The artÂ’s name alone indicates that the Aikidoda (an Aikido practitioner) does not clash with the opponent. An aikidodas adept never assumes the role of an aggressor. It is a gentle and non-aggressive art of self-defense. It seeks neither to compete, or to win with brutal force nor to destroy others but blends and redirects the opponentÂ’s aggressive action.
AIKIDO – THE WAY TO HARMONIZE WITH ENERGY
What is Aikido? The art of Aikido is a fairly recent phenomenon. Nonetheless, it represents a firm link between martial arts and the society with contemporary practitioners striving to develop mind and body unification in the hope of leading freer and more productive lives. Ai is translated as harmony; ki means energy or spirit, and do as the way. Therefore, Aikido can be translated as “the way of harmonizing with energy.”
The art’s name alone indicates that the Aikidoda (an Aikido practitioner) does not clash with the opponent. An aikidodas adept never assumes the role of an aggressor. It is a gentle and non-aggressive art of self-defense. It seeks neither to compete, or to win with brutal force nor to destroy others but blends and redirects the opponent’s aggressive action.
In Aikido, the goal is perfection of character and the unification of the body and mind. There are no contests or trophies as found in other forms of martial arts. The challenge is to continually develop techniques in comparison with ourselves rather than others.
Training in Aikido arts is much deeper than simply learning the throws and pins. As a student progresses and begin to understand and develop their techniques, they also begin to develop balance, grace, timing, and self-awareness. They realize that they have responsibility to challenge themselves to gain a deeper level of study and understanding.
When the physical Aikido arts are practiced with honesty and integrity, this same principle should be allowed to permeate all activities in one’s daily life. The students should also keep reminding themselves the importance of applying the same principles in daily life which in turn will increase the ability to interact with others on a more positive and productive way.
“In Aikido we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never run after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it.”
The ideals of Aikido can be directly applied to any situation in which personal interaction is required. Aikidodas learn the meaning of harmonizing, for example in negotiating business transactions. Instead of clashing with each other by attempting to over turn the other, one learns to harmonize with needs to attain a result that would be mutually acceptable. By doing this we achieved our desired goals. This also leads to a relationship that promotes trust and success in future negotiations. Thus, the attitude in Aikido helps strengthen relationships and improve interactions between the people involved whether in family relations, relations in workplace and day to day interaction.
Aikido, the “Art of Peace” has always been associated with guys flipping each other, locking each others joints, bending wrists and wearing of long, black hakarmas (Japanese skirt). But what lies after learning the techniques is a question only the aikidodas can answer. I believe that there is a strong parallel between Aikido and society. Both are in a constant change. Aikido through the years has evolved from a very traditional to the more modern ways of practice. Just like the society, it is very dynamic and with true practice of Aikido one can make a contribution to society.
Starting as a judoka (a judo practitioner), and having taken some Tae Kwon Do, I literally love Aikido, admiring its non-aggressive principles. But now I end up and concentrating in Tai Chi Chuan.
As an Aikododas, Aikido has played an important role in molding my personality and greatly influenced my dealing with employees, clients and friends as well. Discipline, time management, controlling and setting my priorities are some of the benefits derived from my Aikido training.
Aikido truly has a special meaning for every aikidodas in the world today. For many, it builds confidence. It also gives a feeling of security in going about their daily affairs and in facing problems or potential physical harm. For some practicing Aikido means eliminating bad thoughts. For others, it means throwing away an accumulation of anger, resentment, aggressiveness and other negative thoughts enabling them to channel their energies in a more positive and powerful way. Aikido’s philosophy can be applied to daily life by anyone interested in self-improvement. It takes time, hard work, diligent study and devoted practice to develop oneself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
In our society today, many individuals chose to follow a different path sometimes leading them to all sorts of negativity. Through Aikido, a person lends to blend with the ever-changing world, thus producing a more positive and productive society for us to live.
A tribute to an unknown Aikido master.