Inspiring Youth: Practising the art of aikido

Sports reporters Daniel Gregory and Martin Dowey were joined on their latest Inspiring Youth visit to a local aikido club by sports editor Andy Bloomfield.

Aikido is very much a different sport to those we have been trying for Inspiring Youth in recent weeks - the emphasis is solely on self defence.

The group of children line-up with sensei Alan Cooper before their session at Falsgrave Community Centre

The group of children line-up with sensei Alan Cooper before their session at Falsgrave Community Centre

Sensei Alan Cooper and a group of keen youngsters awaited us at the Falsgrave Community Centre and we were taken through the complex list of techniques that are designed to disarm an attacker without causing them too much harm.

The Japanese martial art, created in the early 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba, conforms of a series of intricate but effective arm throws and joint locks.

Competitive aikido, as Sensai Cooper admitted, is very complex with a difficult scoring system.

Instead I would view aikido as an excellent source of self-defence and enhanced social development for youngsters and adults alike.

INSPIRING YOUTH WILL BE BACK IN 2013.