Aikido is a relatively new Japanese Martial Art initially introduced to the west in 1953,its origins are derived from an ancient style of Jujitsu Takada Daito Ryu Jujitsu.
The object of practicing this art is to learn and assimilate techniques through the practical application of locks, holds,throws including staff and sword defences. Whereby a smaller weaker person can neutralise a larger stronger opponent.The primary feature of aikido locks and holds is control during the application.Control is utilised to apply
a short sharp painful reminder to back off or should a situation develop that could cause serious harm to them or there family a severe strain or broken joint could occur.The choice rests with whoever is applying the technique.
Reasonable proficiency can only be obtained by regular practice.Hands on practice,verbal and theory play no part. There is no magic or mystery in the gaining of these skills.Repeated grinding practice of a disciplined nature,pain and perspiration play a major role.Self discipline and a positive attitude are essential. The benefits of this practice,one develops a much improved co-ordinated body movement,heightened self esteem, development of a positive mental outlook tenacity,determination a stronger

self discipline and spirit as well as an effective means of protecting ones person

which could cover most situations violent or otherwise self confidence based on

respect not arrogance.
The Whangarei Dojo was opened in 1976 when Hartley Sensei moved north from Auckland. The Dojo practices traditional Aikido with the focus being the training represents as near as possible the Iwama Dojo Practice in Japan.
Hartley Sensei spent Two years (over a period of 6 visits) as a student of Saito Sensei who in turn learnt directly under the founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba for a period 30 years. Francis Sensei has also spent time as a live in student in the Iwama Dojo he is the current Dojo Cho, the dojo maintains a close relationship with Iwama.
To obtain proficiency in the art a student has to make a commitment and would be expected to practice two or three times per week. Gradings the awarding of belts are held in February and August, to the Iwama standards. It takes three or four years to reach 1st Dan Black belt grade which is when the real learning begins.