Honoured to be named Gen Sen Jyuku
Our dojo was founded in 1988 and at the 20-year anniversary was given the name Gen Sen Jyuku by the esteemed master T.K. Chiba Sensei on his visit in 2008. The meaning literally translated is “essence of a spring” inspired by the position the club has of being the launching point of many aikidoka’s careers.
Ian Grubb Sensei laid the foundations of the Warwick Aikido group in 1988. He served well, leading the club until the class of 1993–94, when work commitments meant that he had to move away from the university area. Grubb Sensei was training with Chris Mooney Sensei at the time in Birmingham, so to not allow the work to go to waste Mooney Sensei took the role. However, because of his own commitments at Aston and Birmingham universities and his own full-time dojo Ei Mei Kan, he asked David Cope Sensei to take over the running of the class. He served for a long time, leaving in the spring of 2002 – when Mooney Sensei returned to the club.
“I did so because of the value that I saw there. Warwick is a rich, progressive and far-seeing university, and not just in a commercial sense; there is real gold to be found in its students. […] I am grateful to all the students down the years; they have been fine teachers to me. In hindsight, teaching at universities has been the foundation of my teaching practice. For a quarter of a century, every year, I have had to return to the root; with every new crop, I must go back to basics. It cannot be avoided.”
– Chris Mooney 7th Dan Shihan
Besides Ian Grubb Sensei and David Cope Sensei, there are other people whose contribution to the story of Aikido at Warwick ought to be recognised. Of course, many thanks are due to the University of Warwick itself for its continued support for our group. In particular, Mr Terry Monnington, the ex-Director of Physical Education and Sport, for his exceptional drive and vision in seeing that physical education has a vital role to play in university life. The ex-President, Szevone Chin, has played an important part in the group for many years. We thank Tim Sullivan, another former President, for quietly and persistently working towards the continued growth of our dojo and the richness of its character. We must also express our gratitude to Alexander Gheorghiu, our president of 2016-2017; his diligence and sheer determination will be remembered as he revamped the structure, providing an even stronger foundation to build upon.
Indeed, all the former Presidents and Chairmen, and those to come, deserve a mention: without their invaluable assistance our dojo would have ceased to exist.
Our relationship with Ei Mei Kan
Our club is proud to have fostered many relationships with dojos around the world, the strongest of these is with our parent dojo Ei Mei Kan. This is the dojo led by Chris Mooney Sensei and students at our club often train at it in order to further their aikido. Many ex-Warwick students have gone on to become full time members of Ei Mei Kan including the aforementioned Dr Chin and Dr Sullivan, the latter having worked at the university after his degree creating an unprecedentedly close relationship.
Through Mooney Sensei, our history, and as members of the aikido supervising body British Birankai, we have developed relationships with many dojos in the Birankai Aikikai and in Europe. With such a wide network our club makes an annual trip to one of our friends around the continent, an opportunity that has become a strong feature of the year.
We wish for you to enjoy your training. But like any other martial arts, standard knowledge of etiquette is required. Aikido promotes and encourages the Japanese traditions of etiquette and respect in training. Following our dojo etiquette, you will not only show respect to your instructor but to others and yourself as well. It is about having respect for those around you. If you’re unsure of something, then please ask or follow the other students.
- Keep your training uniform clean, in good condition and free from offensive odours.
- Remove watches, rings and other jewellery before practice as they may catch your hair, skin, or clothing and cause injury to yourself or your partner.
- When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper etiquette to bow in the direction of O-Sensei’s picture.
- When stepping onto or off of the mat, always bow in the direction of the picture of the founder.
- You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
- If you arrive late for a class, then simply sit on the edge of the mat until the teacher is aware you’re there.
- If you need to leave the lesson for any reason, then please let the teacher know.
- Please keep your fingernails (and especially your toenails) clean and cut short.
- A few minutes before practice is to begin, you should be warmed up, seated formally in seiza (formal kneeling position with back straight) , and in quiet meditation. These few minutes are to rid your mind of the day’s problems and to prepare for study.
- The class is opened and closed with a formal ceremony. It is important to be on time and to participate in this ceremony. The words spoken at the beginning of practice between the students and instructor are, “Onegai shimasu.” Loosely translated, it is a request, which when spoken by the student means, “Please give me your instruction.” When spoken by the teacher, it means, “Please do what is expected of you,” or “Please receive my instruction.” The words spoken by the student to the instructor at the end of practice are, “Domo arigato gozaimashita.” “You have my respect and gratitude for what you have just done.” This is the most respectful way of saying thank you.
- If you are unavoidably late, you should wait, formally seated beside the mat, until the instructor signals permission for you to join the class. Perform a formal seated bow as you get on the mat. It is most important that you do not disrupt the class in doing so.
- The proper way to sit on the mat is in seiza. If you have a knee injury, you may sit cross-legged, but never sit with legs outstretched and never lean against the walls or anything else. You must be alert at all times.
- Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is, should be restricted to Aikido. It is impolite to talk whilst the instructor is addressing the class. Aikido is an experience.
- During class, practising of techniques is normally done in pairs, taking four/five turns as nage (person who is attacked and is performing the technique) and then four as uke (person who gives the attack and receives the technique).
