Calm in action: How do you remain calm, centred and relaxed in the midst of chaos? Aikido is the answer for many
What is Aikido?
Aikido is a highly refined martial art, developed last century as a means of self-defence and spiritual training. Aikido develops coordination of mind and body. Through its philosophy and techniques, Aikido brings us into harmony with our environment, other people and ourselves.
Unlike many martial arts, Aikido requires no advantage in strength or speed, and is practised successfully by people of all ages and abilities. The movements of Aikido are circular and flowing. They are designed on the principles of nature and move in circles and spirals.
Benefits of Aikido
Central to Aikido is the idea of being in harmony with your opponents, rather than in conflict with them. The movement and energy of an attack is redirected without the need for collision or the use of force. The physical practice of this fundamental principle of Aikido, leads to a better understanding of people and nature, while teaching essential skills for the resolution of conflict.
Aikido practice develops flexibility, coordination, concentration, improved health and fitness, effective communication skills and self-esteem.
The physical aspects of Aikido, as graceful and dynamic as they can be, are only the outward manifestation of what is, most importantly, a real and direct way to improve our quality of life.
Aikido can be practised as a form of exercise, a martial art, a meditation or a form of spiritual training – the choice is up to you.
What to expect
Every Aikido class is different, however there are basic elements that are fundamental to all training. These include body coordination exercises, unarmed self-defence techniques - these make up the major part of each class – techniques for disarming armed attackers, relaxation exercises, breathing methods and meditation.
Many classes include training with the Bokken (wooden sword) and Jo (wooden staff), which are used to emphasise fundamental movements, and to assist the students in better understanding their energy flow.
In aikido we believe that the body is filled with life energy – which in Japanese is called Ki (also known as Chi in China and Prana in India). The ability to direct and use Ki are integral parts of aikido training. Emphasis is upon unifying with the rhythm and Ki of the opponent in order to find the optimal position and timing with which to apply Aikido techniques.
Aikido time table