What is Aikido
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by founder Morihei Ueshiba, as a result of long-term involvement with various martial arts. The philosophy of O 'Sensei was to create an art that the practitioner will be able to defend himself protecting the attacker from an injury. Aikido is often translated as the path of integration with the energy of life.
Kanji in work Aikido (合気道), consists of three ideograms.
O Shensei - The Founder
Morihei Ueshiba is the founder of Aikido, honorably called O- Sensei. He was born on December 14, 1883 , in the town of the province Tanampe Ouakagiama of Japan. With the encouragement of his father he began his involvement with the Sumo and swimming , to physical empowerment. He was tought jujutsu to kito -ryu dojo and Shinkage-Ryu. In 1912 he moved to Hokkaido province . There he makes contact and becomes a student of Sokaku Takeda, teacher of Daito - ryu Aiki jujutsu. In 1919 in Ayabe in Kyoto, he met O.Degushi, tutor, which follows the next years. In 1927 he moves with his family in Tokyo. There he begins to teach the way of Aiki, which since 1942 calls Aikido. He died on April 26 1969.
Clothing in Aikido
The garment of Aikido is hakama, traditional clothing of Japan. Looks like very baggy pants or a skirt with pleats. There is a simple garment that is used simply by tradition. Initially only men wore hakama, but today both genders wear the hakama. The hakama is tied at waist and reaches the level of the ankle.
According to O'Sensei, Aikido not only has adopted the martial techniques of the samurai, but it has adopted the spirit of bushido (the code of the samurai). In bushido there are seven virtues that are required by the samurai. The hakama, has seven pleats, 5 in the front and 2 in back, which correspond to these virtues. In AIKIDO the use of this garment is continued with the same meaning and for the same reasons.
These virtues are:
Most schools now allow students to wear hakama from the rank of 1st dan and sometimes from a lower kyu level. Our dojo allow students from the third level to wear the hakama.
From sensei Saito we learn that the early years of aikido, everyone was required to wear a hakama. If they could find any, they made it from fabrics that had. The Shigenobu Okumura Sensei (Aikido Today Magazine), informs us that some years later, greed to wear the hakama from the 1st dan, because the materials they used were destroyed and there was a difficulty to make new ones constantly. Decision was purely for practical reasons, and not a rewarding degree.
Folding the hakama may seem challenging at first, but by following these steps you can fold it as a samurai would.
The Purpose of Training in Aikido
The training in Aikido is to prepare healthy people
Training in Aikido contribute to fitness and physical health. The pace of training increases progressively developing aerobic and anaerobic capability. It also empowers the cardiopulmonary system.
Techniques include stretching various muscle groups. Thereby achieved the correct width and muscle flexibility. Through various transactions and charges achieved muscular and skeletal strengthening. O mascular synchronization and reflexes improved. It should be emphasized that Aikido does not require bodies with excessive muscle volume, nor beyond its normal elasticity. That is why it contributes to the harmonious development of the body, causing it to be strong and healthy.
The advantages of exercising Aikido is to create a calm and balanced people. It contributes to the growth and development of self-confidence, calmness, sobriety of thought and tranquility in view of intense situations, respect for others, kindness, generosity of spirit, self-discipline, self-esteem, the concentration, etc.
Generally contributes to the internal configuration of a person, helping him to have an effective and positive attitude.
The course begins and ends with an etiquette that follow as best you can. It is important to be on time to attend to it. If you arrive late, you must wait at the edge of the tatami until the teacher to call you to enter the course. Stepping in the tatami you must bow and be careful not to create disruption in the course.
The correct way to sit on the tatami is the position of seiza. However, if you have a knee injury, you sit cross-legged. We never spread our legs or rely on the wall. We must be vigilant at all times.
Few minutes before the traing there should be warming up and then trainees are sitting in seiza posture. These few minutes allow your mind to empty , to divest the problems of the day and prepare for the lesson . When the teacher shows a technique, sit in seiza posture and watch carefully. After the presentation of the art, we bow to our partner and start practicing. When the end of a technique is announced, stop immediately, bow to our fellow practitioners and all trainees sit in a row.
We do our best to maintain the harmony of the dojo and give the best of our ability in training.
Aikido techniques include joint locks and throws, which as already mentioned, have their roots in jujutsu and Japanese swordsmanship respectively. The main objective is not to neutralize the opponent through punches and kicks. Aikido uses energy, strength, opponent's speed and correct timing through circular movements to make it harmless but effective. In this sense advantages of the attacker, like power, size, speed, converted into disadvantages reinforced as they return back to him.
Aikido is an art structured and oriented in neutralizing many opponents. The defender moves in a way that allows him to control the space around it, so it's always ready to neutralize any other attacks that may follow. That's one reason it care to devote the attacker the exact time required depending on the circumstances, neither more nor less. It is an art that gives great importance to the movement at the right time.
Weapons Trainning in Aikido
The training includes techniques with wooden weapons such as the jo (stick), Tobokken (sword), the tanto (knife). The weapons are used in combination, either with unarmed or armed techniques(e.g. disarming). There are several reasons for the use of weapons in place of training
Safety in Aikido
The Aikido as a martial art is quite safe. The philosophy of O 'Sensei during the training of art was to develop an art that the practitioner will be able to defend himself protecting the attacker from an injury. However, practitioners have to follow the trainer's instructions to the letter, but also some basic rules, most are common sense.