Aikido has the ability to forge a “aiki body” — a body that is strong, supple, sensitive, connected, and graceful.
The practice of aikido occurs in a cooperative learning environment with training challenges and goals calibrated for each individual. A 70-year-old can benefit from a movement practice that preserves mobility, strength, balance, and coordination. Younger practitioners can challenge themselves physically and mentally, developing fitness levels and movement skills that will pay dividends for their entire lives.
In addition to the physical fitness benefits of aikido practice, many practitioners develop a unique sense of confidence, centeredness, and situational awareness. Aikido keeps the mind both sharp and flexible — providing a perpetual mind-body challenge that is deeply integrated into everyday practice.
A desire for self-defense skills is the entry point for many practitioners of the martial arts. In many important ways, aikido is one of the most effective arts for self-defense. Aikido forges a martial spirit: developing balance, movement efficiency and power, and an ability to execute and defend against strikes, joint locks and throws. Aikido also develops situational awareness, good posture, and an ability to move with balance and confidence, all of which decrease the likelihood of assault. The cultivation of a martial spirit instills respect, empathy, communication, and conflict-management skills which are powerful tools both on and off the mat.
A proficient aikido practitioner can also fall like a cat – repositioning in mid-fall and rolling to safety. People fall a lot throughout their lives, and falling poses a major injury risk. For most of us, learning to protect the body from physical harm in a fall comes into play far more often than a need to defend against an attack. For all these reasons and more, aikido’s most powerful self-defense tools come into action before one finds themselves in a high-risk physical altercation, a scenario that even the most seasoned fighters seek to avoid.
However, for those who place high-priority on self-defense in the context of a street fight or assault, we believe additional training (supplementary extensions to our traditional aikido classes) will be necessary to unlock your full capabilities. That training, in the form of specialized self-defense classes, can be provided at Ikazuchi Dojo through personalized training and workshops. For those with more unique or demanding self-defense needs, we can refer them to trusted partners in the arenas of martial arts and personal defense.
Shedding the activities, apparel, and mindset of our daily lives, aikido practice brings us to another world. Students, business executives, professors, entrepreneurs, retirees and others all gather together and support each other in their training. We wear the traditional Japanese gi and hakama, and practice the pursuit of budo, immersing ourselves in a practice and culture far-removed from our more mundane daily activities.
Through this form of moving meditation and self-exploration, we build strong bonds of friendship, share an authentic martial arts journey together, and make ourselves stronger.
Nearly all of the founder’s original students were highly-accomplished martial artists in other disciplines. They looked to aikido as a practice to enhance, unify, and complete their technical and spiritual understanding of the martial arts. Ikazuchi Dojo teaches aikido to some of the world’s living legends in other martial arts and today, many students come to the art as accomplished martial artists in other styles.
Aikido can also serve as an excellent cross-training activity for athletes and movement performers looking to reduce injury risk, supplement and boost their existing movement skills.
Contact us to learn more and tell us why you’d like to do aikido.