Aikido For Glasgow
Learn Aikido with Sensei Ronnie Smith (4th Dan)
• Are you looking to meet new people, have fun, get fit and learn some effective self defence skills all at the same time?
• Would you love to feel the unique confidence on the street you get from martial arts training?
• Would you like to learn how to avoid injury if you fall?
• Have you tried other martial arts in the past but not found one that suits you?
• Are you looking for a martial art that has a deeply rooted philosophy of non-violence?
• Are you curious about the mystical "Ki" power that some martial arts masters claim to have? Would you like to experience the reality of developing your Ki?
• Would you like to learn some strategies for defending yourself against multiple attackers and attacks from weapons?
Aikido may be for you!
You are welcome to come along and try Aikido at the Palace Of Art, Paisley Road West, Glasgow. Classes take place on a Monday night from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
You can train to your level and you will not be asked to go beyond your limits.
Your first class is free and all you need to bring along is a t-shirt and comfortable, light trousers to wear.
Classes are for adults above the age of 16 only. Men and women are both welcome and train together.
Why learn with Sensei Ronnie Smith?
Sensei Ronnie Smith has been training and teaching in Glasgow for over 15 years. He has helped many people of all shapes and sizes, ages and levels of fitness from complete beginner to black belt level and above.
His teaching is designed to skillfully teach beginners the fundamental movements and body mechanics of Aikido which give it its unique power which must be felt to be believed.
The syllabus also includes the teaching of "Ki": a Japanese term that translates roughly to "universal energy" or "life force" though on the Aikido mat this can translate to being completely relaxed and moving with the focus and power of the mind to create flowing and dynamic techniques.
What To Do Next?
Come along to one of the classes on Monday night at 7.30pm at the Palace Of Art in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. Introduce yourself before the class or come in and watch the class quietly from the side.
There is no reason to delay. Write the next class date down in your diary and come along!
Why try something new?
Is it time for you to get out of the house and try something new? Physical activity of all kinds is not optional but absolutely essential to a healthy life. Our body is designed to move and many of the physiological systems of the body require exercise and movement to work at their best. Learning new movements are also good for the mind and have been found to be beneficial for overall brain function.
Coming to a class environment is also a great place to meet new interesting and like minded people. We are truly social creatures and friendship and human connection are also essentials elements of a healthy life. My goal is to create a thriving class full of positive “Ki” where Aikido can be practised seriously but also with a great spirit of fun and joy. You need good people to practise with in Aikido and we always learn through practising with each other.
Why practise a martial art?
The martial arts not only teach self defence skills but are a way to build other skills that can be carried forward into other areas of life. A new sense of confidence and a greater sense of awareness come with training. Many people will get fitter, lose weight, improve their balance and co-ordination and develop a new sense of calm and inner peace from training.
The world can be a scary and confrontational place at times. Martial arts training can help feel more confident and at peace in the world around us. If Aikido is not for you, I am happy to help recommend other options to you.
Why Practice Aikido?
As a martial art, Aikido is a little bit different. Aikido generally has no competitive tournaments and we train in purely defensive techniques (such as joint controls and throws) not attacking techniques (such as punching and kicking).
Aikido combines effective self defence skills and strategies with a philosophy of non-violence. Our style of Aikido focuses on the development of "Ki", which in Japanese mean "universal energy" but encompasses co-ordination, timing and living calmness.
While other martial artists reach their peak often in their 20s or 30s (with the limitations of the physical body), in Aikido we can continue to improve over time as often the effectiveness of the art is not about the physical aspect. This is hard to explain and must be experienced to fully grasp.
What is Aikido?
The word Aikido is a Japanese word that has no exact translation in English but roughly translates to: “the way of harmonising with Ki”. The word Ki may be translated as “life force” or “universal energy”. Therefore Aikido is “The way of harmonising with universal energy”.
Many people see Aikido as being the martial art famous for a few things
- using the attackers energy against them
- defending ourselves without harming the attacker (as much as is possible)
You may also have seen Aikido demonstrated by Steven Seagal in some of his successful blockbuster films.
The techniques of Aikido can seem strange at first and many people would ask “who would attack you like that?”.
