annually from February and cost £55 (£20 students or anyone out of work) the fee is reduced on a pro rata basis.
DO I NEED TO BE FIT?
No, not at all, Aikido is suited to all body types and all ages.
HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE?
I HAVE A PHYSICAL DISABILITY, CAN I STILL DO AIKIDO?
Yes! The practice of Aikido shouldn't be a problem to anyone - we can usually work with you to ensure we all have a safe practice with each other.
£10 per week
MONTHLY AIKIDO MEMBERSHIP (ADULTS)
£45 per month for unlimited classes
Includes internal workshops with our teachers
Includes our annual birthday seminar
Yoga is just £2 per class or you can pay an extra £10 for unlimited Yoga classes
If you wish to pay cash then it's £50 per month for Aikido only.
MONTHLY AIKIDO MEMBERSHIP (ADULTS)
£45 per month for unlimited classes
MONTHLY AIKIDO MEMBERSHIP (JUNIORS)
£22 per month allows anyone under the age of 17 to train once per week
£30 per month allows unlimited training on the junior classes
60 minute lesson is £50
90 minute lesson is £75
WHEN DO I HAVE TO JOIN OR PAY?
You can pay weekly until you join as a member - we then ask you to pay by standing order so you're completely in charge of the membership should you ever leave.
We'll ask you to become a member of the dojo after 2 weeks so we can fulfil our insurance and legal requirements to the British Aikido Board.