Airenjuku Dojo (Airenjuku means Small School of Harmonious Practice) has a long history, beginning as Kanetsuka sensei’s Saturday practice within the BAF at Albany Street dojo in the late 1970s.

Under Tom and Maria Helsby it was renamed Airenjuku in the late 1980s and moved to SOAS with Chris Reid and Sue Smith in 1989 when the Albany Street dojo was redeveloped. The club provides a basic grounding in Aikido, both empty hand and weapons, to new students and others and to provide somewhere for those who already practice Aikido with other organisations from other countries. Airenjuku now operates across a number of venues in London which are mainly focused on university clubs. We are also open to non-students, which gives continuity and a wide range of training partner experience.

Airenjuku has instructors who work together from different organisations, these being the United Kingdom Aikikai and Te Shin Kai Aikido Association. We hold regular courses with senior teachers from the UKA, Te Shin Kai and other organisations. Through it’s affiliation Airenjuku instructors are registered with the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Japan.

We hope that you find the information on this website useful and we look forward to meeting you.

  • Morihei Ueshiba
  • The word “aikido” is formed of three kanji:

    合 – ai – joining, unifying, combining, harmony
    気 – ki – spirit, energy, mood, morale
    道 –  – way, path

    Aikido can therefore be translated as “the Way of Harmonic Energy”

Created by Morehei Ueshiba – known throughout the aikido world as ‘O Sensei’ which means ‘great teacher’ – Aikido’s guiding principle is harmonisation.Aikido develops centered, flexible, dynamic movement (tai sabaki) in its practitioners which when combined with neutralization or projection techniques (waza), creates a powerful, almost effortless system to control aggressors.

Because harmonisation – not confrontation – is at the heart of aikido, it has a simple ethic: if attacked, offer a sincere, robust defence but without hurting your aggressor Although it does take time to become proficient, the training is enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. People of all ages and abilities benefit in a variety of ways from embarking upon the Aikido journey.

AIKIDO is a Japanese art of self-defence whose origins can be traced back to the 12th century. It is based on an attitude of non resistance rather than on the confrontation of strength on strength. An attack is not blocked it is re-directed and controlled in a way that causes the assailant to be thrown by the force of his own attack.

In addition to throws Aikido employs a variety of techniques applied to the attackers joints. When applied these techniques will leave no serious injury only the swift neutralisation of an attack. However, if necessary the techniques can be lethal.

Aikido is perhaps the most subtle and graceful of the martial arts and embraces an immense range of techniques that may be employed against all manner of attack, armed or otherwise. It is unique in that it teaches the practitioner to defend against attack by more than one assailant.

Aikido, when performed correctly, requires no great physical strength and may be practiced by anyone regardless of age or sex. Its effectiveness is due to the fact that it has no set rules making it one of the most practical forms of self defence.

Aikido provides a form of all round physical exercise that could hardly be surpassed promoting suppleness, agility, increased co-ordination and speed of reaction. Aikido is a most effective martial art recommended for those whom the more aggressive and competitive arts have less appeal.

Foundation of Aikido

Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba after extensive training in Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu under the instruction of Takeda Sōkaku. He was also known to have studiedTenjin Shin’yō-ryū with Sensei Tozawa Tokusaburō, Yagyū Shingan-ryū under Nakai Masakatsu and Judo with Kiyoichi Takagi. Along with these unarmed throwing and joint locking techniques Ueshiba also incorporated armed combat into the development of Aikido principally introducing the technical structure from the art ofKenjutsuand training techniques derived from the spear (Yari) and short staff ().

The UKA was formed in 1985 by Mr. W Smith and other senior teachers, all with at least 25 years experience in teaching Aikido.

The newly formed organisation was initially supported by K. Chiba Shihan, who was the founder of Aikido in the UK and was a direct student of Ueshiba Sensei. Chiba Shihan was sent to the UK to build on the work started by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei.

Its formation came from a desire to create an organisation of sincere, dedicated practitioners that integrates and encourages training within everyday life. This philosophy remains within core UKA values today

The UKA is directly affiliated to the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, the world headquarters of Aikido. Senior teachers from Hombu visit the UKA on a regular basis ensuring teachers of the UKA are kept on top form! All members’ grades are awarded by senior UKA teachers (Shidoin) and are authorised by Hombu dojo ensuring that all ranking is recognised world wide.

United Kingdom Aikikai