A Paradoxical Martial Art
A non-competitive martial art, Aikido training promotes inward transformation and deep awareness. A typical class includes breathing exercises to quiet the mind, conditioning and aerobic training to strengthen the body, and Aikido techniques to build a foundation of centered and balanced movement. In addition to self-defense skills, safe falling methods are a vital component of practice, and help forge a powerful core and flexible body.
Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969), also known as O Sensei, developed Aikido from samurai battlefield techniques during the 1920’s. Mastering jujitsu, sword, staff and spear, he became one of the greatest martial artists of the twentieth century. A deeply spiritual man, he struggled to reconcile the violent aspects of martial arts with his search for harmony and internal peace. In a moment of profound awakening, he realized that martial training was futile when it relied on victory over others. Instead, “the secret of Aikido is to harmonize with the movements of the universe.” With this new awareness, O Sensei developed Aikido, a fundamentally different martial art of refinement, sensitivity and astonishing power.
Aikido training is a wonderful method of exercise, improving muscular strength, balance, and flexibility. Aikido teaches the student how to unify body, mind and energy, fostering a profound sense of relaxation and well-being.
By using dynamic throws and immobilizing holds, an Aikido student redirects and neutralizes the force of the opponent’s attack. Aikido’s circular movements do not rely on strength, making it practical for women, men, and youth of all sizes and abilities. Its graceful and flowing techniques provide a unique alternative to martial arts that rely on offensive strikes and kicks. Aikido literally means “the way of blending with energy.”