What is Aikido?
Aikido is a martial art that is both traditional and highly effective. In Aikido strength plays no role. Instead students learn how to redirect and use an attacker’s force against them – the harder the attack, the more effortless the defense.
Aikido is a purely defensive martial art. It has no attacking openings; it is effective through utilizing the directional energy and intention of the opponent. Through blending, redirecting and unbalancing, leading to locking and throwing techniques, Aikido does not require great strength and can therefore be practiced by all, male and female, young and old.
It has its origins in the battlefield arts of the ancient samurai where weapons and multiple opponents were the norm and competition rules had no meaning in the struggle for life or death. Refined in modern times to be a less destructive, but nonetheless efficient art, Aikido retains its roots as a combat form but places equal emphasis on the development of peaceful character. Due to Aikido’s effectiveness, many law enforcement and military organizations use it to arrest and control without injury.
Ueshiba Sensei stirring and drawing down the heavens
Through regular practice the deshi (student) learns the value of relaxation under stress and threat, and occasionally can experience the enormous power available to human beings when body, mind, and emotion function in a fully integrated manner. The body becomes more flexible, posture improves and a general improvement of health takes place. Training also increases self-respect and self-confidence, reducing the stimulants of potential conflict.
Both beginning and advanced students practice together. Experience with other martial arts is not necessary.