WHAT IS AIKIDO?
Master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) commonly referred to as O Sensei spent many years mastering the Japanese martial arts of sword, spear, staff and jujitsu Master Ueshiba united his knowledge of the martial arts with his insights of the harmony in nature. The result was Aikido – the way of harmony with the powers of nature.
This unique blend of physical and mental training emphasized harmony with nature, self—control, self actualization health and well-being. For founding and developing Aikido Morihei Ueshiba was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, the most highly esteemed award of Japan.
As a martial art Aikido aims to neutralize an attacker’s energy instead of inflicting harm. This is done by entering into and blending with the attacker’s force and then leading that force into a circular and flowing motion. This results is the aggressor being thrown to the ground or held in a neutralizing joint lock. When used properly, Aikido is an exemplary self defense form, and the masters of Aikido are among the finest martial artists in the world.
Aikido is also more than a physical art. It is a way of life that develops the mind/body principles of centering, grounding, blending, relaxation, timing intuition and positive Ki (energy) flow. New students will quickly find Aikido applying to almost every aspect of their lives. Sincerely practicing the principles of is art can result in increased physical balance, emotional calmness and mental alertness. Studying Aikido can also develop a greater harmony with self, others and the environment.
SHIN SHIN TOITSU AIKIDO
Master Koichi Tohei former chief instructor for O Sensei and 10th dan in Aikido, founded Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido in 1974. Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, Ki-Aikido as it is more commonly known, is a balanced training that includes both physical and mental development while emphasizing the principles of Ki through mind and body coordination. The movements of Ki-Aikido are circular and flowing working with the power of timing and rhythm. Not being based on muscle strength Ki Aikido is meaningful for men and women of any size. The teachings of Ki-Aikido stress that you can realize the true power of Ki only when you are in harmony with yourself and others. It is not how strong you are that is important, but how closely you follow be principles of the universe.
Ki development is the study of mind and body unification and being in harmony with nature’s laws Ki the Universal Life Force which is present in everyone. Human ability can be compared to an iceberg, whose small visible segment represents our physical strength. How easy it is to forget the vast unseen portion beneath the surface, representing our mind. When the mind and body are unified the possibilities are unlimited. We become open to and conscious of our own natural energy which we call Ki. So that Ki training could be applied to daily life Master Tohei developed four principles to unify mind and body
1) Keep One Point
2) Relax Completely
3) Keep Weight Underside
4) Extend Ki
Regardless of what we are doing, these principles are in effect, a way to remind ourselves to keep mind and body unified so that we can do our best in all situations. The Ki Development Program at Midland Ki Society consists of a variety of methods involving both physical and mental training and application to daily life.
IS KI-AIKIDO FOR YOU?
Ki-Aikido is a rewarding and invigorating activity for anyone, regardless of gender, age, or experience. While it is a complex and disciplined art, Ki-Aikido’s smooth, graceful movements can be learned by almost anyone through study and training. Ki-Aiki
do knowledge is cumulative. A regular training schedule is the key to learning the principles. Some students train daily, but many attend classes two or three times a week. Midland Ki Society students progress at a pace compatible with their abilities and commitment of time.
The benefits of Ki-Aikido are several:
- It is an excellent and enjoyable lifetime activity resulting in fitness, flexibility, stress reduction, and self-confidence.
- It is a challenging activity that is non-competitive. Aikido does not involve competition-no winner, no loser.
- While it is not taught as a fighting art, the techniques are powerful and effective should it become necessary to protect oneself. Regular training will build self-confidence and the ability to react appropriately in most situations.
- The dojo (training hall) is a special place. For a while the outside world is left behind. The point in Aikido is not only to exercise and learn techniques, but to find peace and mastery within oneself and others. It is this intangible aspect that makes Ki-Aikido unique. There are rewards to be found in the study of Aikido for everyone.