What is Aikido
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art developed by the founder, Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969; often referred to by his title ‘O-Sensei”).
The Japanese word “Aikido” consists of three characters which can be translated as “the way (“DO”) to harmonize (“AI”) with the life force or energy (“KI”) of the universe”. Common to all “ways” in Japanese culture, training and discipline consist of 3 levels of mastery:
- the physical
- the psychological and
- the spiritual.
Therefore, Aikido is considered to be a “way” to develop one’s physical, mental and spiritual potential.
What to Expect in Class
Classes begin with breathing exercises and warm-up. Students then train with a partner, alternating as attacker (uke) and the one who receives the attack (nage) based on the technique demonstrated by the instructor.
Rather than injure or harm the attacker with kicks or punches (as is the intent in other martial arts) the student is taught to blend with, redirect and transform the attacker’s energy, safely and effectively. Students learn to move from their “centers” and apply, among other things, the principal of spherical rotation in their movements.
Why Practice Aikido
All in all, people practice Aikido for a variety of reasons, including to learn a martial art, as a form of exercise, stress relief, to improve physical balance, coordination and mental focus.
Through Aikido, it is possible to achieve a sense of well-being that promotes a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Most of all, Aikido is fun and exciting to do and can be practiced by the whole family.