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Intensive Aikido Summer Training Camp in Brittany, France

This summer, Newcastle Aikido Club is traveling to France to enjoy an Aikido Summer School. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a week of intensive Aikido practice while enjoying a holiday, albeit a fairly physical holiday!

This year, the summer camp in Lesneven, a small town in Brittany, will feature Yamada Yoshimitsu Sensei, one of the few remaining direct student’s of O'Sensei, an Aikikai Hombu dojo instructor, Toshiro Suga (7th Dan) who will teach the daily weapons class and the senior instructors of the Fédération Française d'Aikido et de Budo (FFAB). It is shaping up to be a great course!


  • 4-5 training sessions daily
  • Weapon training sessions included
  • Training with respected experienced Aikikai worldwide
  • Overnight ferry from Plymouth included
  • Your choice of 3 lodging styles
  • 7 nights of accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate


8 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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There are 3 options: renting a cottage, dormitory style accommodation close to the dojo, or camping.


Renting a gite (French cottage) is a by far the nicest way to experience summer school. The Edinburgh Aikido Club has already booked a 7-man seaside cottage in Kerlouan. However there are great many cottages for rent in and around the town of Lesneven in Brittany. While this is true, the cottages (gites in French) are quickly booked given the number of aikidoka and holidaymakers who flock to the area each July. You should book early.

Below are a number of websites, which deal in holiday cottage rentals in the area:

Normally you should try to book something close to the coast in either Kerlouan or Brignogan Plages, which have excellent beaches close to Lesneven. A 20min drive to the dojo is considered normal.

Dormitory accommodation close to the dojo

Dormitory style accommodation (private rooms) is also very popular and it also has the added bonus of having your meals prepared for you! The location is at Argotech High School. Email Stage Lesneven ([email protected]) to arrange dormitory accommodation.


Private camping accommodation is available at George Martin Stadium 10, St-Exupéry Street, 29260 Lesneven. Reservation through Robert or Anne-Claire. Email Stage Lesneven at [email protected] or call + 33 to arrange camping accommodation.



The camp will start on Friday, July 8, when you will drive to Plymouth in order to catch the overnight ferry to Roscoff, only a short drive to the camp venue of Lesneve. From there, each day will consist of 4-5 training sessions.

6:30 - 8:00: Iaido training

9:00 - 12:00 (2 sessions): Aikido training

15:10 - 16:10: Aikido training

16:20 - 17:20: Aikido training

17:30 - 18:30: Weapon training with Toshiro Tuga



Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art created during the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), an expert who reached the highest level of mastery in the classical Japanese Martial Arts. Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. Aikido has not competition. The goal of Aikido training is not perfection of a step or skill, but rather improving one's character according to the rules of nature.

Features of Aikido

Aikido training is intended to promote physical and mental training, according to the proficiency level of each skill and repeatedly practice so anyone can practice. Aikido training is not only good for health, but also develops self-confidence naturally for daily life. The dojo is a ideal place to deepen the understanding of the human eye, to meet people regardless of age, sex and occupation.

Aikido Worldwide

Sixty years have passed since the spread of Aikido overseas began. During this time, Aikido has become established in 130 countries. Aikido has taken root all over the world because it is recognized as a way to train the mind and body, and as such, its value extends beyond race and border. As a result of overseas promotion activities, in 1976, the International Aikido Federation (IAF) was established, the General Assembly of the Federation has been held every four years.

In 1984, the International Aikido Federation became official member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Voluntary activities by international organizations and leaders dispatched by Japan Government Foundation, Leaders dispatched by Senior Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and Youth of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also become active. Aikido is expected internationally now as a new culture of humanity in the 21st century.

Aikikai Foundation

Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art created during the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba, an expert who reached the highest level of mastery in the classical Japanese Martial Arts. Officially recognized by the Japanese government in 1940, the Aikikai Foundation is the parent organization for the development and popularization of Aikido throughout the world.

Aikikai Aikido World Headquarters

  • Establishment of Aikido schools, publication of books and newspapers about Aikido (Japanese and English).
  • Establishment of branch dojos, dispatching of instructors to domestic and foreign regions and dojos management.
  • Organization of Aikido public demonstrations and workshops.
  • Other activities related to the dissemination of Aikido in general.

Other Organizations that promote and spread the development of Aikido

  • International Aikido Federation (IAF Established in 1976)
  • All-Japan Aikido Federation (Established in 1976)
  • Ministry of Defense Aikido Federation (Established in 1961)
  • National Student Aikido Federation (Established in 1961)
  • National High School Aikido Federation (Established in 2002)

Newcastle Aikido Club

The Newcastle Aikido Club offers weekly adult classes in Aikido at the Benfield Sports Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle Aikido seeks to create a temporary sanctuary from your incredibly busy life in which you can experience a serious yet fun training environment. Our class is open to anyone aged 16 and above.

The Newcastle Aikido Club follows the technical direction of Tamura Sensei, 8th Dan Aikikai, who sadly passed away in July 2010. We train under the guidance of senior instructors from the French FFAB federation, most notably Jacques Bardet and Toshiro Suga, both 7th Dan. Beginners are always welcome and may start at any time. The first class is free! The training environment at the Newcastle Aikido Club is serious yet fun.


The summer camp is held in Lesneven, a small town in Brittany, about 12 km from the English Channel in the middle of the Leon plateau. Lesneven has its origins in the immigration from southwest Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries, and the name (Les-an-Even) means "court of Even" in Common Brittonic (Llys-Ifan in Welsh) after an alleged military leader of that period.



  • Fitness center
  • Gym
  • Shopping nearby
  • Swimming


  • Beach nearby
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant nearby


  • Convenience / grocery store nearby
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking lot


Food is not included in the price. However, if you choose the dormitory option, it is full board option. You can request a half-board option.

What's included

  • 4-5 training classes per day
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Overnight ferry to Roscoff
  • Training with world-famous Aikido instructors
  • Weapon classes

What's not included

  • Airfare travel
  • Food
  • Miscellaneous expense
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Arrival by ferry

On Friday, drive to Plymouth in order to take the overnight ferry to Roscoff. After arriving, enjoy a lazy breakfast at one of the many local cafés, before driving the short distance to Lesneven.

Arrival by airplane

  • Those that wish to fly the nearest airport is Brest and of course the Club will pick you up.
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