Children's Classes

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Aikido for Children at the North London Aikido Dojo

Aikido is a Japanese martial art whose origins lie in the samurai arts of jujitsu and swordsmanship.  The guiding principles underlying Aikido emphasise stopping an aggressor’s attack without harming them.  It is non-competitive and is based on principles of self-defence, employing non-resistance and circular movements to deflect and control attacks.  The focus in training is on the development of internal energy (known as ki in Japanese arts and chi in Chinese arts).  Hence, the emphasis is on skill and sensitivity rather than muscular power.  These characteristics mean that Aikido is particularly suitable for children, both boys and girls.

Aikido training is an invigorating and natural way to develop stamina and flexibility.  The benefits of Aikido training include improved self-confidence, posture, flexibility, concentration, self-esteem and self-discipline.


Sunday 12th January                         -           Sunday 9th February

THERE WILL BE NO CLASSES Sunday 16th February and Sunday 1st March

Sunday 23rd February                        -           Sunday 5th April

The classes focus on:

  • Stretching
  • Posture
  • Breathing/Relaxation
  • Rolling and falling safely
  • Basic Aikido techniques

At least one instructor and one assistant are present at the children's classes and our focus is on ensuring that all children at the class have an enjoyable experience in a safe and supportive environment.  All our instructors and assistants have undergone CRB checks and all instructors hold instructor's certificates issued by the British Aikido Board. We adhere to guidance issued by the British Aikido Board on teaching Aikido to children. If you like more information please visit

The instructors responsible for the children's classes are:

  • Linda McQuillan, 5th Dan.  Linda has over 30 years of experience in Aikido and has been involved in teaching Aikido to children since 2001.  She is one of the technical directors and chief instructors of the North London Aikido Dojo.
  • Sionadh Gannon, 1st Dan.

Membership and fees

Children are welcome to try one class for free. If they want to continue to train they must become members of the North London Aikido Dojo. The annual membership fee is £15, which also includes insurance cover.  Fees are payable on a termly basis.


£70.00             1 child

£120                2 children (of same family)

£150                3 children ( of same family)


£15.00 renewable yearly.  (Please ensure your child's membership is up-to-date).


£5.00   -           To apply for full coloured belt. 

£5.00   -           Belt

Class times

Children's classes run during term time; the precise dates will be notified in advance.  The times of classes are:

  • Friday 17.30 - 18.30 Young adults 14+ 
  • Sunday 9.30 - 10.20 Children aged 6 - 8 years
  • Sunday 10.30 - 11.30 children aged 9 - 11
  • Sunday 11.30 - 12.30 Children/Juniors aged 12 to 16 years



We follow the grading system used by the Aikido Headquarters Dojo in Japan.  Regular gradings for children take place in the dojo.  Children must pay a grading fee in advance of the grading (grading forms here).


Practitioners of aikido wear traditional martial arts clothing of white top tied with a belt and white pants.  For their first few classes it is acceptable for children to wear loose, comfortable clothing such as sweat pants and sweat shirts.  Shorts and t-shirts are not appropriate.  Children wishing to practice aikido on a regular basis must wear the regulation uniform.  Aikido, like most Japanese martial arts, is practiced barefoot, so socks or other footwear are not permitted.

Health and safety

Parents are responsible for bringing their children to the dojo, handing over responsibility for them to the instructor and collecting them at the end of the class.  Jewellery must not be worn during class and it is best that parents look after any such items.  Finger and toe nails must be short to avoid injuring others; make-up and nail varnish is not permitted.  It is best for long hair to be tied back.