Welcome to

UoL Aikido

About Aikido

The word “aikido” is formed of three kanji:
? – ai – joining, unifying, combining, harmony
? – ki – spirit, energy, mood, morale
? – do – way, path

Aikido can therefore be translated as “the Way of Harmonic Energy”

AIKIDO was created by Morehei Ueshiba – known throughout the aikido world as ‘O Sensei’ which means ‘great teacher’ – Aikido’s guiding principle is harmonisation.

The art develops centered, flexible, dynamic movement (tai sabaki) in its practitioners which when combined with neutralization or projection techniques (waza), creates a powerful, almost effortless system to control aggressors.

Because harmonisation – not confrontation – is at the heart of aikido, it has a simple ethic: if attacked, offer a sincere, robust defence but without hurting your aggressor. Although it does take time to become proficient, the training is enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. People of all ages and abilities benefit in a variety of ways from embarking upon the Aikido journey.

The attitude of Aikido is based on non resistance rather than the confrontation of strength on strength. An attack is not blocked it is re-directed and controlled in a way that causes the assailant to be thrown by the force of his own attack. In addition to throws, Aikido employs a variety of techniques applied to the attackers joints. When applied these techniques will leave no serious injury only the swift neutralisation of an attack. However, if necessary, the techniques can be lethal.

Aikido is perhaps the most subtle and graceful of the martial arts and embraces an immense range of techniques that may be employed against all manner of attack, armed or otherwise. It is unique in that it teaches the practitioner to defend against attack by more than one assailant and when performed correctly, requires no great physical strength and may be practiced by anyone regardless of age or sex. Its effectiveness is due to the fact that it has no set rules making it one of the most practical forms of self defence. It also provides a form of all round physical exercise that could hardly be surpassed promoting suppleness, agility, increased coordination and speed of reaction. Aikido is a most effective martial art recommended for those whom the more aggressive and competitive arts have less appeal.

About the club

Airenjuku Dojo started in SOAS in 1989 under Sue Smith who continues to teach to this day.. The club provides a basic grounding in Aikido, both empty hand and weapons, to new students and others and to provide somewhere for those who already practice Aikido with other organisations from other countries. Airenjuku now operates across a number of venues in London which are mainly focused on university clubs. We are also open to non-students, which gives continuity and a wide range of training partner experience. Today the club operates over three sites; SOAS, London Metropolitan and the new Student Central Club on Malet Street having recently moved from the UCL Institute of Education.

Airenjuku is unique within the UKA as the club has instructors who work together from two Houses in the UKA, these being Ren Shin Kan and Te Shin Kai. We hold regular courses with senior teachers from the UKA and other organisations and joint practices with other UKA dojos in and around London.

Airenjuku is directly affiliated with the United Kingdom Aikikai (UKA) and the Joint Aikikai Council (JAC). Through it’s affiliation to the UKA, Airenjuku instructors are registered with the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Japan.

We hope that you find the information on this website useful and we look forward to meeting you.

Training Times 


19:00 - 21:00

Room 3E 

About the Instructor

Andrew Humphreys Shidoin – 5th Dan so Hombu

Andrew Humphreys began Aikido under the direction of Keith Hayward Shihan in 1991. Since gaining qualifications in coaching aikido he has taught children and adult classes in Shropshire and Mid-Wales clubs and for Student Union bodies in Shropshire and Cumbria. Andrew has traveled extensively with Hayward Shihan and other senior members of the United Kingdom Aikikai throughout the UK and Europe. He has also taught on seminars in France and Mexico.

He was awarded the title of Fukushidoin in 1997. In 2004 Andrew moved to London and under the direction of the late William Smith Shihan began assisting with instruction at SOAS. In 2008 to expand Airenjuku he began teaching at the Institute of Education. Further expansion came in 2011 with a new dojo at London Metropolitan University and later in 2015 when the IoE club relocated to the University of London (ULU) Students Central building.

In January 2012 by recommendation of Gordon Jones Shihan, Andrew was awarded 5th Dan in the Hombu Dojo Kagamibiraki Promotions and at the United Kingdom Aikikai 2013 Summer School he was promoted to the rank of Shidoin (National Coach). As well as leading the Te Shin Kai clubs in Airenjuku he is technical lead for Airenjuku Mexico.

Andrew teaches regular classes at Student Central and SOAS.




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