Welcome to the White Wings Dojo.

There are a number of things that happen before a journey starts. As a new student you naturally will have questions and concerns.

Welcome to your first step of a long and rewarding journey. Beginners are welcome to observe any regular class. In a regular class a beginner may be paired with an advanced student, and will work on the same techniques separately from the class (though on the same mat), until learning some fundamentals, such as simple falls and rolls. Check with the dojo you visit on how to start your training.

The dojo has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. However, it is also a place of serious study, mindful of the martial arts tradition and purpose. The emphasis is on personal development and understanding, not on following a rigorous set of forms or memorizing complex kata. The training can be physically challenging, but is not necessarily so. Students work at their own level of physical ability and stamina, relaxing when necessary, challenging themselves when appropriate. Students are not goaded into pushing themselves to the extremes of their ability. Rather, students are asked to try to integrate their energy into the class. The result is a feeling of enjoyment and relaxation with alertness and clarity by the end of class.

The entire dojo trains together in each class. There is no segregation by rank during practice: Beginning, intermediate and advanced students all practice together freely. The instructor gives individual attention to students throughout class.

The emphasis is on controlling a physical encounter from the beginning through timing and motion, rather than by subduing an opponent by sheer force or speed. Proper breathing and posture are also important. There are some breathing exercises during class.

Students are free to practice together after class, and help is always available from senior students. The dojo has many Black Belts (Yudansha), so abundant help is always available.

What is Aikido? Aikido is a non-competitive martial art from Japan that emphasizes mind/body integration. Learn more by clicking on the About Aikido button.

Who can study Aikido? Men and women of all ages can study Aikido, regardless of physical skill or previous experience in athletics or other martial arts. Training is always self-paced, and for the most part all ranks train together, with the more experienced Aikidoists helping the newer students.

Why do people study Aikido? Aikido is never competitive, so the training is purely for personal development. Aikido is vigorous, weight-bearing exercise that improves your strength, coordination, balance and your overall health. The training also helps you develop alertness and a calm mind. Most people find that regular training reduces stress levels significantly. The most important reason to study Aikido, however, is to enjoy it!

How do you begin? Just come by and join a class. We also offer classes especially for beginners. In the regular classes senior students give you individual help with the basics and work with you until you feel comfortable enough to train with the other students. To sign up just arrive at the dojo about 15 minutes early to introduce yourself and sign a waiver. Wear comfortable, loose clothing, or a gi if you have one. You are welcome to observe classes and talk with the instructor and other students before you decide to join.

If you're interested in starting Aikido or continuing to learn in a different environment you can start by calling this number 01827 716100 or 07831 200540 and ask for Adrian.
Or you can find out about our classes here About Us Classes

Japanese Terms used in Daily Practice

The following terms are commonly used in Aikido training, and in the standard techniques tested during Aikikai examinations for a higher rank.

The names of Aikido techniques (waza) consist of two parts :-

Examples: mune tsuki + ikkyo, katate tori + shiho nage, shomen uchi + irimi nage.

Thus the first two parts of the table are Attacks and Throws. Any attack combines with any throw to become a waza: For example, a partner can attack with mune tsuki and be thrown with ikkyo, shiho nage, kote gaeshi, irimi nage or one of many kokyu nage.

Aikido termDefinitionExamples or Description
hanmi handachihalf sitting, half standingStanding uke attacks seated nage
kata torishoulder grabkata tori ikkyo, ushiro kata tori sankyo
katate torione hand grab (same side, as in left hand grabs partner's right wrist)katate tori shiho nage
katate kosa torione hand grab (opposite side) As in, left hand grab of partner's left wrist.katate kosa tori ikkyo
katate (tori) ryotemochi [morote tori]attacker grabs one wrist with both handskatate tori ryote mochi kokyu nage
mune tsukipunch or thrust to the chestmune tsuki kotegaeshi
ryote toriboth hands grabbedryote tori tenchi nage
shomen uchidirect strike to the face or front of the headshomen uchi ikkyo
ushiro (ryo) kata torigrab (both) shoulder(s) from behindushiro kata tori sankyo
ushiro tekubi / hiji / kata torigrab wrists / elbows / shoulders from behindushiro tekubi tori kotegaeshi, ushiro hiji tori, ushiro kata tori
yokomen uchistrike to the side of the face or headyokomen uchi shiho nage

