Brighton Aikikai Aikido Club

Study Aikido with
Brighton Aikikai

When? Where?

We train weekday evenings and host weekend seminars throughout the year.

Want to give it a try? Just drop-in – we welcome visitors! You can also email us or call Conan on 01273 805667.

Read the history of our Club

Please note that we do not offer childrens classes (under 18) but we can recommend a few other clubs in town who do: Ittaikan, Airenjuku, Ki Society.

Weekday schedule
8:00 → 9pm
8:00 → 9pm
8:00 → 9pm
8:00 → 9pm
9:00 → 10pm
9:00 → 10pm
9:00 → 10pm
9:00 → 10pm
Beginners offer: 1 class free
1st month for £50 (why?)
Location: Chris Kent's Kicks ///
185 Lewes Road, BN2 3LD (Parking)

Latest news

September updates
Sat 9th

Congratulations to Joy and Neville who both passed their 3rd kyu gradings yesterday! Very well done.

May updates
Mon 22nd

Apologies all, class is off tonight. Hope to see you Friday.

Sun 15th

No practice tomorrow (Monday the 16th of May.) See you back on the mat Friday.

December updates
Sun 11th

Last class of 2022 is the 16th. See you back on the mat 6th of January

August updates
Sun 14th

Two Week break starts now. We're back on the mat on the 29th of August


Photo of two students, Mari and Carole, practicing Aikido
See more of what we get up to on our YouTube channel


Aikido is a modern martial-art that continuously develops natural, harmonious reflexes to prevent or neutralise violence when it confronts or tempts us.

The name itself roughly translates to The Way of Harmonising Energy.

Developed in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba [Wiki] during the last century, the spirit of his teaching evolves today through many who have been inspired by his skill and philosophy.

At Brighton Aikikai we are particularly influenced by Christian Tissier [Wiki] – a prolific teacher of the art in Europe – and our club is lead by Phil Rozier, 5th dan Aikikai.


From self-defence to self-development, there are many reasons to study. But the Aikido is always the same; to work on principles of movement, awareness and coordination through the study of various connected martial forms.

Aikido is not easy. Progression takes time and patience even for those with natural ability. Yet it's fascinating, enjoyable, and accessible to anyone.

It also an opportunity to travel. We train at home and abroad. Meeting new people in new places is all part of the experience.

Beginners are welcome! Our classes cater to all levels and your first class is free.


Phil Rozier
Technical head, 5th dan

Phil started Aikido in 1998; a time when the club was already affiliated to Tissier Shihan through Pascal Durchon. Hooked by the enjoyment of practice, he committed to regular training in the UK, Europe and Japan. Influenced by Tissier, but with a keen interest in Seishiro Endo [Wiki], Phil is our Technical Director, ensuring our standards are held in accordance with the Aikikai.

Jonathan Harris
Instructor, 2nd dan

A mainstay of the club for more than 20 years, Jon has studied under many of Brighton Aikikai's teachers, from Rick Smaridge (now running South Devon Aikikai), to Jeff Balmer and Mark Hale. Experienced, but not held back by dogma, Jon offers unique insights into the various methods of teaching the club has seen over the years.

Conan Theobald
Instructor, 2nd dan

Conan was introduced to Aikido and Brighton Aikikai in 2007. Fascinated, he attended nearly all classes on offer, and soon started taking part in local and overseas seminars. Conan owes much of his development not only to fellow teachers and students of Brighton, but to Jeff Balmer and Frank Slama, who formerly ran a club in Crawley.

Marco Cortese
Instructor, 1st dan

Marco began training in 1992 and graded to Shodan with the NAF in 2003. After a long break he returned to Aikido in 2011 specifically to study under Phil Rozier and Jeff Balmer, and to follow Tissier Shihan's teaching, deciding to re-grade to Shodan with the Aikikai in 2015. He is a strong advocate of teaching fundamental principles such as stance, balance, connection and movement: solid foundations for everyone to develop from.

