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May 21, 2008 Posted by | Animal Pics, Blogroll | Leave a comment

Where to Practice Aikido

Aikido is the modern Japanese martial art developed between the 1920 to 1960 by Morihei Ueshiba who was said to have been influenced by Omoto-kyo. It is the pacifist nature of Omoto-kyo that is said to be the fundamental principle of this “art of peace” martial art form.

This particular martial art espouses relaxation and peace to be able to execute the Aikido techniques and moves properly. Through authentic Aikido training, the practitioner is expected to develop spiritually and philosophically and this should reflect in their ability to employ Aikido martial art techniques in an Aikido dojo.

Dojo is the Japanese term for a formal training structure for martial arts. A truly authentic and traditional Aikido dojo is used only as a place for formal and symbolic gatherings, and is rarely used a place to actually train. The actual Aikido training from a traditional dojo is done outdoors in a less formal setting.

A modern day Aikido dojo however loses most of its formality. Most of the time, there is no distinction from an Aikido dojo to the actual place of training and practice. In fact, in most cases, the two are one and the same.

Some of the modern Aikido dojo that are run by small groups of individuals who want to remain authentic to the spirit of the traditional dojo, students conduct a cleaning ritual after each training session. This is done not just for hygienic purposes but it is done also to reinforce that the dojo is made up and run by the Aikido students rather than the institutions that put them up.

Most traditional dojo observes a set pattern of precise entrances that need to be adhered to by the students depending on their rank. Students will commonly enter the dojo from the lower left corner while instructors will enter from the upper right corner. The traditional dojo also contain certain artifacts and objects to enhance the formal gatherings. For instance, a traditional dojo may have a place for a Shinto shrine and a spectator area for special visitors.

These traditional practices however may only be found in Japan in a few remaining Aikido dojo. Today, to learn and be a student of Aikido, one must find an Aikido dojo conveniently near you to be able to attend practice regularly.

More than the actual structure of the Aikido dojo however, you must choose the right one to attend to be able to suite your needs. It is also probably important to note and find out whether the Aikido dojo you are planning to attend remains true to the authentic teachings of Aikido, which lies in the principle of peace and relaxation to enable to ki to flow.

Aikido is a martial art form that paradoxically promotes a peaceful end to aggression through various Aikido techniques. It might be prudent to find an Aikido dojo that will continue to uphold its spirituality and philosophy. A relaxed demeanor is key to being able to perform advance Aikido techniques.

The relaxed manner is not something one can build through exercise like muscles. It is something that must be cultivated from within and maintained without. For this purpose, it would probably be good to keep the Aikido spirit in mind when find an Aikido dojo to join and learn Aikido martial arts from.

May 21, 2008 Posted by | Aikido, Blogroll | Leave a comment

Using Aikido in Combat

Everyone has the power of life or death in one’s hands. It is the decision of the individual to slow down when pedestrians are crossing or whether to pull the trigger when going on a duck hunt.

Unfortunately, there are certain elements in society who will cause harm in order to get money instead of working for it. The person can become a victim when walking to the car after doing some shopping or when coming home late from work.

The police may not always be there to assist so it is best to be prepared always. One way to be prepared is learning a martial art. The individual does not have to be as good as Bruce Lee to kick butt but simply learn what it takes to deliver a good punch.

One of the more popular and yet very peaceful is aikido. This is because in combat, the person doesn’t strike the opponent with the intent to injure or kill. The objective is merely to subdue the opponent with minimum force to be able to get to safety.

There are various Dojos all across the country that teach aikido. The person can sign up in one and then move up the ranks.

Beginners will first work use techniques based in the shape of a square. As the skills develop, the person will move up to triangle and then eventually circle. This will take months so the student must be committed throughout the entire process.

The objective of this is for the person to be able to the various techniques with the least amount of effort unlike before. This will give the person enough energy in combat should there be more than one opponent.

The things done in practice such as the holds, grips and falls can never be compared with what happens in the streets. This is because an inexperienced person may try something different so the individual should be prepared for anything.

