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.

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