The Way of Harmony

What is Aikido

What is Aikido?

Good question. Aikido is described as a traditional Japanese martial art. This involves throwing, striking and locking techniques but this is hard to picture without prior knowledge of martial arts.

Aikido is known as a flowing martial art and can seem gentle at first viewing.

The training also includes weapons: the BOKKEN (wooden sword) and the JO (wooden staff). The weapons katas are included in the grading system, but are also useful for self defence and understanding of the origins of Aikido techniques.

Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), commonly referred to as O Sensei. He wanted to develop a fighting arts system that was more of way of life for him rather than just a collection of techniques (see Links page for more on the history of Aikido).

There are several different styles of Aikido as people can interpret Aikido in different ways. The best thing is to go to an Aikido class and watch, or better still try it out and decide for yourself

Is Aikido the martial art for me?

To which there is no easy answer, as it depends what you are looking for. It’s definitely a martial art, so that means there are self defence techniques taught which would be useful should the need arise.

Some of the exercises we practise might not seem like self defence at first but becomes more apparent the more you practise.

The training does include rolling and breakfalling; techniques used to advance the intensity of training. Some people find this aspect of training difficult at first but with perseverance this can add to your enjoyment of the training.

We don’t do competitions in this style of Aikido as it can eliminate some people from training. Aikido should be for everybody. Obviously, if you are young and fit, training is easier to handle, but there is room on the mat for everyone willing to try, and techniques can be adapted.

The Japanese side of things are reflected in the etiquette (how you train with each other), the terminology, and the stylised forms.

   How long will it take me to get a black belt?

Depends. You can buy one from a sports store quite cheaply. Alternatively, with regular training somewhere between 4 and 7 years. With some associations this may take even longer because the level required is very exacting. Don’t let this become the focus of your training as once you get your black belt what then? Some people quit. With others, only then do they start to learn what Aikido is all about.                                     

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