Tab Tries: Aikido

It’s not all Kung-Fu fighting

We went down to the dojo to see what it’s all about.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art, considered to be a “way of unifying with life’s energy” and providing a way to defend yourself without injuring your attacker.

After seeing the Union were offering a “Give it a go” taster session, we jumped at the chance to try it.

Give it a go activities are normally designed to give students an insight into different activities, broaden their horizons and provide some classic organised fun, but this gave us nothing but trouble.

Devonshire Green industrial state- the home of Aikido

After being stood up by the uni Aikido representative and left wandering round Bar One in our lycra, we were then sent all the way over to Devonshire Green industrial estate (we didn’t know there was one either) – a far cry from the bamboo rainforest we were anticipating. Not a good start.

Upon arrival we were then met by a very grumpy man in a pair of crisp white pyjamas – he seemed more than disgruntled at our lateness and didn’t believe our excuses. He then split us up and told us to sit down and be quiet – a very unwelcoming atmosphere to say the least.

As Japanese as it got

Pyjama guy began to demonstrate how to throw someone on the floor, and told us to have a go.

Attempting to throw someone you’ve just met onto the floor is always going to a slightly awkward, and therefore amusing experience, but no one was condoning Heather’s laughter as she giggled through the whole thing, (like, no one).

We even saw someone miming “oh my God” at us – clearly a very inclusive group.

This routine continued throughout the whole session, with a slightly aggressive, very short-tempered instructor who had absolutely no sense of humour, or respect for the class he was teaching.

Having said that, the partners we were assigned to help us were very nice and understanding and allowed us to be embarrassed.

Standard Tab selfie

Like many things in life, Aikido was less about strength and more about technique, something that neither of us managed to master in the hour that we were there.

However, the martial art did show some merit in that we did both manage to get someone to the floor, whether or not our opponent showed any resistance to it felt most irrelevant.