To join the club, you should just come to one of the sessions. You can e-mail us if you like.

Price
Aikido is by far the cheapest martial art to take up at the Uni, and has been so for many years. The reason for this is that you are charged a flat membership fee at the beginning of the year (£5 per semester) and a mere 50p per session afterwards. The exception being for those charges during the intensive courses, which cost extra. The money you pay for membership is spent on your health insurance,  1st aid kit, weapon renewal and mat fund. 

A breakdown of the cost to join the club would be (2019/20):
  • One semester fee is £5 + 50p per session = £20
  • Two semester fee is £10 + 50p per session = £40

You can try out a few session for free to see if you like it and then decide whether to stay.

Purchasing membership

This year membership purchasing has changed. We can no longer take cash payments for memberships and once you have tried out the club and decided to join, or if you are a returning member, you will need to purchase membership from the university's online shop:

https://onlineshop.st-andrews.ac.uk/product-catalogue/athletic-union/memberships/university-of-st-andrews-aikido-club

Clothing
It is traditional to practice aikido in special clothes, called a Gi (white jacket, trousers and belt) . All martial artists wear a gi of some version. We are not strict with that, and you can purchace one whenever you are ready. If you buy one from the club, it will cost you £15 - £20 depending on how tall you are. You may also decide to buy it from any sports shop. There is no restriction on a gi as long as it is strong enough not to tear apart during training. You may even get a different color, say, purple, if you really wish so.

We are also running a Gi rental scheme to accommodate students, who do not want to make a commitment in the beginning of their Aikido path and spend money on such specific clothing, or are staying in St Anrews for one semester. That's why in 2013-14 season we introduced a Gi rental scheme. We have a limited number of Gi's we will rent to you for the year for £5 with an additional (refundable) £5 deposit (£10 total). The sizes are limited, but we are trying to improve the range in our inventory. Priority will be given to members only here for the semester and new members.

When you turn up for your first session, please wear any comfortable t-shirt and trousers without buttons or zippers. Shorts are possible, if nothing else, but it is better to bring something that covers your knees.

Dojo Etiquette
Aikido people are very friendly just like any other. However, Aikido is a martial art, and during the training there are several cultural norms which one must follow as a form of respect towards their club mates and the the place of training (Dojo). Since we are not japanese, we still try to keep the rules strict, but reduce them to necessary minimum. There are also rules based on common sence, the ones that will help you not to get yourself or someone else injured. One should ideally follow everything below said as soon as possible, however it is ok for beginners to take several training sessions to get used to some of them.
  • Order (of Aikido training)
    1. When entering the Dojo one should bow to Kamiza (where the large picture of the founder of aikido is placed). Please try to hold the door to make sure it does not bang, and generally try to produce as little unnecessary noise as possible.
    2. It is best to be ready and enter the Dojo 5/10 minutes before the start of the training to help your club mates to place the mats on the floor as this is a much too big task for one person to do.
    3. Then you can step on the mats. Students always enter from the direction opposite to Kamiza, then bow to it (again) and sit down in seiza (on ones knees). Highest grades sit on the right side, lowest on the left, forming a neat line.
    4. The teacher announces the start of the training by bowing first to Kamiza and then to his students. Students should do the same. It is polite to bow to the teacher just before he bows to you and say the words "Onegai Shimasu", which means "Let's practice together".
    5. One should not interrupt the teacher when he is showing the technique. It is ok to ask questions after the teacher said to start the practice, and people have joined in pairs.
    6. When the practice starts, it is your responsibility to quickly find someone whom you want to practice with and bow to him before someone else does it. If someone bows to you, you should bow in return to accept your partner.
    7. One should quickly return to his seating position when the teacher claps his hands and starts the demonstration of the next technique.
    8. When the session is over, the teacher does bows to Kamiza and to the students just like in the beginning. This time everyone says "Domo Arigato Gozaimashita", which means "Thank you very much". Students bow again, when the teacher steps off the mat, then they get up, bow again when they leave the mat, and again when they leave the room.
    9. Do not forget to help your clubmates to put the mats away as well.
    10. Aikido uses a lot of Japanese terminology. One should eventually learn the names of the techniques he is able to perform, however one can do that with is own pace, and only demonstrate the knowledge of terminology during the grading, which only happens twice a year.
  • Nice and tidy (This may be obvious)
    1. Since Aikido is a close contact martial art, it is important for you and your clothes to be clean, so that the other person is happy to practice with you.
    2. All students should wear something on their feet (be it shoes,  slippers or socks) when off the mat, and remove them when entering the mat. You may end up touching the mat with your face, so it is important that it is as clean as possible.
    3. The senior members always verify if the mats are clean enough for the practice and wipe them if they are not. You should report if you see any blood on the mats.
  • Awareness (AKA Survival Guide)
    1. When starting the technique, there should be enough distance between you and other people.
    2. When throwing your partner, ensure that you throw him on the mat and there is nobody there at that moment.
    3. One should always be aware that someone might accidentally be thrown at him, and be able to move away.
    4. It is forbidden to perform the technique with the idea of inflicting damage to the other person. Although one should imitate sincere attack, one should choose speed and strength that his opponent is capable of defending of.
    5. For each technique, different levels of complexity will be shown. If not sure, please enquire your partner of the level he is comfortable with.
    6. It is not suggested to attempt complex techniques  (especially breakfalls) before you are comfortable with the all the lower level ones.
    7. One must report immediately if any injury that occurs to him or his partner. One must report any long or short term medical condition to the teacher before the start of the session.