Aikido is a non competitive Japanese martial art which aims to harmonize energy with that of a partner or opponent in order to achieve both physical and emotional mastery through peaceful resolution. Aikido translated means - 'The Way of Spiritual Harmony' - the path to the co-ordination of body, mind and spirit.
Aikido is suitable for both men and women. It gives the opportunity to develop physically through the improvement of health and fitness as well as contributing to greater mental awareness and alertness.
Since Aikido is a non competitive martial art there is an increased presence of friendliness and well being in the training atmosphere.
In this ever demanding and changing world, we find that Aikido, as a form of stress relief helps provide the clearness of thinking of mind which gives a much clearer sense of perspective in life.
There are also many benefits to the practice of Aikido: -
One tremendous advantage is that in this current day and age, Aikido can be a great form of stress relief. When negative influences (working, private or other) weigh heavy on your mind then exercise is the best form of 'pick me up' that there is. Through the practice of Aikido in an environment filled with people like minded and through the associated physical expression, it becomes easier to identify and relate to problematic situations with a clear mind.
Weight Loss and Self Belief
Unfortunately we live in a society which revolves around convenience and fast food resulting in people being over weight and unfit. This can result in mental and physical health issues later in life. Aikido, like many activities contributes towards a greater sense of well being. Through regular practice it can stretch your physical and mental limitations. This prepares you mentally for the many challenges in life and helps contribute towards 'shedding a few pounds' helping provide greater health and fitness in general.
Through the practice of Aikido in a friendly training environment, students are given time to build their confidence levels. This can be done through the development of trust between students and their instructor or fellow members, as well as individuals working towards taking themselves to the next level, emotionally and physically. We find that people with confidence issues grow from strength to strength ultimately leading to a more rewarding life.
When learning the movements of Aikido, along with good body form, we realise that Aikido can be a very effective form of self defence. However it is important to remember that this does not happen overnight, it takes time. Initially we learn to harmonize with our partner, working together to establish an understanding in movement and technique. As we progress, we learn to overcome the hurdles of the techniques using subtleties in movement to effectively absorb and re-direct our opponent's energy to immobilize or throw. As we progress to the higher levels we learn to transcend technique, opening our minds to the associated movement and body form to realize the martial options that present themselves to us in the moment, through atemi (striking, punching, kicking etc).
Quote from O'Sensei, founder of Aikido "Atemi is 90% of Aikido"
Through diligent training in Aikido, when exceeding physical limitations we learn to transcend day to day issues and truly evaluate what is important in our lives. This journey provides the opportunity to search inwards for answers to questions posed from the outside. This kind of approach to life can help eliminate excuses and negative thinking - which leads towards a greater sense of purpose and quality to the lifestyle you lead. If spirituality revolves around the development of the inner self, then Aikido provides the perfect opportunity for the positive development of an individual on the inside which can be expressed warmly and influentially on the outside.