Aiki Kai Australia represents the mainstream of Aikido thinking. Our founding teacher, Sugano Shihan (dec), was a live-in (uchi-deshi) student of the founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei. So you could say we follow the trunk of the tree. There are a number of schools that have branched off, after their particular founders studied under O Sensei, then wanted to concentrate on certain aspects of his training and apply their own interpretations. Sugano Shihan took great care to pass the ideas and teachings that O Sensei gave to him onto his students and now we strive to maintain that direct tradition.
We are not a sport, there are no competitions, we train in the traditional method of taking turns to apply techniques to each other, or in a group. As you progress you will be required to train with a multiple of people at the one time, which will build a sound understanding of individual and group dynamics.
We are Officially Recognised by the World Aikido Headquarters in Japan and have authorisation to grade students to very senior black-belt levels. These grades are internationally recognised and all our students who grade to black-belt level receive a personal certificate from the Japanese headquarters, Hombu Dojo, and their grade details are registered there.
To help you get to this standard, Aiki Kai Australia has an enviable list of the most highly graded instructors in the country, with at least a 6th Dan, or higher grade, in all our branches.
Most of these people will have been training in excess of 30 years! All have been taught by Sugano Shihan and closely follow the instruction he passed on from Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei.
Shihans (Master teachers) are appointed only by the World Aikido Headquarters, Japan, these master teachers are selected people who show an exemplary understanding of Aikido and have demonstrated the ability to pass on their knowledge. Currently, AKA has three 7th Dans who have received shihan qualification and regularly teach across Australia and overseas. We also have sixteen 6th Dans who have been awarded a shihan qualification.
As a general guide, when visiting various dojos watch how they train, look for a happy dojo, where people are working hard and enjoying themselves at the same time! See if the style of training would suit you and if it's an Aiki Kai Australia dojo, please feel free to ask as many questions as you like!
One really important major difference is, we are a not-for-profit organisation.
For you this means, training as hard as you're able, meeting high standards and working through a rigorous grading syllabus. As you pass each grading test you'll feel a great degree of pleasure and satisfaction, knowing the work you put in to attain that level.