What does “Aikido” mean?
Aikido is the art of peace. The english translation equates to:
- Ai – harmony/universe
- Ki – energy
- Do – way
Or, the way of harmonising energy. In practice it is a physical, mental and philosophical training framework to better ourselves and create more harmony in our lives, and the lives of those that we touch.
Why should I train Aikido?
When training Aikido our aim is not to defeat an opponent, but to defeat ourselves. if you reflect upon how you interact with coworkers, family and friends on a daily basis, you may find that many of the conflicts that you are experiencing are due to internal conflicts you are feeling within yourself. We subconsciously project these inner conflicts out onto other people, and then attack the “other” when really it is ourselves with whom we are not at peace.
Aikido provides a physical, mental and philosophical framework through which we can work upon ourselves, in dynamic situations, and learn constructive ways to resolve conflict to both people’s advantage.
If you would like to learn how to resolve conflict more constructively, then training Aikido is for you.
Is Aikido an effective martial art?
There are many styles of Aikido, because the founder of the art, Morihei Ueshiba had many students over his long lifetime of teaching. Each of them experienced different parts of the evolution of his art, which he eventually called “Aikido”. Some of these students went on to found their own schools and styles of Aikido and emphasised different aspects of his teachings, some of these schools have become very “soft” and are perhaps not very effective in real combat situations.
The style of Aikido we train at Aikido Maai is based on the style of training in the founder’s dojo between 1948-1969. The formative years where the founder finished and polished his art. We focus on whether techniques will work when applied in real combat situations. We are concerned whether our techniques will effectively remove the threat of attack, and pin, throw or disable a committed and forceful attack. As such our Aikido is martially effective.
How long will it take me to become a black belt?
If you turn up to every class in every week, then you will attain a black belt within 3–4 years. However, please understand that shodan (1st degree black belt) means that you now understand the basics of the art! This is not an end point, only a milestone in your personal journey. Once you have your black belt you can really begin training. And work towards your nidan (2nd degree black belt).
Do I need to be strong to train Aikido?
Aikido deflects and manipulates the force of the attacker. We blend with incoming attacks and apply appropriate force to reciprocate a defensive technique to neutralise the threat.
So, no, you don’t need strength to be an effective Aikidoka. The correct angles and application of technique to vital parts of your oppenents body will produce a maximal result.
Can I train just one day a week?
If you want to achieve your goals, and attain the attributes that you started Aikido for, like discipline, focus, centredness, learning self defence, then you need to turn up as regularly as you possibly can. As such the fees for junior students are structured so that you are motivated to turn up. All fees are due via subscription through this website, and are payable on the 1st of the month.
How much should I train?
You should train as much as you possibly can. Turning up to to training two nights a week will allow you to train 3-4 classes. The more you train, the more benefits you get.
Do I need to train weapons?
You definitely need to learn Aikido weapons. The direct technical lineage of Aikido open handed technique comes from sword and staff. We train ken (wooden sword) and jo (wooden staff) on Wednesdays at 6.10pm.
Why do we bow in at the beginning of class, and out at the end?
We bow in because it is traditional and respectful to bow to your training partners before training. We start by bowing to the shomen and clapping two times. This is from traditional shinto practice. First we bow to the universe, then students bow to sensei, and then before training with a new partner we bow to each other. The process is repeated at the end of the class to bow out.