Guided by Charles expert and passionate hand, the Association of Ki Aikido teaches this traditional Japanese martial art. It is an exercise that can help you get fit, improve your focus and defend yourself. The club has been teaching people of all ages and types since 1987, including police, security staff, NHS workers, parents and children. The following is our interview with Charles:
Firstly to know that the Aikido classes exist, and then to realise how much fun Aikido can be.
I wanted to pass on what I'd learned.
That you end up learning more than the students. Every student presents a new and often unexpected challenge. They may not be aware of it, but they are teaching me. There's nothing special about being a teacher - the Japanese term we use, "sensei", simply means "one who went before." In other words, I just happened to start before they did.
Nothing. As a great jujitsu master once said, "A black belt is just a strip of cloth that doesn't even cover your backside."
The human body is made to move - without movement, nothing works well, even the mind. The best kind of exercise is enjoyable, challenging at the right level - not too little, not too much - increases flexibility and allows the mind and body to focus together to promote health and safety.