What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies. Loosely translated, Aikido means \”way of harmonizing or blending with energy. Aikido techniques are intended to be implemented after first blending with the motion of the attacker, so that the defender may redirect the attacker\’s momentum without directly opposing it, thus using minimum effort. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement.

Aikido is a relatively modern, strictly defensive, non-competitive martial art for the development of mind and body. Aikido is often characterised by its fluid and dynamic movement. Although Aikido movements are soft, rational, and smooth as in nature, by applying a bit of force, these can become devastatingly effective. The gentle quality of Aikido makes it appealing and practical to men and women and children of all ages.

When you see aikido techniques performed, it is best to view all the movements as circular. When a circle is created, one’s partner seems to spin off and fall of his own accord. Circular movements allow us to avoid collision with an opposing force, and facilitate harmonization. In order to create a true circle, there must be a firm center.

The essence of all Aikido technique is the use of total body movements to create spherical motion around a stable, energized center. Even when a technique appears to be using only one part of the body, close observation reveals the Aikidoist\’s movements are, in fact, total body movements. Properly executed, some techniques are spectacular; sending an opponent flying through the air. Others are small, deft movements that immobilize the aggressor. Both results are achieved through precise use of leverage, inertia, gravity, and the action of centrifugal and centripetal forces.

To apply Aikido in every day life, one can maintain good Aikido posture and movement throughout the day. More important, however, is to maintain a modest attitude, and harmonize mind and body. In the realm of human relationships, one must avoid conflict and resolve problems in a harmonious Aikido fashion. In order to do this well, one must above all be modest and humble.

Excerpts from : Best Aikido – The Fundamentals, Aikido & the Dynamic Sphere – An Illustrated Introduction, The Aikido Student Handbook, Wikipedia.com, Aikidofaq.com, Aikidoonline.com

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