Dojo Etiquette

Dojo etiquette

The dojo, the training hall. Why do you bow when you enter the dojo? As a sign of respect to all those who trained there before you. Well that’s what I was told. However this is a cultural thing. Don’t go to a seminar in a sports hall and get offended if different stylists don’t bow when they enter. For some a training hall is just that, a room, with no more significance than any other. In Thailand you bow to the spirit house, which is usually in the corner of a room. Where’s the spirit house in the hired room you share with badminton? Does it matter?
Well only in the aspect of respect. Remember that some of the south east asian countries that are the source of many of these arts, have a tradition of ancestor worship. It gives a sense of heritage and continuity, but dancers, musicians and magicians have it too. They all know where a move came from, who originated a certain trick, phrase or lick. Martial artists are no different. Any that suggest they invented a technique are usually to be worried about. I think shows of respect are important, not so much between the student and the room, or even between the student and teacher, but definitely between students, training partners. Your training partner is the most valuable( and fragile) piece of training equipment you will ever have. Be exceptionally careful, and respectful of them.
Is this part of your school? What do you do and how do you explain it?

Aikido Doesn’t work. Discuss

When I lived in Thailand I taught English to a police chief. I got to know many of his colleagues and was introduced to their unarmed combat coach, a japanese sushi chef who taught them aikido. Of course in Thailand everyone knows muay thai, most of the police did it too so why aikido? Well don’t fight fire with fire, fight with water. It worked for them. Aikido is often accused of being ineffective but this was was a thai anti hijack squad, the Tokyo riot police study aikido too. I think if it is seen as ineffective it is because of poor teaching mainly by teachers who understand the theory and aesthetics but not the application, they teach exercises as techniques and don’t question the art and their teachers enough.

Aikido does get questioned a lot. The other concept that exercises me is “reality martial arts” . Everything has its place, just be honest about it? Why you are doing it. Be honest with yourself.

Upcoming Events

On 29th may there will be a grading for those wishing to take part. Mostly junior grades expected but one or two highers. It will be fun and challenging.

PDFs of grading syll’s will be available for download on this site soon




We have been invited to perform demonstrations in Rock Park Barnstaple 12th June.


We will also be doing demos

January Blog

Blog January 2016

I enjoyed Christmas with all its lights and indulgence and always hate that concept of getting back to normality. Normality is over rated it is what many of us strive to escape. It can be a particular problem for children. I don’t know why but children seem to be the most conservative of animals and don’t like anything that is abnormal. Unfortunately this applies to other children and anyone who doesn’t conform to a standard of normality that someone made up can be singled out for poor treatment, teasing and ultimately bullying. This could be an odd name, or haircut, coming from a different cultural background not having the right clothes, being not as bright as your colleagues or being conspicuously brighter than them.

How do we deal within this?

Teach tolerance of others.

Explore diversity and challenge prejudice

Help those who do not conform. Anyone who is worried about fitting in should be told of the option of standing out.

Also during January there seems to have been a lot of colds and infections running round. Our bodies eventually need some downtime and the Christmas break is sometimes a sub conscious nod to the body to give in for a bit. Maybe you, or someone you know gets sick on their holidays. That’s such a shame, that hard earned time off and some of it is ruined by illness.

It happened to me this January. I went from snuffles to rib cracking coughing fits and it seems to be lasting weeks. I thought I was fairly fit and that my immune system was pretty solid, but this one got me. I tried all the folk remedies and the medical, tried sweating it out, exercise, rest, anything anyone suggested. It still got me and will leave when it is ready.

It is important to remember that our bodies are with us all the time and that our attention to our health is not something we should be putting off until we have a break to think about it. Things will catch up on us. If you are having a break coming up, try and ease into it and I suggest dosing yourself up with your favourite remedies a good few days before your actual break.

News 25th January

Newsletter 25th January 2016

Greetings from Eight Waves

Item 1. We have decided to streamline our grading system. As of now there will be two scheduled grading opportunities each year. One of these gradings will be scheduled for a Sunday and one for a Monday roughly six months apart, one summer, one winter.

