WHAT IS AIKIDO
The Japanese word Aikido is written with three characters (合気道), which translate as “the way of unity with the fundamental force of the universe”. Aikido is a true budo or Martial Way that evolved in the historic tradition of Japanese warrior arts. Studied in earnest, budo is more than a science of tactics and self-defense – it is a discipline for perfecting the spirit.
In developing aikido, O’Sensei was heavily influenced by daito ryu aikijujitsu, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido uses the direction of technical developments of aikido to defend oneself against an attacker without causing serious or permanent injury. Aikido emphasizes evasion and circular movement to redirect an attacker’s aggressive force into throws, locks, and immobilizations as a primary strategy rather than punches and kicks. It emphasizes agility, timing, body control and balance over strength and force. Aikido practice also involves weapons training. The primary weapons in aikido are the jo (wooden staff), bokken (wooden sword), and the tanto (wooden knife). Besides being used to teach defenses against armed attacks, it is also instrumental in illustrating the movement of Aikido.
Students train themselves to capture the opponent’s action and redirect it with techniques of martial efficiency and power. At the same time, they become aware of the tendency to overreact to opposition, and learn to remain centered under all conditions.
Aikido body art classes are open to adults of levels, men and women. Beginners’ classes are geared towards students with no experience in Aikido, though intermediate and advanced students are encouraged to participate. The practice is a partners practice, as each practitioner studies the techniques from two main facets: both applying the technique (Tori/Nage practice) and receiving the technique (Ukemi practice).