It is a good thing though that various competitions are held regularly so that one’s combat skills can be tested.  The student can sign up especially if the dojo usually participates in such tournaments.

While in practice or during competition, the person should lower the tempo to prevent injuring the partner. After all, the real battle is out there in the streets and should only be used as a last resort.

There may even come a time that the assailant could be someone also skilled in the martial arts. The only way to win will be to use the mind since this will allow the individual to react faster in the middle of a fight.

There are various secrets in aikido. This can be from the hand to eye coordination, the flexibility of the wrist, the breathing and the speed. All of these things will count for something as the person is in combat struggling in a life or death situation.

There is a line that goes, “no pain, no gain.” Unfortunately, this will happen in order to be good at aikido since the one who has the competitive edge will be the victor in any battle. The person can do well in any combat situation as long as one is guided by senior students and the Sensei and believes in his or herself.

Using Aikido in Combat

Everyone has the power of life or death in one’s hands. It is the decision of the individual to slow down when pedestrians are crossing or whether to pull the trigger when going on a duck hunt.

Unfortunately, there are certain elements in society who will cause harm in order to get money instead of working for it. The person can become a victim when walking to the car after doing some shopping or when coming home late from work.

The police may not always be there to assist so it is best to be prepared always. One way to be prepared is learning a martial art. The individual does not have to be as good as Bruce Lee to kick butt but simply learn what it takes to deliver a good punch.

One of the more popular and yet very peaceful is aikido. This is because in combat, the person doesn’t strike the opponent with the intent to injure or kill. The objective is merely to subdue the opponent with minimum force to be able to get to safety.

There are various Dojos all across the country that teach aikido. The person can sign up in one and then move up the ranks.

Beginners will first work use techniques based in the shape of a square. As the skills develop, the person will move up to triangle and then eventually circle. This will take months so the student must be committed throughout the entire process.

The objective of this is for the person to be able to the various techniques with the least amount of effort unlike before. This will give the person enough energy in combat should there be more than one opponent.

The things done in practice such as the holds, grips and falls can never be compared with what happens in the streets. This is because an inexperienced person may try something different so the individual should be prepared for anything.

It is a good thing though that various competitions are held regularly so that one’s combat skills can be tested.  The student can sign up especially if the dojo usually participates in such tournaments.

While in practice or during competition, the person should lower the tempo to prevent injuring the partner. After all, the real battle is out there in the streets and should only be used as a last resort.

There may even come a time that the assailant could be someone also skilled in the martial arts. The only way to win will be to use the mind since this will allow the individual to react faster in the middle of a fight.

There are various secrets in aikido. This can be from the hand to eye coordination, the flexibility of the wrist, the breathing and the speed. All of these things will count for something as the person is in combat struggling in a life or death situation.

There is a line that goes, “no pain, no gain.” Unfortunately, this will happen in order to be good at aikido since the one who has the competitive edge will be the victor in any battle. The person can do well in any combat situation as long as one is guided by senior students and the Sensei and believes in his or herself.

May 21, 2008 Posted by | Aikido, Blogroll | Leave a comment

Why watch Aikido clip video?

Aikido was developed by as a martial art by Morihei Ueshiba who studied several martial arts since 1912. Known to many aikido practitioners as “O Sensei” or the “Great Teacher,” Ueshiba was able to develop the martial art based on a purely physical level using techniques and movements such those of “Jujitsu” and “Kenjutsu” called “aikido.”

It is believed that aikido was first introduced to the Western culture way back in 1951 by a martial arts practitioner Minoru Mochizuki when he visited France. Then, he introduced aikido and several aikido techniques to judo students in different areas of France. After this introduction, Tadashi Abe, who cane as the official Aikikai Honbu representative in 1952, remained in France for less than seven years and continued the pursuit.

