Manchester Metropolitan University Students' Union


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Aikido Alive Manchester/Iwama Aikido MMU is a new Aikido Club in Manchester affiliated with the long-established Aikido Alive London headed by Sensei Bjorn Saw. Training will be in the Iwama tradition as taught by Morihiro Saito Sensei. The club is being initiated by members of Aikido Alive London with staff and students from MMU as a NON-Profit club.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba. Individuals gain different things from practice. Some enjoy the martial, physical and technical aspects of one of the most sophisticated martial arts ever developed, while others engage more with aspects of concentration and moving meditation. It is a personal journey with many possibilities.


Coaches and support staff:
Members receive a three hour coached session per week.


Training facilities and times:
Training takes place in the Sugden Sports Centre.

Mondays: 21:00 – 22:30
Wednesdays: 20:30 – 22:30

AIKIDO is a modern Japanese Budo (martial art/way) that has evolved from the arts of war studied by the Samurai in Feudal Japan. It was created by the founder (O’ Sensei) Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) through a refinement and distillation of multiple martial arts including Jujutsu and Aiki-jujutsu, for modern application. Iwama Aikido, the most traditional style of Aikido, was passed down directly from the founder through his longest live-in student Morihiro Saito Sensei. It retains many aspects of traditional budo, including the study of a comprehensive ‘bokken’ (sword) and ‘jo’ (staff) system, in order to comprehend the precise way the body can be used for maximum effect in ‘taijutsu’ (body technique) and in situations when faced with an armed opponent.

AIKIDO is a high-level martial art. Its evolution from sword techniques in particular places emphasis on an understanding of body-alignment, balance and position in relation to bigger and stronger attackers in order to simultaneously escape from harm and gain leverage over opponents for pins, throws and strikes. Having evolved from a battlefield art, it is also the only martial art where all techniques are designed and practiced with multiple attackers in mind at all times. Dedicated study of Aikido leads to a martial understanding that can be applied to many other martial arts. Iwama Aikido teaches how precise technical understanding and strong practice eventually allows one to overcome strength and aggression with calm precise technique.

AIKIDO it is concerned not only with body technique, but also with the positive affect unification of mind, body and spirit attained through rigorous training can have on daily life. The ultimate goal of our Aikido is self-development. Iwama Aikido has no competitions, and there is a strong emphasis on helping each other to train and achieve individual and collective goals at all times. Those who have trained longer must always train with and help those who have joined later. Individuals gain different things from practice. Some enjoy the martial, physical and technical aspects of one of the most sophisticated martial arts ever developed, while others engage more with aspects of concentration and moving meditation.


Courtesy – All practice is undertaken with joy and courtesy towards others at all times.

Integrity – You will learn how to deal honestly and patiently with difficult situations.

Perseverance – You will overcome your own limits many times.

Self-Control – You will learn how to exercise appropriate technique and self-control in a martial environment and in the application of potentially violent techniques.

Self-defence – You will study how to deal with armed attackers.

Confidence – You will understand how to apply techniques that work on bigger and stronger people.

Conflict Resolution - You will learn to resolve aggressive situations calmly and with confidence.

Fitness - You will become fitter through regular exercise.

Flexible - You will learn to stretch and fall while not hurting yourself in many situations.

Martial Spirit - You will learn to deal with multiple attackers rushing you at the same time from all directions.

Training Times

Sugden Centre: Mondays & Wednesday's 20:15 - 22:15 in Activity Room 1. 


Aikido is for everyone. The club’s aim is to provide a safe and friendly environment for students to learn this unique martial art which brings together physical, mental and spiritual training. Classes are suitable for complete beginners to come and progressively develop fitness, stamina, flexibility as well as martial skills. Training is slow and careful, with gradual development emphasised. Instructors are qualified and insured by the BAB, a Sport England recognised governing body.


Aikido Alive Manchester/Iwama Aikido MMU is affiliated with the long established Aikido Alive London headed by Sensei Bjorn Saw, 5th Dan. Training is in the Iwama tradition as taught by Morihiro Saito Sensei. The university club is open to all for training and instructors are never paid.  


London's head teacher Bjorn Saw Sensei (5 dan Aikikai Japan) has one of the longest experiences of traditional Iwama Takemusu Aikido in the UK, having begun his Aikido training in 1974 with Saito Sensei's then representative in Europe, Takeji Tomita Shihan (7 dan) at Takemusu Aikido Scandinavia in Stockholm, Sweden. Bjorn Sensei then spent several years training under the late Morihiro Saito Shihan (9 dan) in Iwama, Japan, from 1987 to 1993.

Ulysses Sengupta (1 dan Aikikai Japan) teaches at the Manchester club. He is a lecturer at MMU and UoM. He started practising Iwama Aikido more than 10 years ago and remains a student of Sensei
Bjorn Saw of Aikido Alive London.


There is a £20 joining fee. Your first class is always free. Each regular class costs £4.00. The costs go directly towards covering venue expenses. If you practice regularly, you will be expected to purchase annual Aikido insurance £15.00 and you will be given a club booklet to keep a record of your grades and seminars. The insurance will cover you for seminars at other venues as well.


Club gradings occur on a regular basis, with senior members of the London club in attendance. Our gradings follow strict guidelines for our style of Aikido, and all students taking their black belt grades are certified/recognised by the Hombu Dojo Aikikai (Aikido World Headquarters) in Tokyo, Japan. This means your black belt is recognised anywhere in the world and is not a local award by a local or even national level club/association.


Club members have the possibility of going to multiple UK seminars and to Japan and Switzerland on trips organised by senior instructors.

Terms and conditions

Click here to view terms and conditions



The University expects that students and coaches participating in all activities related to sports clubs will at all times demonstrate respect for:

  • Themselves, other students, university staff, external venue staff, volunteers, coaches, officials and spectators;
  • Laws and culture of the relevant sporting activities;
  • Property of Manchester Met, MMU Sport and any venue they are visiting.

Participants are also expected to:

  • Value their own performances, that of others and not just results;
  • Co-operate with team/club mates, coaches and officials


MMU Sport Clubs Behaviours:

All MMU Sports Club members agree to abide by the behaviours outlined in the non-exhaustive list below:

  • To adhere to the Sports Club Constitution, general rules, regulations and policies of Manchester Met and The Union (which includes, but is not limited to, the Manchester Metropolitan University Student Code of Conduct, University Health and Safety Policies, MMU Sport Code of Conduct and the Code of Conduct for The Union Members);
  • To adhere to the rules and regulations of the relevant sports’ governing body, and where necessary the relevant international federations, agreeing to demonstrate sporting behaviour towards opponents, staff and officials at all times;
  • To be fair, considerate, honest and respectful to the needs of fellow students, staff, volunteers, coaches and visitors to Manchester Met;
  • To respect Manchester Met’s property and that of others (e.g. external facilities and transport providers), and not cause damage to such property or use it for unapproved purposes;
  • To never behave violently where this is outside the rules of the sport or deliberately seek to gain an advantage through cheating, or use prohibited substances;
  • To encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour;
  • To refrain from any behaviour that brings the Club or Manchester Met into disrepute;
  • To adhere to the rules and regulations in the Student Regulations for use of University Computing Resources and take personal responsibility for their words, images and actions in an online environment;
  • To understand that any ‘welcome’ activity for new club members should be inclusive, non-compulsory, and should not, in the judgement of MMU Sport, make the individuals feel humiliated or degraded;
  • Not act in an unlawful manner;
  • To understand the repercussions of any breaches of these standards.