Discipline, cooperation and taking ukemi mean safe training

safety-ukemiAs our Aikido school maintains its popularity, we continue to make our members aware of the rigid safety policies of our dojo. We practice a potentially dangerous art which has inherent risks. For this reason, it is paramount that we all make practice as safe as possible.

Safety is one of the reasons for the strict discipline in every aikido dojo, including ours. Safety is the reason that you must follow Sensei’s instructions exactly and without question, and your actions should not deviate from those instructions.

Safety is one of the reasons that we practice cooperatively with each other and offer no resistance. Not only does it aid your learning, but as uke (the person receiving the technique), it is safer to go with the flow during a technique and take ukemi (roll out) safely, than it is to resist.

Safety is not just the responsibility of the instructor in charge of the class. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Once you enter the dojo, you must be aware and stay aware of what is going on around you. You must also accept personal responsibility to play your part in safe practice.

One of the principal safety measures in our dojo is embedded in the Aikido Yuishinkai syllabus itself. It is taking Ukemi. The art of ukemi (defensive falling) is not only 50% of the learning required in Aikido, but the way that all aikido students keep themselves safe during practice.

To opt out of ukemi (forwards & backwards rolling and breakfalling) for any reason puts you at risk of being injured during practice. Seniors who can’t or won’t learn or implement the art of ukemi put themselves in even more danger because there is an assumption across all dojos that anyone wearing a hakama or a black belt can take ukemi with enough skill not to injure themselves.

brisbane-aikido-safety2It is because of safety concerns that we demand strict adherence to instructions given by our instructors. The class instructor is responsible for the activities undertaken by the class, the only one with a lesson plan, and the only one who has an overview of what everyone in the class is doing. Not following requests and instructions to the letter means you could you be placing yourself at risk, as well as endangering others.

We have a policy of allowing people to sit out of any activity they choose. However, that does not mean you can learn only part of the art. We expect you to embrace the entire art as taught by Maruyama Sensei. Therefore, you cannot expect to grade to a higher rank if you don’t have all of the necessary skills contained within the art of Aikido Yuishinkai.

Even though only some of the open hand techniques, disarming techniques and weapon kata are examined during a grading demonstration, it is also necessary to gain prociency in (amongst other things) ukemi, extending Ki, folding the hakama, leading the warm ups, and leading practice.

To further understand the safety requirements of our club, please read our safety page at: http://www.griffithaikido.com.au/about/safety/