Aikido dojo officially opens in Winckley Square

Posted on - 2nd November, 2015 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston City Centre, Preston News, Recreation, Sport
The Cherry Blossom dojo group

The Cherry Blossom dojo group

A martial art studio has been formally opened in the centre of Preston.


The Sakura Dojo operates from the attic of the Ian Cherry accountants in Winckley Square.

Sensei Robert Spence, head of Lancashire Aikido, cut down the paper screen covering the dojo entrance to declare the dojo officially open.

Cutting the paper screen at the Dojo

Cutting the paper screen at the Dojo

Mr Cherry, who helped found the aikido club 30 years ago, said: “I have been training in Aikido for almost 40 years and opened my original club in Preston in 1985. For some time now I have been planning to open my own dedicated Dojo (a training room) and recently managed to get permission to do so in the top floor of my accountancy offices at 26 Winckley Square.

“We are returning to the old ways of teaching a martial art where the Sensei (teacher) would invite Uchideshi (students) to train in a room set aside at his/her own home. It is a more personal experience and benefits both teacher and student as a result.

Mr Cherry with the dojo's paper

Mr Cherry with the dojo’s paper

“But it requires a commitment from students to train regularly and consistently to get the most from their teaching. On the wall of our Dojo is the motto ‘practise with a feeling of pleasurable exhilaration’ and that is certainly what we try to achieve for our students.

“The Dojo is named after the Cherry Blossom (Sakura) festival in Japan which seemed appropriate given my name and our location opposite Winckley Square and close to the Japanese Garden in Avenham Park.”

The club trains three days a week from 6.15pm to 8.15pm. Further details can be found on the club website.

Do you attend the Dojo? What do you think of the official opening? Let us know in the comments below

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