Morihiro Saito Sensei - O'Sensei;s longest serving uchi deshiAikido does not mean the same thing for all practitioners. When you ask those who have trained for some time usually some reasons appear more often than others:

Self-defence

Many start practicing Aikido to learn self-defence, and most feel safer after a workout. Aikido is a very good self-defence system, but after a while, you discover that there is so much more in Aikido.

It feels good to practice Aikido

Done correctly and safely, the practice of Aikido significantly contributes to an improved state of being and general wellness.

Physical activity is stress-reducing, which affects your ability to manage everyday stress and therefore your health. Many see Aikido training as a perfect ending to a stressful day when they relax physically and mentally. Physical and mental stress are linked. When you learn how to relax the body a corresponding mental relaxation occurs.

Aikido trains the entire body and promotes suppleness, strength, and endurance. As you practice Aikido your flexibility will improve and you will develop better breath control. As you receive techniques (known as "Ukemi" - falling, rolling, locks & pins) it provides an in-depth stimulation of the body's internal organs and builds strength and flexibility in the joints. Practicing Aikido will both develop your physical balance and lead you towards a centered balance between body, mind, and spirit.

Ulf Evenås Shihan - Saito Sensei's technical heir
Personal development
The basic principles of Aikido are founded in establishing and maintaining a stable and centred state of being (stable and flexible physical structure, a calm and alert mental state with a mindful and powerful spirit). Ongoing practice in achieving and then maintaining this state give you tools that are relevant and applicable to daily life.

Alongside this, Aikido techniques themselves are predicated on the efficiency of not entering into conflict and are practiced with the intention of effectively neutralising an attack whilst looking after your assailant. These principles also, when practiced regularly generate the habits of presence and compassion which are the basis of effective conflict resolution in everyday life. It is no coincidence that Aikido is frequently used as a model in conflict management, leadership and negotiation skills.

Socialising

Our dojo is first and foremost a group of like-minded individuals from all walks of life who are looking to improve themselves through the practice of Aikido. Practicing Aikido is a cooperative activity so we find that meeting and training regularly with others in a spirit of cooperation naturally leads to personal bonds of friendship and camaraderie.

You are invited to come and experience Aikido for yourself.