Aikido & Sport

Aikido is a martial art and a way of life from Japan which is a result of many years of research, practice and development. It is unique among Japanese martial arts because it emphasizes the importance of achieving complete mental calm and control of one’s own body to master an opponent’s attack.

It is not only concerned with how to defeat an opponent but how to live our daily lives as well.It is also known for emphasizes the spiritual and philosophical development of its students.  Aikido offers specific benefits such as responsibility, respect, and confidence in training and in life. Aikido training consists of five parts: Tai, Ki, Toku, Chi and Joshiki.

These five principles of aikido are found in every technique and method. Simultaneous development of these elements leads to ideal personal development.

The first element of aikido training is bodily realization or Tai training. This comes foremost in the practice of martial arts. It aims to develop the physical aspect through the practice of the principle of oneness in techniques.

This part of Aikido training is for all-around physical fitness, flexibility, and relaxation. Its purpose is to strengthen and purify our bodies. Through physical mastery, we gain the power in the breath of heaven and earth or “kokyuryoku.”

The development of the body, is to help us carry out the activities we must do to be good people and help others in our society. We use it to live and help others. The stronger a person’s body is, the more things one can do and learn, thereby strengthening both mind and body.

The second part of the Aikido training is Ki development or mental realization. Ki is the Japanese word for Life Force, which focuses around the development of energy and unification of mind and body through discipline. This discipline starts with learning to use physical energy correctly in the Aikido movements. With practice, agreement and synchronization of body and

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mind develops gradually and the process of realization begins. Once self-confidence and awareness of being at one with the universe is increased, then fear loses its meaning, thus the start of true spiritual strength. The stronger the person’s ki, the stronger they will be physically, mentally and emotionally.

The third focus of Aikido training is achieving moral and ethical realization. This places the principle of oneness with the universe into everyday living.

The development of ethics is to help us become better social beings and to live harmoniously in society and nature. Thus all the trainings and teachings in Aikido should be incorporated to our daily lives to attain the path of truthfulness and thus attain oneness with the universe.

The fourth focus of Aikido training is spiritual or wisdom realization, also called as Chi which means the development of wisdom through coming to know the truth of oneness. It is having the right intentions through right understanding. It means not having to look for conflict but simply living Aikido not as a weapon but as a guide.

The last principle of Aikido training is Joshi or Common sense development. It is often defined as the recognition of and respect for all living things. The nurturing of common sense is to help us to continuously learn as we live.

With common sense, we would know how to act when we face a totally new situation or environment which would allow us to face the future without fear. The better our common sense, the easier it is to deal with uncommon things.

The purpose of Aikido is not simply to teach defense. It is to develop oneself to become a better individual that will fit better in society, and consequently improving society itself. The self defense aspect is just an additional benefit of Aikido. The five principles of training lead to the most important functions of aikido which are spiritual discipline and physical mastery.

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Dobson, T., & Miller V. (1993). Aikido in everyday life: Giving in to get your way. California: North Atlantic Books.

Crane R., & Crane K. (1993). Aikido in training: A manual of traditional aikido practice and principles. Berlin, New Jersey: Cool Rain Productions.

 Tohei, K. (1978). Ki in daily life. USA: Japan Publications.

Mitsugi, S. (1989). The principles of aikido (Wellington, I. Ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala.

Wildish, P. (1999). Principles of aikido: The only introduction you’ll ever need. USA: Thorsons.

Stevens, J. (1999). Training with the master: Lessons with Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido. Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala.

Homma, G. (1990). Aikido for Life. California: North Atlantic Books.

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