March 16, 2022

A course to help adults with disabilities defend themselves is proving so successful there's already talk of running another.

After learning clients didn't always feel safe out and about, Choices NZ life coach Robyn Poole approached aikido instructor Sapphira Murray to teach the basics of the Japanese martial art.

From Wellington, Murray established Rose City Aikido in Palmerston North last May. She has been doing aikido most of her life and her parents met at a dojo in Japan.

Murray says aikido's principles are different from other martial arts with a focus on getting out of the way, and feeling centred, calm and comfortable in your own body.

The nine participants are learning what to do if someone grabs them, how to stand and how to move.

The lessons, tailored for the Choices NZ clients, seek to build muscle memory and reflexes.

This article appeared in the Manawatū Guardian. Click here to read the full story.