East Sheen Aikido and Kashima-no-Tachi Dojo

This is the home page for the Aikido and Kashima no Tachi Kenjutsu club based in East Sheen, SW London (near Mortlake, Barnes and Richmond). The dojo is affiliated with Tetsushinkan dojo in Islington.

If you are interested, please let me know your details by emailing robert.cowham@gmail.com (or by texting/ringing +44 7785 292 719).

See Times and Costs and our COVID Guidelines.

Aikido and Kashima no Tachi Kenjutsu

Aikido is about using mind, ki (energy) and body to deal with your attacker’s energy and redirect it. Kashima no Tachi (see also Techniques and Pictures) is more direct and focuses acutely on how to use your body while responding to an attack. The combination addresses softness and also trains the ability to respond to pressure.

It is suitable for men and women of all ages from late teens upwards (we do not have a children’s class).

Our interests include softness and sensitivity of the body and how kenjutsu (sword work) brings this out and informs the taijutsu (unarmed movements) of aikido. We practise mainly with shinai (leather covered bamboo swords) and bokken/bokuto (wooden swords), and also battojutsu with iaito (blunt swords) and shinken (sharp swords) for advanced students.

The class typically starts with stretching and other centering and energy development exercises such as qi gong (also known as chi kung). These help to relax, calm and focus the mind and body, and also develop ki (also known as qi/chi in Chinese see Wikipedia definition).

Martial effectiveness is studied through the focus and pressures of kenjutsu, and researching the development of the tanden (central point of the body).

The mental and psychological aspects are as beneficial as the physical training. How can we train to respond appropriately rather than have all our training leave us in an unguarded moment? Most of us are very unlikely to be physically attacked, and yet are typically “attacked” verbally or psychologically on a daily basis - how can we maintain our centre in such situations?