Eligibility for grading will be based on only a few criteria. Have you been studying long enough? Have you been to enough classes? Do you know the techniques appropriate for your level? There will be pre-grading assessments and you will be advised wether or not you should apply to grade. We of course will not advise you to grade if there is a likelihood of failure.

In the next newsletter we will publish these dates.

Item 2. Equipment. Now we are doing a bit more sparring we are lending out our kit. This is fine but in the interests of hygiene you might want to invest in your own. We can get 20% off RRP for the kit that we advise, and we advise keeping it simple. Gloves, gum shield, shin guards. Head guards are optional, I’ve never been keen on them but many people are. We can also order groin and chest protection.

Item 3. Sunday morning classes are going well but there are still some spaces for juniors (including beginners) and a few more for adults. Not a bad way to start the day and a real good justification for a big Sunday lunch.

Tai Chi for the community


Eight waves School of Martial Arts has always been interested in improving the health of both individuals and the community. One of the key arts we use to achieve this is Tai Chi Chuan. Though Tai Chi is itself a devastation martial art, many people who study it do so for it’s health benefits alone and we have had a great deal of success with people coming to us with physical, mental and age related health problems.

We have contributed to the NHS staff well being programme and have used tai chi for those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and soon we will be running supported sessions for Torridgeside link specifically for the benefit of those with mental health difficulties. We are very much looking forward to contributing to the health of the community in this way.

Though we have always been aware of the benefits of this art for many people I have recently been enriching my study with exploring the benefits of Tai Chi for the elderly with specific reference to Parkinson’s disease and Dementia. You may have heard recently of ballet classes being used for Parkinson’s sufferers and Tai chi offers similar benefits of focused movements, gentle repetition and stimulating the mind.

Both the NHS and the Telegraph have articles available extolling the virtues of tai chi for the elderly

Telegraph 12 December 2014

though I believe that it can be of benefit to all ages and levels of fitness. I have competed at international level in Tai Chi with people of all ages who had to be considered athletes, some of whom were also gymnasts. It can be as gentle or as physically demanding as you need.

This is our programme of study.

Beginners (All levels)

Basic Qi Gong

10 Step Introduction Form

Transition forms


Qi Gong

Yang Style 24 Step Form

32 Step Sword Form


Qi Gong (including iron shirt)

42 Combined Competition routine empty hand

42 Combined Competition routine Sword

Advanced options

yang Style Sabre

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan

48 Step Combined Routine

Sun Style empty hand

Sun Style Sword

Introduction to Hsing I

Pushing hands

martial applications

Of course we can’t cover all of these in each class so the focus often shifts however all of the above can be taught in classes, seminars or courses. If any of this catches your interest or if you think your organisation would benefit from experiencing any of this please get in touch.

Christmas Break and newsletter

We are going tot run our last kid’s class of the year on 14th December and we will be back on the 11th January with news of our new year party.


In the meantime look for updates on our youtube channel and sign up for our newsletter.

At the end of December a free downloadable PDF Eightwaves calendar will be available.



Merry Christmas

Dan and Alan’s new club

Alan Powe and Dan Hosegood will open our first satellite Aiki Ju Jitsu club.


This Wednesday 25th november in Northam at the United Community Centre.

Juniors 6:30-7:30

Adults 7:30-9pm


Check our classes pdfs for directions or give us a call


All club opening

new classes information


Below are a set of PDFs giving information and locations for classes in

Aiki Ju Jitsu

Kick Boxing Circuits Class (fitness)

Tai Chi Chuan


These are based variously in Barnstaple, Bideford, Northam and Braunton.

Some classes are for juniors (normally from 7yrs) some are exclusively for adults. If there is any information you would like in addition to these please contact us.


Private classes by arrangement

aiki braunton tai chi circuits kick boxing circuits milllanetaichi sunday openingi