Rising Sun Aikido
Traditional Ueshiba style Aikido self defence club
Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, England
Aikido for Women
Many women do not take up martial arts because they feel they lack the physical strength
of men and will consequently be at a disadvantage when defending themselves.
Aikido is different. With its reliance on timing, balance and technique rather than physical strength
the perfect form of self-defence for women to learn. As a result women and men (of all ages)
can learn Aikido together on an equal footing.
As well as learning how to protect themselves (and having fun), women training at Rising Sun
Aikido will also see
improvements in their physical fitness, self confidence and spiritual well being.
Interested? Want to give it a go or maybe just come along to watch and see what this 'Aikido' is
all about? Why not pop along to one of our training sessions and ask
to speak to Sensei Helena or Phil Benge.
Alternatively contact Philip Benge on Tel: 07786 513 973 or
In Their Own Words
Let a few of the women who train at Rising Sun Aikido tell you why they enjoy Aikido so much;
"Having moved fairly recently to Weston-super-Mare, I wanted to try and meet
some new people and have a bit of laugh at the same time. I had tried some
Chinese martial arts before such as Tai Chi and Lau Gar but didn't really
get on with them that well as people in the classes were quite serious and
there were hardly any women in the classes. I did bit of research on the
internet and Aikido sounded more the martial art for me as it wasn't about
strength but about technique. I also liked the philosophy of Aikido as it
is a defensive martial art so your aim is to defend yourself with the
minimum effort required so as not to hurt your opponent.
I have been a member of the Rising Sun Club for about 6 months and really
enjoy my weekly training sessions. Everyone is really friendly and willing
to help you with whatever questions you have. It is quite a steep learning
curve as quite a lot of movements are quite different to those that I would
use in my day-to-day life but little by little each week you learn more and
are able to apply it in the next training session. Best of all, the club is
really social from the 'cheeky beer' sessions in the local pub after
training to organised social events throughout the year. As an Aikido
beginner, I might not be able to seriously challenge a brown belt yet but I
can certainly show them a thing or two about having a laugh and drinking
"I started learning aikido when Sensei Phil was teaching at Broadoak school when I was
year 11 and have continued to train since leaving school. I really enjoy aikido because
I enjoy learning new things and meeting new people. Aikido has helped me to learn how
to defend myself, gain confidence, become more healthy and to have fun. I shall continue
to train and hopefully gain my black belt.
The club is great fun and everyone is so friendly and patient."
"I spent my childhood in Weston and after university, and living elsewhere in the UK, I
moved back to Weston around a year ago. I was looking to join new clubs and societies where
I could meet new people.
At the same time, my PC was in repair and I went to the Campus to use e-mail. I noticed a martial
arts class practicing in the sports hall. Taking a quick look, I was met by Sensei Phil who
enthusiastically explained about the club, practice times and that they are very social often
meeting for drinks and barbeques. Just what I needed.
I was a bit apprehensive at first and had to go back to watch a few times before I went to my first
class. I have now been going to aikido for over six months. I have not done any martial arts in the
past but find everyone is very friendly and patient (which is a great help). I have met a lot of
nice people, all ages. It's great exercise and a lot of fun."
"I started training in Aikido in 1996 after I was attacked by some football supporters.
I lived alone and needed to learn how to defend myself.
I have trained with various senseis and enjoy the different viewpoints of each Sensei.
As my training progressed I have come to see aikido not just as a martial art but as an
avenue to teach me how to deal with life in general, to help me relax and forget about the
stresses of work.
I feel aikido can help everyone, but for ladies not only does it offer self-defence techniques but
it can also help increase your confidence.
Having just become a 2nd Dan has given me even more confidence to throw the men
around in the club. I now want to pass on my style of aikido to others and teach
children as well as ladies within the Rising Sun and Rising Stars Aikido clubs."
- Helena 'H'