About Us

The Dojo

Aikido Canterbury has operated the central city for over 30 years. Following the recent earthquakes we have moved to the new premises at 175 Durham Street (behind South City Mall) in Central Christchurch. Our new dojo boasts a new padded floor and viewing area, facilities that cater for both men and women of all ages and excellent parking options. The dojo has a friendly, open atmosphere doused with natural light and fresh air courtesy of the large windows along one side.

We have many experienced instuctors taking classes that cater for beginners right through to adcanced levels. The club currently trains from 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings with other times by prior arrangement. All classes caters for all levels of ability including new entrants.

Our most senior instructor and head of our club is Phil Booth Sensei, currently Go (4th) Dan with 38 years experience. He has trained under Robert Nadeau; Nana (7th) Dan (pictured) who originally trained directly under Osensei (the founder of Aikido). Phil Booth Sensei's instruction therfore has a strong lineage from Osensei's teachings. We are affiliated with the Californian Aikido Association (Aikikai), of which Robert Nadeau, Shihan is the founding member. Aikido Canterbury had a friendly, inclusive environment and all are welcome to train.

Learning Aikido (from students perspective)

Learning Aikido is not an easy process, yet it is one of the most interesting things you will ever learn. The flowing techniques are a pleasure to watch and once you experience firsthand what it is like to throw someone without effort, I guarantee you will become hooked on what is the 'magic' of aikido.

To learn aikido, one must first learn how to move, through learning stance and stepping movements. Then we must learn how to fall properly as we cannot train safely in the more advanced techniques without it. Then it is onto striking and weapons training, to give us the co-ordination and basis for the techniques.

To train in aikido means training yourself, and your perceptions to change. As aikido trains the mind as well as the body you will begin to find yourself looking at life a little differently more each day. It is a long process, as we have to teach ourselves to react differently to new situations, which can be easier said tha done. One technique in particular; Irimi-nage is also known affectionately as the '30-year-technique'!

One of the best things about aikido though, is the people. Those that train, regardless of grade have an openness and warmth that speaks well of aikido's underlying philosophy and their attitudes to others.