What is Aikido?
The Japanese word Aikido is written with three characters which translate as “the way of unity with the fundamental force of the universe”.
Aikido is a true budo or Martial Way that evolved in the historic tradition of Japanese warrior arts. Studied in earnest, budo is more than a science of tactics and selfdefense it is a discipline for perfecting the spirit.
Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba who was known as OSensei (Great Teacher) to more than one million students of Aikido throughout the world. Even as a young man, he was an extraordinary martial artist, a master of the sword, the staff, the spear, and the art of jujitsu. But OSensei also had a strong spiritual drive and brooded over the futility of a path based on victory over others.
“The secret of Aikido,” he wrote, “is to harmonize with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.”
Dynamics of Aikido
The essence of all Aikido techniques is spherical motion around a stable, energized center. Properly executed, some techniques are spectacular, sending an opponent flying through the air. Others are like sleightofhand: small, deft movements that immobilize the aggressor. Both results are achieved through precise use of leverage, inertia, gravity, and the action of centrifugal and centripetal forces. Ultimately, it is the energy of the attack itself which brings down the attacker.
Increased stamina, flexibility and muscle development occur naturally as a result of training, but the techniques themselves do not depend on strength for effectiveness. Aikido can be practiced by men and women of all ages.
Students train themselves to capture the opponent’s action and redirect it with techniques of martial efficiency and power. At the same time, they become aware of the tendency to overreact to opposition and learn to remain centered under all conditions.
Most practice is done with a partner; each works at his or her own level of ability, alternating as uke (the attacker) and nage (the one who receives the attack). Both roles are stressed: each contributes skills that enhance overall sensitivity and control.
Learning to use the weapons of the warrior is an integral part of our Aikido training.
We practice regularly with bokken (wooden sword), jo (short staff) and tanto (wooden knife) in addition to empty-hand (weaponless) practice.
There are many benefits to weapons practice:
● It develops attention to detail, which is a vital part of any martial artist’s training.
● Emptyhand and weapons practice mutually reinforce the same basic principles but are internalized differently by the mind and body, allowing the same lessons to enter by multiple pathways.
● In a self-defense situation, familiarity with weapons gives the Aikidoist an advantage as the techniques can be easily used with everyday objects (pool cue ( jo ), baseball bat (bokken), and so on).
“It’s the most practical weapon a martial artist can learn. What other weapon can you carry on a plane or in a casino? Try getting nunchaku past airport security. And if you think about it, what good is learning a weapon if you can’t bring it anywhere? ”
Master Mark Shuey, Sr. Cane Masters, CoFounder
Practical self-defense: that’s what it’s all about. The cane is a simple weapon to use, but can become very deadly with a little practice. Unlike most weapons, it has multiple striking areas, offers single and twohanded gripping, and provides a large blocking target. Yet it is small enough to carry with you or tuck into your car.
We offer the following instruction:
● Cane Self Defense
Designed for everyone, these classes do not require any prior martial arts training or skills. The focus is on street smart use of the cane.
● Aiki Cane
Aiki Cane is a martial system based on Aikido and Aikijujutsu. The classes are very dynamic and include a considerable amount of throwing your opponent using the cane. Experience with Aikido or Aikijujutsu is preferred, but not required. However, competent falling and rolling (Ukemi) skills are required.
Our Chief Instructor for the Aikido program is William McLuskie, Shidoin, Godan.
Please visit his instructor page