Aikido (Ai - Harmony, Ki - Spirit, Do - Way) is an effective form of self-defence derived from Japanese Bujutsu (Warrior Ways). Aikido is becoming as popular in the western world as it is in Japan, where it is held in high esteem. It has a history of over 800 years during which the techniques were used and developed on the battlefields and in hostile conditions. Over the years the techniques have been modified and adapted to suit our modern style of living.
The great attraction of Aikido, as opposed to Judo or Karate is that the techniques practised require very little strength to make them effective and therefore can be practised by both men and women of all ages. Aikido deals with pressure points, throws and locks. Many martial arts have moved away from their self-defence origins into the world of competitive sport - but not Misogi, which is a hard practical style that can be used to counter any attack, without causing serious injury to the attacker. In practice, Aikidoka (practitioners of Aikido) learn to defend themselves by using dynamic techniques, blending with an attackers power, dispersing his energy and finally throwing or controlling the aggressor.
Students will not become experts overnight, during the first six months basic exercises are taught as well as breakfalls. These are designed to condition your body while practising Aikido. Next students will be shown techniques to control an attack by blending with the attackers strength and redirecting the power against them. By constantly practising these basic techniques, speed and agility will increase allowing students to become more competent in an aggressive situation.
Misogi incorporates the use of Weapons to enhance the concentration and accuracy required to complete a successful Aikido technique. Weapons used include; a Bokken (Wooden Sword), Jo (4' Staff), Tanjo (2' Staff), Tanbo (Short Stick) and Tanto (Wooden Knife). Classical and practical weaponry use is taught.
Aikido is the new, exciting martial art. The physical and mental benefits are tremendous, the art consists of a combination of throwing techniques and controlling movements based on those made with the Samurai sword. Every muscle of the body is used, and it teaches students to harmonise mind and body resulting in a feeling of exhilaration and good health. Aikido offers something for everyone but remember we are learning a Martial Art, not playing a game!
In view of the fact that Aikido stresses Meditation and Breathing (kokyu) powers - the exercise creates an equilibrium on the mental plane consequently affecting the Para Sympathetic and Sympathetic Nerves, giving harmony to the organs and maintaining the circulation of blood. Through Aikido training the stresses and strain factors can be reduced, and thus create Harmony and Tranquillity in the mind.
Aikido serves the path of health and self-defence, 'A sound mind and a sound body'.