Aikido termDefinitionExamples or Description
ikkyo [ude osae] (omote and ura)first form throwBasic pin of the opponent's arm
nikyo [kote mawashi] (omote and ura)sceond form throwTurning of the wrist (forearm) pin
sankyo [kote hineri] (omote and ura)third form throwTwisiting of the wrist (forearm) pin
yonkyo [tekubi osae] (omote and ura)fourth form throwWrist pressure pin
gokyo (omote and ura)fifth form throwPin usually used against knife attacks
irimi nageentering throwThrow by sliding past the opponent's line of attack, letting his momenum pass
jo nage (or tori)Throwing with, or taking away, the joset of throwing techniques with a wooden staff
jiyu wazafree style techniquesBasic: perform any throw against ryotetori (both hands grasped) attack
toshu henka wazachange style/form techniquesAny throw against any attack
kaeshi wazareversal throwTechniques for counteringnage's throw
kaiten nage (omote and ura)revolution throwTurn of the wheel revolution, not the overthrowing of governments kind
kokyu nagebreath throwThrows relying on timing, body movement and attacker's speed, and strength, rather than joint locks
kote gaeshiTuring in of the wrist (reversing the wrist)Similar to a nikyo pin, but used to throw
randoriattack by multiple (usually 4) ukelit. passing through chaos Free techniques against multiple opponents
shiho nage(omote and ura)four directions throw 
sumi otoshi (omote and ura)corner throw  
tachi (bokken) torisword waza deal with (wooden) sword attacks 
tanto toriknife wazadeal with (wooden) knife attacks
suwari wazaseated techniquesactually techniques executed while kneeling
tenchi nage ( omote and ura )heaven-earth throwOne hand goes up, the other comes down (from ryote tori)

Aikido termDefinitionExamples or Description
fune kogi undorowing exercise  
hojo walkposture, moving, and breathing exercise during warmups 
kokyu hobreath exercisedone in a kneeling position (seiza) at the end of every class
misogi (okinaga)purification breathingdone at the end of every class
shikkosamurai (knee) walkingpreparation for suwari waza

Other Japanese Words & Phrases
Aikido termDefinitionExamples or Description
ashi hakobimove the feetmartial way of walking by sliding the feet rather than stepping
bokkenwooden swordtachi, generic name for a (real) sword
haracenter of the body, just below the navel
hanmihalf-stancelit., half body, as in facing forward with left or right foot forward, in left or right hanmi, respectively
hantaiopposite, other side
jowooden stafforiginally a thrusting spear
kaitenpivot 180º in placeturn 180º without moving feet
kamaestanceformal posture for attacking or awaiting attack
kokyubreath or breathingkokyu nage, kokyu ho
kotewrist / lower armlit. small hand
kyu & danrank, level or grade in martial arts:kyu - colored belts, 6th or 5th through 1st kyu (descending) dan - black belts, shodan (1st),nidan (2nd), sandan (3rd),yondan (4th), godan (5th), etc. through 10th dan (ascending)
ma'aiintervalproper distance between nageand uke for attack and defense
menface or head
metsukeEye lineKeep head erect and focus eyes on the middle distance
mochihold, haveryote mochi: hold with both hands
nagethrow or person throwing (the latter also called tori, or taker)shiho nage, irimi nage
onegaishimasuplease as in, please work (train) with me
omotefront entryshiho nage, omote
ryobothryote tori, ryote mochi
sabakibody movement 
seizaformal Japanese sitting, on the knees 
senseiteacherHead instructor is Sensei; all other instructors are only addressed as Sensei when they are teaching and on the mat
tantoknife, lit. short swordtanto tori waza deal with knife attacks
tekubiwristlit. neck of the hand
tenkanturnpivot (kaiten) and step back
toritake, grasp (also person performing the throw)katate tori, ryote tori
uchistrikeshomen uchi, yokomen uchi attacks
ukereceiver, i.e. person being thrown, the attacker or striker (from utsu - to strike (also uchi, ukemi))
ukemithe art of attacking, following and taking the fallPartner's ukemi is good; we have to work on our ukemi
ura, ushiroentry to the backikkyo ura, ushiro tekubi tori
zanshinconnectionmaintain zanshin with your partner throughout the waza or training session