Where and when we train
Regular martial arts classes are held in the Belgard Community Centre (opposite the Luas Belgard stop). We recommend that you arrive for your first class at least 15 minutes early so you can meet the class Instructor(s) and get registered.
7:30pm - 9:30pm
7:30pm - 9:30pm
If you already have a Judo or Karate suit then bring it with you. If you don't, you can wear any loose-fitting clothing such as tracksuit bottoms and sweatshirt. Long hair should be tied back and all jewellery removed before stepping onto the mat. As you will be training barefoot we recommend that you bring flip-flops or slippers to wear from the changing area to minimise dust and unpleasant bacteria being brought onto the mats.
The first thing is to come in and introduce yourself to the class instructor. If in doubt just say hello to someone in the hall and they will point you in the right direction. You will find us to be friendly and welcoming to newcomers. You can bring your shoes, bag and coat into the main hall. Please put your mobile phone on silent.
Once the class start is signalled by the instructor, all students line up in rows facing the "shomen" (designated front wall of the dojo) in grade order with lowest rank nearest to the hall entrance door. Instructors will line up facing you, again in rank order.
A class instructor (sensei) or a senior student (senpai) will shout out a few Japanese instructions beginning with "seiza", meaning all students should adopt the traditional Japanese sitting position (kneeling). Shortly after, they will call "mokuso" (meditate) to indicate that all students should close their eyes and try to calm their mind, the purpose of which is to allow each student time to eliminate outside world concerns before starting. "Mokuso yame" (Stop meditation) is the signal to open one's eyes again. "Shomen" or "Shomen-ni-rei" signals for all to face forward toward the front of the dojo where a picture of the founder(s) is often displayed. "Rei" signals for all present to show respect to the founder(s) by bowing. (Bowing is a Japanese cultural practice to show respect to elders, teachers, and fellow students.) "Sensei-ni-rei", means bow to the teacher and finally "otagai-ni-rei" bow to fellow students, completes the formal starting ritual.
If you get lost at any point, just follow someone next to you. Don't worry! we all found this Japanese dojo etiquette a bit strange at the start. The instructor will explain clearly and in more detail what to do if there are any new students present.
A few additional Japanese words you will hear during each class are:"
We start by doing some light exercises to wake up the body, nothing too strenuous. We then spend a couple of minutes just moving each joint so that they are nice and loose and ready for practice. Follow the instructor or someone next to you if you are unsure of any exercise.
Next up, we normally loosen up the wrists with several specific stretching exercises. Because Aikido techniques often involve wrist, arm and shoulder locks, we stretch these joints out beforehand so that when the techniques are applied, we are better prepared to receive them. Don't worry, some of these exercises do involve some weird grasps and manipulation of your hands and arms, someone will come and show you exactly what to do.
To complete the warm-up we do some basic drills. Don't worry if you don't follow everything, someone will guide you and explain what to do.
In Aikido training, we spend a lot of time receiving technique, falling to the mat and getting back up. We have specific ways of receiving technique and falling to avoid injury and which allows us to practice on each other again and again. You will be shown the basics so you can start to train safely. During practice, your assigned partner will be aware of your abilities and will take great care not to be forceful or injure you in any way.
Once you are loose and warm, we get onto the meat of the session. The sensei (teacher) will demonstrate a principle, a drill or technique - typically using one of the more experienced students.
We then break up into pairs, and you spend the next couple of minutes trying to work out which way up your hands are supposed to be before you start, and you realise that the technique has more to it than might first have appeared. After another minute or so, the sensei may come over and show you again how to improve your technique - and you just start to get the idea when they call everyone back to look at the next technique.
After a few more techniques, all seemingly easy but with hidden complexities that mean you end up facing the other way - or holding the wrong arm - you find a technique which you can do! When you grab here, step just there, twist the arm like so, and apply pressure like that - and this is the point at which you realise that Aikido is a sophisticated art that can be very effective.
All too quickly, we all line up again and looking at the clock, you realise two hours have slipped by - it doesn't seem like it!. After a couple of bows, you make your way off the mat (bowing finally to the mat as you step off). Before we get changed we put the mats back in the storeroom (everybody is expected to give a hand regardless of rank). When all is done, you start putting your shoes and socks back on, feeling warm and slightly tired - but feeling like you've really experienced something different and intriguing. Hopefully, you would have had some fun and will want to come back for more!
€100 per month
You can pay for your first month with cash when you sign up. After that classes are paid for monthly by credit/debit card. Classes are two hours in length, held twice per week, so your monthly fee represents good value (approx €6 per hour). A subsidised rate of €60 per month is available for full-time academic students and those unemployed. On average, one month's attendance equates to 16 hours of training. In some months, additional sessions may be organised for those preparing for competition at no extra cost. There is no annual contract or long term financial commitment imposed. However, we ask that you provide one month's notice if you intend to take a break.
You do not have to buy a training uniform (do-gi) until your first month is over, however, you will find that the sooner you get one, the quicker you will feel part of the club and the more comfortable your training will be. We recommend you purchase a judo suit rather than a karate suit as the jacket and trousers of a judo suit are stronger and able to better withstand grabbing, pulling and contact with the mat.
If you have any further questions please call the number on the top of the page or message us via our facebook page and we will get right back to you.
It's important to take into account that Dublin Tomiki Aikido is run exclusively by volunteers during their personal time on a not-for-profit basis. Your subs go towards the expense of running the club; i.e. hall rental, Instructor Insurance, IMAC compliance and equipment rental and maintenance (mats). Your first month subs can be paid in cash, however, thereafter monthly subs must be paid by card via SUBSNINJA.COM (our Club Managment software platform).
Before your first month has come to an end you will receive an email from us via SUBSNINJA.COM inviting you to enter card details for monthly billing. Once sucessfully onboard, payment will be taken automatically on a designated date every month until you cancel your membership.
We really appreciate your consideration in this matter as it helps greatly to reduce admin overhead and keep the club running smoothly.
For the first month, you'll be covered by the club's general insurance. To continue to train after the first month you must become a member of the British Aikido Association (BAA), the association to which our club is formally affiliated. Adult membership of the BAA is £40 per annum and this should be paid directly to the BAA. Membership of the BAA entitles our members to access Seminars, Official BAA/JAA grading events as well as subsidised insurance coverage for our members.
You can pay your BAA membership annual dues to the BAA directly by Bank Transfer (BACS) to:-
as a Mature Student
Aikido Uniform / training suit
Adult 7th- 1st Kyu, 1st - 7th Dan
Self Defense, Competition and Fun!
Using non-aggressive, joint-locks, holds and pins