The following year, Kenji Tomiki conducted a tour along with various martial arts delegates in 15 continental states in the US. And in that same year, Koichi Tohei of Aikikai Honbu was sent by for a year to Hawaii just to set up a number of dojos. After invading the US, Aikido gained patronage in the UK, Germany, and Australia. Today, thousands of dojos are set up for those who would want to learn the practice of the martial art.

BITS AND PIECES OF AIKIDO

If you are interested with aikido but do not have the time and money to go to a dojo and enroll for an aikido class, then you should find other means to do so. One of the easiest ways to introduce yourself into the exciting world of aikido is to browse the Internet and look for aikido video clips.

Being a limitless source of any information, browsing the Internet for various aikido video clips can give you better options and the specific details you would want to learn. Today, there are so many websites that offer aikido clip videos for free for those who would want to learn the basics and for those who would want to get an idea how the martial art works before enrolling to it.

Usually, aikido video clips contain loose form training or popularly known as “ki nagare.” Here, the aikido practitioners are just playing around even and after the martial art presentation. The most viewed aikido video clips are those of famous aikido practitioners while conducting their classes or during their practice. But since these are just clips, it is not possible for you to learn everything about the techniques of the martial art.

Amateurs who document the practitioner’s lessons and stunts during practice usually take these aikido video clips. Since these are taken in impromptu, you cannot expect high quality resolution and sound. The most common problem would be is that the aikido video clip has a noisy background due to the noises created by people from neighboring gym hall or from the enthusiastic audience inside the dojo.

After filming, they upload these files into the Internet so others can see it. Although these are just short clips, there is a possibility that you pick up aikido techniques that you can practice. Unlike in full-length aikido videos, the variety of aikido techniques is limited when you watch an aikido video clip.

Aikido video clips are available in various aikido sites or from yahoo, google, and u-tube. There are many more websites that offer free aikido video clips but expect that limited amount of information can be gathered.

May 21, 2008 Posted by | Aikido, Blogroll | Leave a comment

A Basic Guide to Aikido

Aikido is a unique form of martial art. Its emphasis lies on the harmonious fusion of mind and body with the natural laws of Nature. Aikido focuses on accepting and respecting the energy of life and nature and channeling this harmony onto techniques that expresses this energy in physical forms.

Aikido is often viewed as more of a defensive martial art since its techniques and teachings are designed for you to avoid or get out of trouble. On the contrary, Aikido’s techniques are very powerful and effective.

Basically, there are four levels of technique in Aikido training. These are the katai which refers to the basic training and is intended to build the foundation of body movements and breathing; the yawarakai trains the defendant to deflect attacks and fuse movements to take control of the attacker or situation; the ki-no-nagare which involves training the defendant to defend or counter attack by merging his movement with the attacker even before the latter makes contact; and the ki which is the absolute Aikido technique and involves establishing a link of ki or spirit from the defender to the attacker.

When training for Aikido, you need a sparring partner. The uke and the nage. The Uke is the initiator of the attack and receives the Aikido techniques, while the Nage is the defender and the one that neutralizes the attack.

Aikido basic techniques include ikky which involves control an attacker by placing one hand on the elbow and one on near the wrist giving an opportunity to throw the attacker to the ground; the niky which draws in the uke using a wristlock and twists the arm while applying painful nerve pressure; sanky which is a rotating technique aimed at applying a spiraling tension on the whole arm including the elbow and shoulder; yonky a shoulder control technique with both hands gripping the forearm; goky is another variant of ikky

wherein the hand gripping the wrist is inverted and is quite useful in weapon take-aways; shihnage or the four-direction throw; kotegaeshi or wrist return which involves a wristlock-throw that stretches the extensor digitorum; kokynage also known as breath throws or timing throws; iriminage or entering-body throws which resembles a “clothesline” technique; tenchinage or heaven-and-earth throw; koshinage or the Aikido’s version of the hip throw; jinage or the shaped-like-‘ten’-throw; and kaitennage or rotation throw wherein the nage sweeps the arm of the uke back until it locks the shoulder joint after which the nage applies forward pressure to throw the attacker.

