ESSAY: Which Martial Art?
- Non-violent self-defense
- Powerful flowing movement
- Relaxation and exercise
- Physical coordination
- Mental focus and concentration
- Mind/body awareness and integration
- Compassionate conflict resolution
- Supportive community
Aikido(pronounced eye-key-doe, with equal emphasis on all the syllables) is a noin-violent Japanese martial art. It was created by Morihei Ueshiba (Watch Video) in the early part of the 20th century.
(Watch Video) In addition to being a practical and effective form of non-violent self-defense, Aikido is a discipline of mind/body awareness and a means of compassionate conflict prevention and resolution. Aikido is also a way to relax and get physical exercise. It is beautiful flowing movement, and it is a lot of fun to practice. Aikido practice creates a community of friends and practice partners. On its deepest level, Aikido is a path of mind/body/spirit awareness and integration.
Aikido defense techniques consist primarily of joint locks and throws and are based on going along with the power of the attack to control aggression. Aikido offers an effective form of self-defense that aims at protecting yourself without necessarily hurting another human being. Aikido includes defenses against grabs, punches, and kicks, as well as defenses against attacks with a knife, sword, staff or gun. Aikido techniques include strikes as a means of controllingthe opponent's movement and setting him or her up for the throws. The practice deals with attacks by single or multiple assailants.
There are no competitions in Aikido, and the art can be practiced and enjoyed by anyone regardless of age, size or strength. Aikido is an enjoyable learning adventure carried out in a mutually supportive atmosphere. Because students move and learn at their own pace, Aikido is an effective form of exercise and relaxation that people can continue for their whole lives. The goal of Aikido is to learn to move and live in a state of power, gentleness, freedom, and harmony.
At Aikido of Columbus, we focus on Aikido as both a self-defense method and a pathway to inner learning. When we feel threatened, our natural response is to tighten up and resist. In order to go along with the attack, we need to be deeply aware of the attacker, and to do that we need to be anchored in a mindbody state of power and love. This is where the practices of self-defense and self-awareness converge. At Aikido of Columbus, we teach how to use body awareness, openness of breath, proper body alignment, and flowing energy to achieve smooth, powerful, effective Aikido techniques and an attitude of respect and (Watch Video) kindness.
AN AIKI MOMENT
Tom Simpson, who earned his black belt at Aikido of Columbus, sent in this description of an aiki moment:
Had an “aiki moment” this morning at home. I’m barefooted, carrying a heavy piece of luggage down the stairs. Luggage in one hand, handful of misc in the other. I go down 3 steps and lean back to also pick up an object from the step to take with us. My feet slipped out from under me. I surfed the stairs, all the way to the bottom! I never let go of the luggage or the other stuff, but I rode my elbow down the banister and got a little stability from the sliding luggage. Time slowed way down. The cool thing was I got low and my feet surfed the edges of each of nine steps, while I gradually shifted center forward to get more weight on the foot strikes and decelerate. I stopped with full balance at the bottom. Thank you, Paul.
BEGINNERS are welcome to practice right along with everyone else, but at a slower pace. It is helpful for beginners to practice with the advanced students since the advanced students can guide the beginners in their practice. Though it may seem intimidating, beginners learn quickly when they jump right in with everyone else. In addition, it is safer for beginners to practice with more advanced students, who have some knowledge of the techniques and how to do them safely.
• ADULTS & Older Children
Monday 5:30 -- 7 PM
Tuesday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Thursday 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Friday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Adult fee is $70 a month
Chief Instructor at Aikido of Columbus:
Paul Linden, sixth degree black belt in Aikido, first degree black belt in Karate.
For our biographies, click here.
Aikido book by Paul Linden, go to Books page.
Feeling Aikido: Body Awareness Training as a Foundation for Aikido Practice
Beginner's Handbook for Aikido of Columbus, go to Articles page.
UNITED STATES AIKIDO FEDERATION
Association of Aikido dojos, under the guidance of Yoshimitsu Yamada, Shihan, 8th dan. Includes listings of dojos throughout the United States, Canada,
and South America.
USAF, Eastern Region
142 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
TENDO DOJO BERLIN
A video by a ninjutsu dojo in Berlin. It is one of the best martial art videos I’ve seen. The URL for the video is
I wrote to the teacher:
At the beginning of the film, I thought it was going to be a perfectly standard martial arts video. However the surprise ending was wonderful. Instead of glorifying violence, the ending showed true strength, which controlled the attacker without any injury.
This is what he wrote back:
Thank you that you took the time to watch our video and to comment on it. It was your positive influence at all your seminars in Birach and in Berlin that pointed me to the peaceful purpose of my own martial art. So I am all the more happy you like the video! It tells me I have understood something from your teachings right.
Shidoshi Philip C. Dao, Dipl.-Psych.
The international organization which developed out of the school created by Morihei Ueshiba, O'Sensei, the founder of Aikido.
A professional association of Aikido instructors who focus on ways of teaching Aikido principles of mind/body awareness and harmony outside the martial art
situation. These applications include such areas as business, art, spirituality, body work, psychotherapy, conflict resolution, and more.
A website by Stan Pranin, focusing on the history and practice of Aikido, Daito Ryu Aikijitsu, and related arts. AJ has a catalog of videotapes and books related to Aikido practice.
An online magazine, catalog, and information resource.
Aikido website, including a dojo list, list of books, articles, and more.
An online video, book, and information resource.
AIKIDO OF CINCINNATI
Charlie McGinnis, chief instructor.
4727 Red Bank Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45227
Phone: (513) 561-7202
FINGER LAKES AIKIDO
Larry Bieri, chief instructor.
AIKIDO OF BERKELEY
Kayla Feder, chief instructor.
AIKIKAN BIBERKOR (Germany)
Bertram Wohak, chief instructor.
Belorussian translation of the Aikido page from this site