About our dojo
About our dojo
Welcome to Takemusu Aikido Canterbury we are located in the suburb of Addington, not far from Christchurch’s city centre. Our Aikido club head is Sensei Kerry Madden who has been head instructor since the club was formed at the start of 2007, and has been training since 1995.
Adults and Children’s classes are available throughout the week, regardless of your personal abilities and martial arts background you can expect to find a friendly and supportive environment. The dojo is a very active, and there is always something happening or being planned.
We have several weekend workshops though out the year, and there are other workshops available through our network of friends in the Aikido community. We also have a weekend camp at Okains Bay once or twice a year, which is purely a social event and families and friends are welcome.
We fully appreciate that the quality and delivery of the training is a crucial element for our students. Feel free to visit the the dojo to learn more about us and the people who will assist you during the lessons. Children are encouraged to take up Aikido, the Junior classes offer a unique blend of martial arts training and fun games for years. we have children as young as 4 to 16yrs training in the junior class. The adult classes have training for years 16 and over.
Parents with children in the junior classes are welcome to join in and train at the same session time.
For more information about Takemusu Aikido Canterbury, Training, news and contact information please browse our web site call us. Out of town visitors are always welcome to come and train with us.
Our classes usually consist of 1/3rd weapons training where we alternate between Bokken (sword) one month and Jo (Staff) the following month. The weapons classes consist of Suburi, which is basic cutting and movements, as well as some Kumitachi or Partner practice with the Bokken. Also Kumijo or partner practice with the jo. The rest of the class will include exercises to aid in posture, movement, blending, and co-ordination, as well as taijutsu (techniques without weapons). You can expect improved fitness, and flexibility, a greater self confidence and clarity of mind. Check the training dates and times on the timetable page of this website.
If you are thinking of coming along to training for the first time, we suggest you arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled time, wear track pants and a tee shirt, unless you already own a Gi, and bring a water bottle. There is also a general etiquette to maintain the smooth running of an orderly environment within the dojo which helps to cultivate respect - for yourself, others you will train with. Your behaviour reveals your mind and spirit. Formality in Aikido dojos differs throughout the world. Some are more formal than others. The formalities listed in the etiquette section apply to Takemusu Aikido Canterbury, these may serve as a guide to the standard procedures of other dojos.
Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). An accomplished martial arts practitioner and instructor he continually sought new directions for his own personal training and development. This lead to his creation of a new martial art, aikibujutsu, in 1923. The name Aikido has only been used since 1941.
The name Aikido consists of three Japanese Characters (Kanji): AI, to unite; KI, spirit; DO, way or path. The last character is significant in that it implies a path, or philosophy that one follows in one's life. This delineates Aikido from jutsu or systems of techniques.
As a Japanese martial art consisting of throws and joint techniques it is similar to jiujutsu. The founder felt that his system was unique and that it united mind, body, and spirit of the practitioner in such a way to overcome an opponent without resorting to a clash of arms.
Japan has a long tradition of martial arts, which were historically taught only to a select few. In the 1940’s Aikido was opened to the public. He strongly felt that "Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family."
Takemusu Aikido Canterbury teaches the style of Aikido promoted by Morihiro Saito Sensei (9th dan), and as practiced at Iwama dojo, the 'home dojo' of the founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba (O'Sensei). Morihiro Saito Sensei took over running the Iwama dojo upon Morihei Ueshiba's death in 1969.
This style is referred to variously as Iwama style Aikido, or Takemusu Aikido. O'Sensei developed weapons techniques after studying traditional Japanese sword, knife, bayonet and staff and around one third of his manual of Aikido (Budo - first published in 1938) is dedicated soley weapons practice. Morihiro Saito Sensei systematised these techniques (bukiwaza) at Iwama and believed them to be of utmost importance in training for empty-handed techniques (Taijutsu). For this reason weapons training forms an important part of Takemusu Aikido Canterbury's training schedule and is included in instruction from an early level and in most classes. For more information on the origins of Aikido, the martial arts it grew from and the early life of the founder, follow this link to Morihei Ueshiba on wikipedia, and here for more on Morihiro Saito.