Aikido is a Japanese martial art, the aim of which is to neutralise an attack, and then to control and subdue the attacker. This is achieved by using circular movements to absorb and redirect the power of the attack.
Aikido, is however much more than a set of elaborate techniques, it also teaches us self-control and self-awareness both physically and mentally.
Aikido was developed by Master Morihei Ueshiba following many years of studying diverse martial arts and philosophies and aspects of these are reflected in aikido. Many of the movements are based on sword cuts and thrusts and teach us how to make best use of centralised body movements, which is also useful in everyday life.
The art of aikido is learned by the repetitive practice of basic techniques with a partner. Initially, these techniques are practiced as a defence to someone gripping the wrist, and later progress to defence from a variety of blows to the body or head. Each person takes turns at attacking and defending. When attacking, and therefore receiving the technique, one gains an understanding of how the body and one’s balance is manipulated; and, when defending one learns to co-ordinate the movement of the body as a whole and to remain balanced and relaxed.
There are many schools of aikido, teaching different styles with different emphasis. Within these styles different organisations and different instructors add their own emphasis, some preferring to use more strikes (atemi) in techniques, others emphasising circular movements, giving more time to weapons practice or including physical fitness training.
Everyone has different physical attributes and every attack will be slightly different. Therefore, over many years of practice, each person finds the method and emphasis that best suits them; and, in learning to neutralise rather than confront a physical attack, we also learn to tackle life’s problems without confrontation.
Ai Cho Aikido Club
The club that I used to train at is Ai Cho Aikido club, which used to have 2 locations; one in Dunstable, Bedfordshire and the other in Bedford, Bedfordshire.
All instructors at the club are qualified and insured to teach through the BAB.
Beginners are always welcome at the Ai Cho Aikido Club. At their first lesson they are introduced to some of the basic movements required to perform techniques and shown how to safely receive techniques when practicing, by a member of the club’s coaching team.
The club caters for persons age 16 or over. There is no upper age limit.
For further information please contact the club instructor:
John Saunders – 4th Dan – Coach Level 1 01525 860713
Other Aikido Links:
Iwama Ryu GB www.iwamaryu.org.uk
Aikido Today Magazine www.aiki.com
Aikido Journal www.aikidojournal.com
Aikido Online www.aikidoonline.com
Aikido World www.aikido-world.com
Aikido FAQ www.aikidofaq.com