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Aikido

The Way of Spirit Harmony

Aikido Aikido is one of the most popular oriental martial arts. It embodied the idea of Japanese people on self-perfection, the way to harmony and so not without reason the word "aikido" means "the way of energy unification", "the way to the great harmony". For the Japanese Aikido is not just a form of combat but more a state of mind and soul, part of the meaning of life. Moreover, another essential part of this martial art is yearning for building friendships.

The word "aikido" consists of three parts, each part having its own philosophical meaning: "Ai" means union, agreement; "ki" - energy; "do" - a path, the way to mastering of the art and perception of how to use the art intuitively. The ultimate aim of aikibudo as martial art is to achieve self-mastery, self-perfection and spiritual freedom both physically and psychologically. This path is open for anybody, as everyone has concealed spiritual and physical potential that allow understanding of the outward things.

Aikido presumes from the very beginning that every man has certain energy of life reserve - ki, which is concentrated in the hara (center). This energy can be used in any direction. In Aikido the principle of guided control is used. The enemy is free to move wherever he wants, but his every move is under constant control. The attention is never weakened. Translating from Japanese "ai" means harmony. This harmony can be disturbed if there is aggression. Aikido itself aims to free one's mind from malicious thoughts. All techniques are used without any goal to kill or injure the attacker. Only after the opponent commits to attack the defender starts to use the techniques. At the beginning he/she does it in order to avoid the attack, then enters it using the attacker's own strength to defeat him. The attacker actually brings himself to defeat. The objective of aikido is to restore harmony and show the attacker irrationality of his actions.

Aggressive energy of the attacker is controlled and then transferred into circumference. Thus your centre becomes the centre of neutralization. All motions in Aikido are somehow or other connected with circular trajectories. The circular motion of aikidoka allows one to not only to avoid rough collision, but also fully follow the motion of attacker. The motion in Aikido is like that of water: soft, pliable and at the same time demolishing stones. It appears as though one movement is flowing out of another. All techniques and movements in aikido are elegant and beautiful. Emphasis is placed on this from the very beginning. These principles are true on the psychological level as well. The true master sees the mind of the opponent and can pre-empt all his movements. The techniques are polished during training. This is not however the end of Aikido. Aikido is philosophy, psychology and physics. Every man can find his inner self here. It must be remembered that aikido develops not just physical capacity, but also spiritual state. To help to develop such state a specific dojo atmosphere is established. One needs constant concentration and unquestioning following of the master's every command during training. Only this way can one avoid injury and achieve results.

Today there are many different aikido schools independently developed by Ueshiba's followers (Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Ki-no kenkyukai etc.). Every school has its features, but they are still akin with regard to their main positions and ideas as they have the same root, thus exercising one style does not exclude learning another.

AIKIDO is a modern system of self-defence, using energy of one's attacker. Aikido does not demand a lot of physical strength, so both men and women can practice it.


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