Tuks has a vast range of martial-art sport clubs. Among them is the lesser knowns TuksAikido, a club which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art form which uses a system of holds, throws and locks as its principal movements. Aikido primarily teaches self-defence and trains an individual to be able to face multiple opponents simultaneously.

“Aikido is totally different from all other martial arts. Karate, judo and taekwondo all take it as a sport, but in aikido we don’t have competitions,” says Paul de Beer, sensei of the TuksAikido Hatfield dojo. “There is a marshal character to it. The bowing and all the stuff that we do is similar to the discipline you find in the army where people stand at attention. There are rules and everything in aikido is very formal. So on the one hand it is disciplined and very rigid. But on the other hand, the philosophy behind aikido is very free,” he told Perdeby.

Although aikido may be a non-competitive sport, it is still on show in the form of demonstrations at events and in recent years, TuksAikido has participated in a number of these events. On 17 April 2010 the club was part of Martial Arts Day and Demonstrations held at the Japanese embassy in Pretoria. Later that year, TuksAikido took part in the International SportAccod Combat Games in Beijing as part of the Aikido Federation of South Africa (AFSA), aikido’s national governing body. The club also has strong ties with aikido groups from all over the world including Japan, China and Italy.

 TuksAikido is a relatively small club with approximately 30 registered students. The club welcomes beginners. TuksAikido is not gender specific despite aikido being a predominantly male sport. “Aikido is a very good stress reliever and adds to your fitness. It helps you in all other departments of life,” says Nandi van Wyk, beginner at TuksAikido and BSc Veterinary Science student at UP.

Photo: Paul de Beer

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