These are just basic techniques and from the list thousands of possible implementations or combinations can be drawn by the aikidokas. In Aikido, the strikes employed during the implementation of the Aikido technique are called atemi. For beginners, grabs are the first ones to be taught. It is safer and the aikidoka can easily feel the energy flowing from the uke to the nage.

Among the basic grab techniques are the katate-dori or single-hand-grab which involves using one hand to grab one wrist; morote-dori or both-hands-grab which uses both hands to grab one wrist; ryte-dori another both-hands-grab technique wherein both hands are used to grab both wrists; kata-dori or the shoulder-grab technique; and the mune-dori or chest-grab which involves grabbing the clothing of the chest of the attacker.

Mastering each technique involves discipline and dedication. To be a good aikodoka, one must master both the techniques and principle of the martial art.

May 21, 2008 Posted by | Aikido, Blogroll | 2 Comments

Into the world of Aikido martial arts

With the visible convergence of East and West cultures, more and more people are discovering and rediscovering new means self-discipline especially in the field of martial arts. One of these means is called “Aikido,” a very popular Japanese martial art.

KNOWING AIKIDO

“Do not fight force with force,” this is the most basic principle of Aikido. Considered as one of the non-aggressive styles in martial arts, Aikido has become popular because it doesn’t instigate or provoke any attack. Instead, the force of the attacker is redirected into throws, locks, and several restraining techniques.
Since aikido uses very few punches and kicks, the size, weight, age, and physical strength of the participants or the opponents only partake only a small role. What’s important is the skilled Aikido practitioner is skilled enough to redirect his or her attacker’s energy while keeping him or her in a constant of unbalance.

The history of Aikido as a martial art can be traced when Morihei Ueshiba discovered and developed its principle of aikido. Known as “O Sensei” or the “Great Teacher,” Ueshiba made sure to develop a martial art that is based on a purely physical level using movements like throws, joint locks and techniques derived from another martial arts like “Jujitsu” and “Kenjutsu.”

Technically, aikido was stemmed out and developed mainly from “daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu” while incorporating several training movements similar to the “yari” or “spear, “jo” or a short “quarterstaff” and from “juken” or “bayonet”. Although these jujitsu movements are prominent while practicing the martial art, many practitioners agree that strongest influences of aikido is that of kenjutsu.

When he finally developed the minor and major principles of Aikido, Ueshiba emphasized that the martial art does not only pertain to self-defense techniques but can also play a major role in the enhancement of the practitioner’s moral and spiritual aspects eventually leading them to place greater weight on the development and achievement of peace and harmony. In fact, because of the great emphasis in the development of harmony and peace, seasoned aikido practitioners say that “the way of harmony of the spirit” is one phrase that could describe or translate the term “aikido” in English.

Just like any other martial art, aikido has various techniques that include ikkyo or the “first technique,” “nikyo” or the “second technique,” “sankyo,” or the “third technique,” “yonkyo” or the “fourth technique,” the “gokyo” or the “fifth technique,” the “shihonage” or the “four-direction throw,” the “kotegaeshi” or the wrist return, “kokyunage” or the “breath throw,” “iriminage” or the entering-body throw, “tenchinage” or the “heaven-and-earth throw,” “koshinage,” or the “hip throw,” “jujinage” or the “shaped-like-‘ten’-throw,” and the “kaitennage” or the rotation throw.”

Although aikido is not about punching or kicking the opponent, it is not considered as a static art. It is still a very effective means of martial arts because it requires the aikido practitioner to use the energy of their opponent so they can gain control over them. When you will look at the martial art closely, you will realize that aikido is not only a means of self-defense technique but can also serve a means of spiritual enlightenment, physical health or exercise or a simple means of attaining peace of mind, concentration, and serenity.

Although different aikido styles gives great emphasis on the spiritual aspects to varying levels—some to greater or lesser degrees—the idea that the martial arts was conceptualized in order to achieve peace and harmony remains the most basic ideology of the martial art.

May 21, 2008 Posted by | Aikido, Blogroll | Leave a comment