Watt is Aikido?

Aikido is defensive martial art. The style of Aikido practised at this club is Shodokan aikido. Shodokan Aikido combines traditional Aikido techniques with the principles of competitive sport, making it somewhat unique among Aikido styles.

Here are some key features and aspects of Shodokan Aikido:

Sportive Element: Our style incorporates a form of sparring called “Randori,” where participants engage in controlled, live training scenarios. Randori allows students to apply Aikido techniques against a fully resisting opponent, promoting practical application and testing of their skills.

Kata: Shodokan Aikido includes a set of standardized forms known as “Kata.” These are choreographed sequences of movements that represent various Aikido techniques. Kata serves as a foundation for training and allows practitioners to practice techniques in a controlled, predefined manner before applying them in Randori.

Open-Handed Techniques: Shodokan Aikido primarily focuses on open-handed techniques, which involve joint locks, throws, and immobilizations. Weapon training, such as sword (bokken) and staff (jo) is also incorporated while Shodokan Aikido mainly concentrates on unarmed combat.

Principles: Some key principles of Shodokan Aikido are circular movements and redirecting an attacker’s force rather than meeting it head-on. These principles aim to enable a smaller or weaker person to defend themselves effectively against a larger and stronger opponent. The goal of aikido is not to harm the opponent but to neutralize their aggression while protecting both parties from injury.

Safety and Controlled Practice: Safety is a vital aspect of Shodokan Aikido. In Randori and other training scenarios, participants are encouraged to protect their partner and themselves. Techniques are applied with control to prevent injury, and students are taught to fall safely (Ukemi) to avoid harm during practice.

Grading system: We use a belt grading system where the colour of your belt will change as you learn new techniques and develop your skills. Beginners start with a white belt and work their way up through the belts in the following order: white, red yellow, orange, green, blue, brown then black. To progress through the belts you must learn a set of techniques and then demonstrate them in front of the club coach.


All student members have the opportunity to compete in the British Student Nationals every year aswell as other higher level national competitions hosted by other aikido clubs across Britain. Members also have the opportunity to compete in the Shodokan Aikido European Nationals. Once members have progressed to green belt and with the recommendation of the club coach they can also train with the British National Aikido squad with the intention of working towards competing in the squad at the Aikido World Championships.

In recent years, our club has won the British student Aikido nationals in 2018, 2019, and 2023


Tuesday 19:30-21:30Studio 1, Oriam
Saturday17:30-19:30Studio 1, Oriam
Sunday13:00- 15:00Studio 1, Oriam

Summer holidays

We are one of the few clubs that train throughout the holidays. As a general rule, if Oriam is open, the aikido club will be training. Depending on who is around during the holidays, we can usually increase the intensity of classes, and provide another opportunity to grade for a new belt. Every two years we go to the world championships sometime between August and September.


Picture of Martin Livingston

Martin Livingston

Martin is a senior Aikido coach in the UK and set up our club in 1999 when he was a student at Heriot-Watt. Since then, he has earned his 4th Dan black belt and is 3 times world champion in Aikido Kata.

Martin was awarded an Honourary Blue in 2022 and also shortlisted for Scottish Student Sport’s Coach of the Year.

Committee 23/24

President: Jude Robertson

Treasurer: Andrew Marr

Social secretary: Iustina Ina

Secretary: Miriam Crisp

Social Media

Facebook: Shodokan Edinburgh

Instagram: @hwaikido