Women & aikido

Our dojo teaches simple, effective self-confidence

Our dojo is an extremely welcoming place for women to learn this defensive martial art. Yoshinkan Aikido is based purely in non-competitive, self-defensive techniques, so you don’t need to be big, strong or an athlete.

The teaching styles of Peggy Woo and Chief Instructor, Darren Friend, complement each other and provide a supportive environment for female students to thrive and learn basic self defense. Peggy is also quite tiny and will prove to you that overcoming any attack relies less on muscles and more on thinking! The way she throws some of our huge male students around looks amazing, but her ability to teach you to do the same is even more remarkable.

You learn how to use the attacker’s energy to control them while remaining safe. In fact, when Darren and his wife Peggy show you the techniques, you will see that you can pin someone AND reach for your mobile to call the police.

Peggy has spent over 15 years perfecting her craft as a martial artist and as a teacher. Winner of the Kihon Waza section of the 4oth All Japan Yoshinkan Aikido Embu Taikai 1995, Peggy went on to undertake and graduate from the gruelling 1-year Yoshinkan Aikido Senshusei course.  The sole female training in a group of 24 International Instructors and  Tokyo Metropolitan Riot Police she graduated and stayed on as an instructor at Yoshinkan Headquarters for 7 years from 1998-2005 before moving to Sydney to open AYNSW in July the same year.

Aikido has a huge number of benefits that are physical and mental. The biggest benefit is that fearless people don’t get attacked. Darren Sensei will tell you that since he started this martial art as a teenager, he hasn’t had to use his skills.

One of the beauties of this martial art is that it has been broken down into simple physical movements and tactics to disarm and control an attacker. Yes, it might look tricky at first, but after just a few lessons you will feel more in control of that punch coming towards your head!

If your goal is a useful form of physical exercise which is intellectually stimulating and improves core body strength, flexibility and muscular strength, then come in to meet some of our women students and teacher.

Aikido is a discipline which not only improves fitness and health but is an intellectually stimulating activity through its teaching of simple physical movements and tactics to disarm and control an attacker.


“Since starting with AYNSW in November 2007 with my husband, I can honestly say that I hardly recognize myself. I was a workaholic with a small baby, so I had no core body strength, very low fitness and low self-confidence in my physical strength. Since then I’ve learned that all of my old fears of being attacked and hurt were just fears. Training with younger, stronger men, I know that I can ‘do it’ and that if I did get attacked, I’d surprise them with my reflexes.”
Claire, 40, mother

“I started to train at the dojo in March 2009. I have always been interested in aikido since visiting Japan ten years ago; its total integration of physical and mental processes is very appealing to me. Since beginning, I have felt the great benefits of tuning my mind/body and have increased my core body strength, reflexes, flexibility, confidence, concentration and hand/eye co-ordination. My energy levels are more balanced. I like to imagine that the excess nervous and intellectual energies of my daily life can be converted and released as kinetic energy at the dojo. It’s now an essential part of my routine!”
Astrid Lorange, 25, Student

“I joined AYNSW in early February 2009 on the recommendation of a female friend who is a black belt.  I had never done any type of martial arts before and couldn’t tell my left foot my right!  The students and teachers at AYNSW welcomed me from day one and never made me feel foolish, even though its taking me a while to learn some of the basic movements.  I love going to the classes as they provide excellent exercise in an interesting environment where I can entirely switch off from my day to day concerns and concentrate on the art of self defence.”
Rachel, 38, Lawyer.

Aikido Classes in Marrickville, Inner West Sydney.