Indeed the techniques really come from an early time when swords and weapons were commonly carried and protective armour may have been worn. Some people say “Aikido comes from the sword” and this may be true. The techniques of Aikido allow us to develop our body and mind. Correct practise of the technique allows us to develop our Ki.
We learn joint locks that allow us to control and disarm an attackers. We also study defence from multiple attackers and from weapons. We have a form of sparring training known as randori in which we learn to develop kokyunage (breath throw) techniques to deal with on coming attacks. Aikido can be fun, effective and mind expanding. You have to come along to see for yourself.
What is Included in Our Syllabus
As part of the club, you will have the opportunity to train for grading up to 3rd Dan level (this can take roughly 10 years of continuous practice). We all start as white belts and truly we must all remember to practice with the attitude of a beginner. Within 6 months you can go for the first grading which is yellow belt. Black belt can be achieved with regular practise in 3.5 to 4 years.
We train in Ki Aikido and our lineage goes back to Koichi Tohei Sensei who was for many years the chief instructor of the Hombu Dojo (the home dojo of Aikido in Japan). He added the training of Ki alongside the practise of the physical techniques. The entire grading syllabus consists of 9 techniques which must be learned from 16 different attacks (which we call “forms”). On top of this, we learn weapons techniques and katas using the tanto (knife), the bokken (sword) and the jo (staff). We also learn techniques from 2 or 3 people holding us and techniques from a kneeling position.
What Aikido is Not
If you are looking for combat and competition, then Aikido is probably not for you. We do no have competitions or practise with intense sparring. If you are looking to fight or learn to be a fighter, this is most likely not for you but you are welcome to come along.
Though Aikido can be good for fitness, if you are looking for something for a high intensity workout, this many not be right for you either. Aikido is good exercise but will not help you develop elite levels of strength or cardio fitness and you should continue to find other activities to develop those with.
Why Practise With Sensei Ronnie Smith?
Here is a little about me:
I was born in 1984, and I have been practising Aikido in Glasgow for 14 years under the tuition of Sensei Richard Firestone 4th Dan. I am from Irish and Scottish descent mostly, my grandfather on my mother’s side come from Donegal, Ireland. My grandparents of my father’s side were from the Isle of Lewis. I attended Sir John Maxwell Primary in Pollokshaws, Glasgow which had a Gaelic unit at the time and I speak pretty good Gaelic.
I grew up having a love for many sports. A little later on I developed a great passion for music after picking up my first guitar age 10. My dreams of rock stardom have not quite manifested (yet) but I have played all over the UK in bands. I studied Law at university but never found a traineeship to go further in that career. Funnily enough, the only interview I got for a legal traineeship was with a man who asked me about Aikido (as it was in my cv). I think that was the only reason he brought me in for the interview. I later found out he was looking for a class to join (he was at that time running the Glasgow Zen Meditation group, which was funny as my mum had told me to take “meditation” off of my CV as one of my interests!).
I worked a variety of retail and civil service jobs before eventually starting my business which is an international raw vegan festival called UK Fruitfest. This event has been held in England for the last 10 years. I have a great interest in health and wellness throughout my life and have travelled the world to learn from great teachers about nutrition and healthy living. I have been practising a 100% raw vegan diet for around 10 years.
I believe that Aikido is an excellent way to continue to develop the body and mind throughout life and I am committed to continuing to practise and develop Aikido. I believe through the practise of Aikido we can learn to be better people and deal with confrontation and stress in a more effective way.
How to Find The Class
The class takes place at Palace of Art, 1121 Paisley Rd West, Bellahouston, Glasgow, G52 1EQ. Please let me know if you have any issues with finding the building. Do not confuse it with Bellahouston Sports Centre, which is just a little further down the road.
What Is Available To Club Members?
If you enjoy the session and would like more then you can consider becoming a member of the club. Membership gives you access to our weekly classes at the Palace Of Art and also to a total of 25 classes at Aikido UK clubs across the city (for no extra fee).
What To Do Next
You can contact me directly by phone or email. Alternatively, visit our website aikidoforglasgow.com to get free information about the club and about Aikido.
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Aikido For Glasgow