What is Aikido?
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed in the 1920’s by Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei, which evolved from older forms of Jujutsu. It is a discipline that focuses on development of the body and the mind, and trains one to move in harmony with oneself and others.
Literally, Aikido translates as “the way of the spirit of harmony”.
Aikido, in addition to being an effective form of self-defence, is also a means of personal development and conflict resolution. It’s the hope that all students endeavour to become well-rounded students, embracing the training both on and off the mat.
Philosophy and Principles
Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art that can be practised by men and women of all ages and physical conditions. Instead of meeting force with force, or an attack with a counter attack, in Aikido we train to redirect the attacker’s power, using it to unbalance and disrupt the attacker, rendering further attack impossible. Aikido techniques generally culminate in a throw or an immobilization of the attacker, which neutralises the attack without knowingly causing harm to the attacker.
Aikido training is largely “kata” training
(a predetermined series of movement).
The purpose of this training is to allow the body and mind to understand the principles and essence of the techniques and with repetition over time, to learn how to respond in an appropriate manner without thought. With solid training in basic movement and kata, one will become able to respond freely in all situations.
In Aikido, we train in both the role of the attacker (“uke”) as well as the defender (“nage” or “tori”), so a variety of skills are developed. In addition, training in both these roles gives great insight into the execution and effectiveness of the techniques. In training one should earnestly seek to develop both roles, and provide one’s partner with appropriate challenge but in a co-operative not competitive way. This is required in order for growth to occur.
(Adapted from Aikido Shimbokukai Members Handbook)