By Mick Jensen
Ashburton aikido sensei Bryan Bell wants to expand dojo numbers and is keen to introduce the martial art to juniors.
Mr Bell, a second degree black belt and science teacher at Ashburton College, has been offering classes since arriving in the district two years ago.
He runs a general class for those 16 years and above on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm and also a “samurai” class for younger college students on Thursday afternoons at 3.30pm.
The new junior class will run for an hour on Tuesdays from 3.30pm and is aimed at youngsters between eight and 12 years.
All classes are held in the small gym at Ashburton College, accessed off Middle Road.
“Over the last two years students have progressed well and moved up the belt system and now I feel is a good time to introduce aikido to juniors as well,” Mr Bell said.
Aikido used techniques that redirected the momentum of an opponent’s attack and it involved a lot of movement.
It was a great martial art for all sizes, shapes and ages and helped with flexibility, self control and built confidence.
“Students are encouraged to go at their own pace and speed of movement and they’ll never get bored,” said Mr Bell.
Aikido tasters will be offered in all three aged group classes over the next few weeks.