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What is Aikido

Aikido is self-defense

Aikido is an extremely effective form of self defense because its hand to hand technical
roots are based on the sword cutting  and pinning motions that are found in ken jujitsu
and jujitsu arts respectively.  The other aspects that support the effectiveness of Aikido is
its circular movements and stance from which the practitioner operates.   Aikido students
are trained to subdue hostile energy by using the aforementioned motions and methods
in order subdue an opponent with locks, pins and/or throws.

What also makes Aikido a effective form of self defense is that it does not rely solely on
the strength and agility of the practitioner.  Aikido is a martial art that adapts to one’s
physical condition which is why a top quality athlete or someone with a physical limitation
can become an effective practitioner of Aikido.

Aikido practitioners will also learn how to evade and escape bodily harm using various
Aikido techniques while still respecting the integrity of their opponent’s well being.

You may have see an Aikido demonstration, however, unlike other forms of martial art,
Aikido does not offer opportunities for point scoring, contact competitions or other kinds of
arena displays.

Aikido is physical fitness

Because you move at your own pace and challenge yourself on many physical levels
make an Aikido class a great workout.  The  Aikido exercises and warm-ups can help to
improve core strength and joint flexibility.  Interval training methodology make it a superior
cardiovascular activity that burns fat without sacrificing muscle and uses the muscular
and skeletal systems in a natural and logical way. Both solo and partner exercises are
performed in each class. Aikido is a terrific way to get in shape, lose weight and reduce
stress.

Aikido is personal and spiritual growth

Most long-term practitioners (and many beginners as well) use the principles of Aikido for
personal growth and spiritual development. The practical and powerful self-defense
techniques serve as a springboard for a deeper understanding of human nature.
“Bushin” is a Japanese term that translates as “the spirit-mind of stopping the sword.”
The first part of the phrase, “Bu”, means “a way to put an end to contentious swords,” and
the second part, “shin,” means “the mind and spirit which are one”. While warrior arts
(Budo) of the past have translated “Bushin” as “warrior spirit,” the essence of the phrase
has evolved away from a mere warrior into a person seeking a Method of Natural
Harmony and Right Livelihood. The method of Aikido promotes this concept as a primary
philosophy.  In the context of Aikido, Ueshiba Sensei called this condition “Takemusu
Aiki.” This is when the practitioner transcends technique and moves into pure awareness.
In meditation arts this enlightened state is called “satori” (Japanese) or “rigpa” (Tibetan).
It is the ultimate goal of Aikido practice.

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