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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to practice?
    Depending on how many practices you do a week
    1 Practice a week = £25 per month
    2 Practices a week = £40 per month

  • What about insurance?
    We offer a combined Insurance/membership for £35 per annum. Insurance is through the British Aikido Board

  • Do I need any special clothing or uniform?
    For the first month you can wear loose fitting clothes like tracksuit trousers (no zips) and t-shirt. After the first month you should look into buying a keiko dogi (training uniform usually judo style) which are about £25

  • What else do I need?
    You should also think about bringing some zori (sandals) to walk from the changing room to the mat. And a small towel (flannel size) to wipe any sweat on your face and hands

  • Are the classes open to anyone?
    Yes the classes are open to anyone over the age of 18

  • Do you teach children?
    Unfortunately at this time we do not offer children's classes

  • Can I come along and just watch?
    Yes, Seats are provided to quietly watch the practice and the instructor and other students would be happy to answer any questions you have after the practice

  • Where are the grades recognised?
    We undertake all kyu grades in house. All Yudansha (black belt) examinations are carried out annually under Hiroaki Kobayashi and signed by Yasuo Kobayashi Sensei (8th Dan) and certified by the current doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. All registered in Japan. All students who pass their yudansha examinations receive an international yudansha book, hombu membership card and certificate signed by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba.

  • Who is your teacher?
    Hiroaki Sensei, Kobayashi Sensei and all other Kobayashi dojos instructors

  • I'm not very fit, will that be a problem?
    Fitness is not an issue for beginners and the practice will progress in line with your abilities. So initially the pace is slow and controlled, but as you progress and learn more the practice can be very cardiovascular. But you will have gradually developed and be able to practice at that level

  • Will I get hurt?
    Aikido is a contact martial art, which uses joint locks and throws. However practice is under controlled conditions. We have not experienced any serious injuries at Tenchikan Dojo.

  • Are there other beginners there as well?
    The class ranges from long time practitioners to beginners so there is always a wide range of abilities to practice with.

  • I haven't done any martial arts before, is that ok?
    You don't have to have any martial art experience to come along and learn Aikido. New students are carefully taken through the syllabus from breakfalls to basic body movements into techniques

  • How often are the classes?
    Classes are offered on Thursdays at Kingswood Leisure Centre and Mondays at Wick Road, Brislington. Click here for more details

  • Do I need to attend every class?
    The short answer is no. However the only secret to martial arts is the more you practice the better you become. Class fees are monthly so it is in your interest to practice as often as you can

  • Do you use weapons?
    We practice either bokken or jo (wooden sword or wooden staff) every lesson. Covering basic movements through to katas and partner practices.

  • Are there places available for me to start straight away?
    Yes classes are always open and you can start whenever you want

  • Are the classes open to all levels?
    Classes are open to all levels from beginners to advanced practitioners

  • What do I have to do to start?
    Just turn up in your gi or tracksuit and t-shirt with your mat fees and insurance money

  • Do you run specific beginners classes?
    From time to time beginners courses, however beginners are encouraged to come along and join in regular practice

  • Is Aikido right for me?
    Only you can answer that. The best thing is to read through this site and then come along and either watch a practice or join in.

  • Do you use real weapons?
    No, we use wooden practice weapons.

  • Will Aikido help to get me fit?
    Absolutely. Aikido can be very energetic and cardiovascular.

  • How long does it take to get a black belt
    Depends on how often you practice and your abilities, but a general guide would be around 5 years. Remember there are no short cuts to proficiency

  • What qualifications does the instructor have
    Certified coach through the British Aikido Board. Over 12 years of study of Aikido and 2nd Dan awarded by Kobayashi Sensei 8th Dan and certified by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba