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How aikido can improve the quality of your life: A blog about aikido and why you should learn it.

Updated: Mar 25

The Benefits of Aikido


Aikido is a martial art known for its use of locks and throws. It is a defensive art that uses the attacker's energy against him. It's a martial art that is easy to learn, and even if you decide not to continue learning, you'll still pick up some good life lessons.



Aikido has been around for over a century, but it is still one of the lesser known martial arts. Perhaps it's the soft nature of the art.

But Aikido is one of the best martial art forms you can learn. It can help you improve all aspects of your life. From your physical to mental, emotional and even spiritual health.

This blog will look at those benefits.


For most people, their martial art or form of exercising is something they do because they want to get fit. Exercise is viewed as a chore to do rather than something that is enjoyable in itself.

Akidoists soon recognise that the benefits of practicing Aikido go far more than this.

The Mind

Aikido training focuses on improving one's mental as well as physical skill.

This is important because it prepares a student to handle stressful situations with ease and calmness, which is crucial in the mastering of "enter and blend" techniques, whereby an attack is met head-on with directness and confidence.

Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido, once remarked that one "must be willing to receive 99% of an opponent's attack and stare death in the face" in order to execute techniques without hesitation. Aikido training cultivates more than just fighting ability - it teaches students how to better their daily life by improving not only their health but also cultivating a sense of discipline, self-confidence and focus.


The Body

In Aikido, the practitioner seeks to use their energy correctly and efficiently by coordinating the movement of their whole bodies in fluid motion.

This form of martial arts is similar to yoga or Pilates in that it emphasizes coordination between movements and being fully aware of oneself both mentally and physically in order to be able to apply what you train (with regard to balance, flexibility and power) into real world settings as a highly efficient form of defensive self defence against confrontational situations.


Many dōjōs begin class with warm-ups involving controlled breathing, stretching and other forms of conditioning which help prepare the body for more strenuous activity.

Ki Aikido classes also include 'Ki Testing'. These exercises restore a state of relaxed alertness by testing the bodies stability in different poses, comparing deliberately tensing muscles with amore stable condition without tension.

In addition, Ki development excercises will test the effectiveness of focused attention with willful movement.


Training

In Aikido, as with all Japanese martial arts, there are both physical and mental aspects of training. The physical training in Aikido is diverse, covering both general physical fitness and conditioning, as well as specific techniques.

Because a substantial portion of any Aikido list consists of throws, beginners learn how to safely fall or roll.

The essential techniques for attack include both strikes and grabs; the techniques for self-defence consist of throws and pins.

After basic techniques are learned, students study freestyle defence against multiple opponents, and techniques with weapons.


Improved quality of life

In daily life, Aikido training helps one feel they have more time to listen to another person, and thereby understand them better. It helps you 'get along' with others in a spirit of compromise and cooperation. Even in situations where one is being criticised, maintaining a unified mind and body helps one stay objective and evaluate whether the criticism is valid.

On the other hand, where you need to tell someone else what to do, you will find that you have more patience to make sure that they hand listened to your request, understood it, and are motivated to act.

In sports you are likely to find that your balance teamwork improves and that you tire less quickly from staying relaxed. When you need tension to strike a ball or deal with being tackled, the tension will come from marshalling all your body's muscles together.



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