Frequently Asked Questions

Who can practice Aikido? Anyone! Our experienced team of instructors can accomodate men, women and children of all ages. Aikido relies on technique rather than physical strength so it is suitable for all.

What are the age limits? We have no upper age limit, in fact we have students over 70 years of age who practice regularly. However, we normally restrict juniors to age 8 and above.

When are your beginners classes? We don't have any! All of our classes can accomodate beginners and you are more than welcome to join in.

What clothing do I need? Whatever you feel comfortable in. We suggest that as a beginner you wear long tracksuit type trousers and a t-shirt. Aikido is a physical pasttime and although we practice on clean and safe matted areas, we don't recommend you wear your best clothes!

How much is it to take a grading? Nothing. We don't charge our members for taking a grading, but unless you are on our Monthly Payment Scheme, the course cost is slightly higher than a normal class.

Do you have competitions? No. Although there are organisations that do have competitions, Shun Poo Kan follows the traditional teachings of the founder, Morihei Ueshiba. Our philosophy says that the only competition is within oneself to strive to improve.

Does the bowing to each other have anything to do with religion? Not at all. This is part of our dojo etiquette and should never be considered as anything other than showing respect to each other, the instructors or to O Sensei. At Shun Poo Kan we welcome everyone regardless of race or religion, but we do expect everyone to follow the rules.

Where can I get a suit in which to practice?

You can purchase a Gi directly from us at very competitive prices or alternatively you can source one yourself. We do insist though that suits are plain white with no badges and no coloured belts unless you are Dan Grade.

Why don't you have coloured belts?

Two reasons really. We think that the wearing of coloured belts can promote jealousy between students, and that it is an unnecessary cost for students to have to purchase a new belt after each successful grading.

Who are those people in black skirts?

Well, they aren't skirts, they are overtrousers called Hakama! Generally speaking, they are worn by students graded to 1st Dan or above. There are certain exceptions however where students are awarded the right to wear Hakama before they reach Dan Grade.

Do you use weapons? Yes, we practice techniques with the Bokken (sword), Jo (staff) and Tanto (knife). They are all wooden weapons and we do not allow practice with any other kind.

And finally, the old favourite...How long will it take me to learn Aikido?

How long is a piece of string? This is a question that no-one can answer - it will all depend on your commitment and personal interest. It is fair to say though that if you were to ask a high-ranking Dan Grade that question they would admit that it is a goal that you will strive to achieve your entire life!