• Can anyone start aikido? Yes! That is the great thing about Yoshinkan Aikido. Anyone, irrespective of age or background can train. We do not rely on body strength nor size, but emphasize movement, balance and timing. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of modern aikido, and Gozo Shioda, one of his students and the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, were both men of small stature yet were masters of the art.
  • Who will be teaching me? Chief Instructor Darren Friend Shihan teaches most classes and is at the dojo everyday.. Peggy Woo Sensei is often on the mat and there are some senior students who will occasionally teach classes.
  • Is there competition in Yoshinkan Aikido? In our style of aikido we stress cooperation and blending with our partner’s movements, physically and mentally. Aikido is not a sport, it has come from combat and the techniques should be respected and trained with that in mind. Sport and competition are good things in the right environment but do not fit with the self defensive ethos of aikido.
  • I am not very good at sports and have never done a martial art…will that be a problem? There is no need to worry. People with absolutely no experience in Yoshinkan Aikido are treated as complete beginners and taken through all the basic movements before moving on to advanced techniques. We provide a safe learning environment and teach how to train properly with an emphasis on minimizing injury.
  • Can I learn aikido for self-defense? Yes. Aikido is first and foremost a martial art. Aikido is famous as being a defensive based art, but that does not lessen the effectiveness of its techniques. In Yoshinkan Aikido there are hundreds of different techniques applied in various situations. We learn how to react differently depending on the attack. Strikes, counter strikes , locks and throws are all part of the regular curriculumn. Controlling space, vocal projection, learning to stare down an aggressor are all important non contact aspects of the training. If those techniques and strategies work we will avoid physical conflict and the need to apply aikido techniques. Yoshinkan Aikido is taught to both police men and woman as well as special response groups within the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
  • Are weapons taught? Yes, but not to beginners. Weapons such as knife, staff and sword play a part in aikido, but we emphasise open handed aikido first. As you continue you will be exposed to more weapons and taught how to handle them and defend against them.
  • What is the difference between Yoshinkan and Yoshinkai -both words consist of 3 Japanese characters? Kan refers to the building or system of aikido known as Yoshinkan. Kai refers to the organization. This subtle difference in name can be seen in many organizations in Japan. We basically follow the Japanese method and use Yoshinkan to refer to the style of aikido and Yoshinkai as the organization name.
  • Will my grade be recognized by other clubs? As a registered AYF dojo you can be assured of strong contacts with other Yoshinkan clubs in Australia, the Yoshinkan headquarters in Japan and AYF registered dojo worldwide. All dan grades are registered in Japan and are recognized world wide.