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Aikido meaning “the Way of harmonious spirit” is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a way of combining his spiritual beliefs with his philosophy and martial studies – he previously trained in judo and jiu jitsu. He envisioned it as an art that practitioners could use to protect themselves but without harming the attacker, because of this is it often seen as a non-aggressive martial art.

Why am I telling you all this? Well I like to practice it when I have the chance as a way to relax and take my mind off studying and also to give me an element of self-defence if I ever need to use it. The other reason is that we have a great aikido club here at Cardiff university linked with a town club, as such we are able to get international teachers over several times during each year. We also like to go out after these visits and at other times, not just drinking but food and have plans for bowling or laser quest. Being a major city we also have national courses frequently held in Cardiff including one this last weekend.

If you have never done a martial art before then don’t worry a lot of our members had never done anything before they started and we treat everyone gently at the beginning, we get a little meaner once you have learnt how to roll and bounce 😉 (just joking). If you have done a martial art or aikido before then great you’ll have a bit of a headstart and it will make your grading easier when it comes round – normally once or twice a year in February/March time. If you’re really dedicated you can even go on a trip to the south of France for a summer school with some great teachers. I’ve not been brave enough to try this yet, but lots of classes per day mean there is a great chance to learn a lot of great techniques and details.

The club is really friendly and inexpensive compared to a lot of clubs so why not come and check us out if you’re in Cardiff or join when you come in the next year after applying. You can find more information at


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