Saturday, 9 December 2017

Aikido Classes over Christmas and New Year

The last Holsworthy class this of 2017 will be on Friday 15th of December. We start again in 2018 on Friday 5th of January.

Classes continue at Bucks Cross, with no break at all. So if you want to wear off the Christmas Pud and mince pies, come and join us on Thursday December 14, 21 and 28, January 4th onwards...

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Aikido Weapons and the Los Angeles Police!

I happen to be reading Joseph Wambaugh’s famous 1970s novel The Blue Knight – about the Los Angeles police. I was struck by his account of training to use his stick (baton):
“We’ve learned new ways to use the stick from some young Japanese cops who are karate and aikido experts. We use the blunt end of the stick more and I have to admit it beats the hell out of the old caveman swing. I must’ve shattered six sticks over guys’ heads, arms and legs in my time. Now I’ve learned from these Nisei kids how to swing that baton in a big arc and put my whole ass behind it. I could damn’ near drive it through a guy if I wanted to and never hurt the stick. It’s very graceful stuff too.”
Now, I have no idea how weapons are used in karate and I suspect that Wambaugh is, any any case, talking more about aikido-based training here. What he says certainly has the ring of truth (Wambaugh worked with the Los Angeles Police Department for 14 years so I presume he knows what he’s talking about). Naturally, I wouldn’t promote using weapons for acts of violence. But if you want to learn their power and grace, come and join us. Either in the Holsworthy and Bucks Cross classes or at Sensei Small’s aiki-weapons classes in Bideford.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Aikido Course with Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros

Two of our North Devon aikido practitioners (Richard Small, front row, far left; and Dermot Hogan 3rd from the left standing) attended a workshop given by Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros (6th dan, Aikikai, 4th from right, front row) in Dorset at the weekend. Lewis was teaching weapons and free-hand in the Iwama tradition. I look forward to discovering any insights Richard and Dermot may have taken from this course during our regular lessons at Holsworthy, Bucks Cross and Bideford Aiki-jo.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Holsworthy Aikido Weapons Workshop

Many thanks to everyone who came to the weapons workshop at Holsworthy last Sunday. It was a challenging and interesting afternoon (taught by Sensei Richard Small) in which we practised a broad range of techniques and exercises from the Iwama Aikido weapons syllabus. Let's see if we can arrange some more workshops soon...

Monday, 11 September 2017

Aikido in the Hartland Post!

Here's an article that I wrote for our local village magazine, The Hartland Post ( recently. Click the image to read it at full size...

Note, since I wrote the article we have opened a new club in Holsworthy but we now only practise once a week in Bucks Cross (on Thursdays).

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Holsworthy Aikido - now every Friday

The Holsworthy class has now moved from Tuesdays to Fridays. From next week - September 8th - the Holsworthy Club will meet on Fridays only from 7:30 to 9:00. Details in the poster shown below. As always, everyone welcome!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Aikido Weapons Workshop, North Devon

Sunday 24th September, 2017. Save that date! We shall be hosting an aiki-weapons workshop, taught by Richard Small (4th dan, Takemusu Iwama Aikido Europe), at the Holsworthy Leisure Centre North Devon between 12:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon.

If you are interested in learning about the Iwama weapons system, don't miss this. Sensei Small will be teaching a broad range of jo and bokken techniques including weapon-against-weapon or against empty-hand. The cost is only £10. Everyone with an interest in weapons is welcome, no matter what level of experience or what style of aikido you practise. In fact, even if you practise a different martial art but want to deepen your understanding of weapons, this would be a great introduction. The post below gives more details.