A CRADLEY Heath Aikido Club is raffling off free membership to celebrate its first birthday.

Haden Hill Aikido Club has attracted several classes of young and old martial arts fans since it opened last year.

The club, which is run by two fully qualified Aikido Instructors, Sensei’s Ken and Helen Williams, who are 2nd Dans, has been a great success.

Since Aikido does not rely on strength to be effective, it is suitable for men and women of differing ages and abilities and children from the age of seven. Aikido is used by Police Forces around the world.

Haden Hill Aikido Club has a children’s class which ranges from seven years upwards.

A spokesman for Sandwell Council said: “Some parents at the club have reported a marked change in their child’s attitude, behaviour, concentration and increased academic progress since having joined Haden Hill Aikido Club. “Adults have reported an increase in physical fitness and flexibility as well as a sense of achievement through practicing the techniques and acquiring a level of skill to perform them proficiently. They also say they can feel a sense of well being through practice.”

As part of their First Year Birthday celebration, Sensei’s Ken and Helen Williams are running a raffle during September for a six month free club membership ending in March 2011.

Tickets Cost £1 and can be obtained by contacting Helen Williams at Haden Hill Aikido Club during classes on Tuesday at 8.30pm-10pm, Friday 6.30pm-9pm or Sunday afternoon between 3.30pm-5pm. For further information regarding joining Aikido at Haden Hill Leisure Centre, please contact Helen Williams on 07779 254 971.