All our instructors are certified and insured by the British Aikido Board

The BAB is the only Aikido representative in the U.K. that is recognised by the Government's Sports Council. As a member you can train in any other BAB certified dojo with the confidence that you are, at the very least, insured to practice.

However, while it does promote quality Aikido, it is not within the remit of the BAB to curate every style for its authenticity or practicality, nor to actively regulate the teaching methods of any particular club.

Aikido is an expressive martial art, and there are as many ways to teach it as there are people who study it. The BAB understands this, so it focuses on the broader aspects of adminstration, insurance, and encouraging good coaching principles.

It is an important part of Aikido in the U.K., but belonging to the BAB is only part of the story.

With myriad styles to choose from but no absolute arbiter of quality, to whose standard should you hold your chosen club to? The only sensible answer is; your own.

Of course, if you are a beginner it is difficult to know if what you are studying is right for you. It is an unfortunate fact that many people train for years before realising another style might suit them better.

So be inquisitive, ask questions, and make your own judgements about the quality of teaching you are receiving.

The least we can say we have no desire to hold our students honour-bound. We offer our studies to anyone wanting to learn and appreciate that people come and go. But while you choose to train with us we hope you find the experience as enjoyable and fulfilling as we do.


How much does all of this cost?

There is a lot to learn in Aikido, so to give newcomers a sense of what training is all about we offer the first lesson free and a discounted first month.

The first month of training is £50, with the aim of helping you to afford the uniform (not required!) and insurance (required!) Beyond that we offer a range of daily, monthly, or yearly fees, plus termly student discounts.

A concession of £100 per term is offered for university students
Insurance costs £10 per year, October to October
£15 per class
Beginners offer
1 class free
1st month for £50
Pay monthly offer
£70 a month
Pay yearly offer
£700 a year


A set of loose-fitting trousers and an old t-shirt is fine to start with! Even for a few weeks or months. After that, if you want to enjoy your practice fully then there are many places you can buy the uniform and equipment from.

For ourselves, we have shopped with Nine Circles many times without disappointment, so we've included a few links to their products here with approximate prices.


Wooden weapons:

Please let us know if you plan on buying anything. Bulk-orders help to save on shipping costs!

The Technical Syllabus

5th kyu is the first grade, and with regular practice (that means around 3 lessons a week!) it will take around 2 or 3 months to learn the roles of attacker and defender.

The syllabus is full of complicated words that won't mean much to newcomers, but don't worry; you'll pick them up naturally as you progress.

to view the full Syllabus

Here's a visual reminder for those who have been practicing for a few classes. It's the most basic attack we start from; Katate dori, a one-handed grab of the defenders wrist:

Ai hanmi Katate dori
for the basic techniques of Ikkyo, Irimi nage, etc.
Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 1, close-up of hands, defending hand has thumb-down Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 1, profiles of Aikidoka Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 1, top-down view Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 1, position of feet
Ai hanmi Katate dori, second form
for the basic techniques of Shiho nage, Kote gaeshi, etc.
Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 2, close-up of hands, defending hand has thumb-up Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 2, profiles of Aikidoka Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 2, top-down view Ai hanmi Katate dori, form 2, position of feet
Gyaku hanmi Katate dori
for the basic techniques of Shiho nage, Tenchi nage, etc.
Gyaku hanmi Katate dori, close-up of hands Gyaku hanmi Katate dori, profiles of Gyakukidoka Gyaku hanmi Katate dori, top-down view Gyaku hanmi Katate dori, position of feet

Once we start getting familiar with the forms and shapes of Aikido, we can start to develop a deeper understanding of what we're doing through the study of its principles.

We have a page of videos of the basic ones as taught by Christian Tissier:

Christian Tissier teaching in Worthing, UK. The names of several Aikido Study Principles are overlayed on the left side of the picture.

Pictures and videos can be useful study tools, but they're nothing without the real experience.

We hope to see you in the dojo!

Links to friends, dojos, and other resources

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Postal address
Brighton Aikikai
Chris Kent's Kicks
185 Lewes Road

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