- During class, when the instructor demonstrates a technique for practice, you should sit quietly and attentively in seiza. After the demonstration, bow to the instructor and then to a partner and begin practising the technique.
- Respect your training tools. Weapons should be in good condition and in their proper place when not in use.
- Do not leave the mat during practice except in the case of injury or illness. If you must leave the mat for personal reasons, request permission before doing so. Although it is important to push your body to discover your limits, it is permissible to rest if necessary. Do so by moving to the edge of the mat and sitting seiza until you are able to rejoin the class.
- When the end of a technique is signalled, stop immediately. Bow to your partner and quickly line up with the other students.
- Never stand around idly on the mat. You should be practising or, if necessary, seated formally, awaiting your turn.
- If for some reason it is absolutely necessary to ask a question of the instructor, go to him or her (never call out), bow respectfully, and wait for an acknowledgement. A standing bow is acceptable.
- When receiving personal instruction during class, sit in seiza and watch intently. Bow formally to the instructor when the personal instruction is finished. When the instructor is instructing another, you may stop your practice to watch. Sit formally and bow when he or she has finished.
- Respect those who are more experienced. Never argue about technique.
- You are here for practice. Do not force your ideas on others.
- If you know the movement being studied and are working with someone who does not, you may lead the person through it. But do not attempt to correct or instruct your training partner if you are not of a senior yudansha (black belt grade holders) level.
- Do not lounge around on the mat before or after class. Space is for students who wish to train. There are other areas in the dojo for socialising.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to keep the dojo clean.
- No eating, drinking, smoking, or gum chewing on or off the mat during practice, nor on the mat at any time.
- Respond to new situations with common sense.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I contact the club?
You can email us or contact us through Facebook and Instagram.
I am not that fit and active – can I still practise Aikido?
Please work within your limits. As a general rule Aikido is an art that can be practised by ANY age or capability. Aikido emphasises correct technique over muscular force.
I have a disability – can I still practise?
As above please consult your doctor first to make sure, the art can be practised by almost anyone, but a Doctors letter stating that you are fit to practice will be required and shown to the exec, specifically to the club’s welfare officer.
I’d like to go and watch a session – is this possible?
You are welcome to watch a class without having any obligation to join.
I’m a student at the university and I want to start Aikido – when should I arrive for my first class?
You will need to complete membership registration on the Warwick SU: https://www.warwicksu.com/sports/clubs/aikido/ – You’ll need a Warwick Sport Club Pass, a Sports Federation membership and Aikido Standard Membership You should arrive well before the class starts to ensure that you’re ready.
Now that I am a member, when should I arrive for the class?
The majority of clubs require the students to arrive early to lay out the mats. Since we are located in the Combat Room, it has a permanent matted area. However, the mats may need to be cleaned. If so, resistance will be required. Arrive in plenty of time to get changed, so that you can step onto the mat feeling calm and not rushed. It is also wise to warm up and practise basic principles.
What if I arrive late?
If it is your first class, please wait and watch.
If you have already joined the Club, and arrived late, just get changed quietly and wait by the side of the mat until the teacher calls you on.
What if the club has a few people with black belts and I am a beginner – should I worry?
There’s no need to worry. Naturally there is a need to worry, but the nature of Aikido is to work in harmony with your partners.
Higher grades are expected to treat lower grades with respect (and vice versa).
You will be made to feel welcome and will benefit from practice with the higher grades.
It is best to train with a higher grade so that mistakes are avoided.
I need to leave the mat (go to the toilet, turn my mobile off etc) – what should I do?
Ensure you go to the bathroom beforehand. You shouldn’t need to use your phone since you are there to focus and practice.
However, if you require the bathroom ask the instructor in charge for permission to leave the mat.
When you return, wait by the mat until you are asked to come on.
What should I do when the class finishes?
It is helpful and shows respect when students help to tidy the dojo by putting mats away or generally tiding up.
Bow and show respect when you leave the mat or the dojo.
Get changed promptly since socials take place after training. A great opportunity to get familiar with your peers.
How much does it cost?
A Warwick Sport Club Pass costs £56.50, a Sports Federation fee costs £32 and the Aikido Standard Membership costs £6. Total cost: £94.50
Mat Fee costs are down below.
What kinds of people do Aikido?
We have members from all walks of life – Aikido is not limited to any one sex, sexuality or ethnic group.
Do you have any female teachers?
Can I come along and watch?
Of course! Please feel free to come along on any class and watch, ask questions, or better still, have a go!
What do I wear?
If you’ve done a martial art before then feel free to wear your existing suit, we only ask that you use a white belt if possible. If you’ve never done a martial art, you are welcome in sportswear.
Can I have a checklist of some sort?
Soft comfortable clothing. Whether you wear a gi or soft clothing make sure it is clean.
Flip flops or slippers to wear to the mat. We practice barefoot on the mats.
Cut your toe and fingers nail so that they are short and clean.
Ensure that you are clean and hygienic, poor personal hygiene will not be tolerated.
Arrive early so that you can get changed and help.
Don’t bring your mobile phone into the combat room. Unless it is absolutely necessary.
Relax and enjoy the class 🙂
WHAT DO I HAVE TO PAY?
One Time Pass
Half Term Pass
Once a Week
Both Sessions a Week
- Free Gi included
For The Year - Best Option
- Free Gi included