The class format follows a similar structure each practice. It tries to keep as close to the format and style of teaching at Kobayashi Dojos in Japan.
Kobayashi Dojos, I feel, has a great method for teaching Aikido. By this I mean the basics that a student learns in his or her first lesson continue and are built on and developed during the student's Aikido career.
The structure and the syllabus develops from the first grading 7th kyu through to 1st Kyu and Shodan (1st dan black belt) And the basic body movements and exercises that the student learnt in the first few months are developed and refined but still fundamentally remain unchanged. Kobayashi Sensei also introduces the use of the Bokken (wooden trainer sword) and the Jo (wooden stave) right from the first lesson
The practice has a consistent format to allow enough time on all aspects of Aikido that a student needs to cover to become a rounded Aikidoka.
The aspects that are regularly practiced include the following:-
- Ukemi - Breakfalls
- Tai Sabaki - Body Movement
- Kihon Taiso - Basic Exercises
- Tachi Waza - Standing Techniques
- Hanmi Handachi - Defender kneeling, Attacker Standing
- Zagi/Suwari Waza - Both Attacker and Defender Kneeling
- Jo Waza - This includes kihon saburi (basics) Jo Awase (partner practice) Kumi Jo (Partner Practice)
- Ken Waza - This includes kihon saburi (basics) Ken Awase (partner practice) Kumi Tachi (Partner Practice)
Although both weapons may not be covered every lesson an equal time is devoted to both disciplines
I hope that this explanation gives an insight into how the practice operates. But please feel free to come along and watch a lesson or even join in the practice of Aikido in Bristol.