About Bath Aikido
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art which was developed in the early 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba (also known as O' Sensei). In simple terms, Aikido combines the movements and principles of the Japanese sword with joint locks and throws, though there is more to it than that. Aikido is practised in such a way as to allow the techniques to be performed safely but vigorously, with blending movements that make for an art that can be dynamic and elegant.
There is no competition in Aikido. Instead, training is centred around the idea of two roles - uke and tori (attacker and defender). These two roles work together to understand the mechanics of the techniques, while respecting their underlying martial principles.
Aikido training can help improve many things including physical fitness, coordination, sensitivity, awareness, and self-confidence. It is truly a unique art that takes time and dedication to master.
OUR APPROACH TO AIKIDO
There are many styles of Aikido practised in many dojos around the world. Many of them follow one particular style, and in some cases, the lineage of one particular teacher. While this is true for us to some extent, we promote a more free style of practice, where we encourage students to find their own Aikido while ensuring they retain the basic principles.
Teachers at Bath Aikido Society, both past and present, have come from a diverse range of Aikido backgrounds. We find this helps give students a more rounded view and exposes them to different ways of doing things. It is also why we encourage existing practitioners from other clubs to practise in their own way should they wish to. However, we believe that fundamental principles apply regardless of style and that a structured practice is important, especially for new students. This is why we also teach a core curriculum common to most Aikido styles.
Bath Aikido Society is part of the Mutokukai Europe network of Aikido organisations, from which we receive technical advice. We also host and participate in seminars taught by highly experienced teachers from Mutokukai Europe - something which we believe is crucial to the development of our students.
Bath Aikido Society was founded in the late 1970s by Bob and Meg Brebner. Shortly after, they were joined by Paul Mitton, who in 1986, would become the club’s chief instructor - a position he held for many years. Under his leadership, and with the help of other senior students and instructors including Daniel Kronenberg and Tony Bristow, the club went from strength to strength. Paul had a playful spirit which could often be seen in his Aikido and the way in which he taught.
Paul sadly passed away in 2011. He is still greatly missed by those that knew him. The club’s unique character and innovative spirit is very much a part of Paul’s legacy.
Today Bath Aikido Society is led by three teachers - Sam Street, Ross Russell, and Jon Marshall. Together with the club’s students, they strive to continue the club’s tradition of inquisitive practice and ensure that there remains a place in Bath for people to learn the wonderful art of Aikido.