Why Aikido

Of all the exercise options available Why Choose Aikido?

There are many resources available that will explain what aikido is but the question above is rarely answered.We hope you can find your answer in the list below.
Aikido classes include a cross section of our society - doctors, lawyers, students, law enforcement, businessmen and women, and more. They all come to classes for the same reason - to get better at Aikido. At the same time they are improving their welbeing and learning practical physical skills. It doesn't matter that many of these benefits cannot be seen. The Aikido lifestyle is about taking the lessons learned on the mat and applying them to your everyday life.

  • Some of the things aikido students may identify as benefits are: loss of weight, improved flexibility and better coordination. These visible benefits are easy for a student to see. What you can't see are the improvements in your overall health as a result of training. Often exercise is associated with achieving something external like weight loss or flexibility. Rarely do people take up a martial art to improve their cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar levels but these are some of the invisible benefits of the exercise that Aikido provides. It is worth reminding yourself when you get frustrated while training that you are still doing something positive for your health. Aikido also teaches you how to use your body as a coordinated unit. If you spend most of the day sitting, driving, or working at a computer, your body can develop some unnatural movement patterns. The body awareness that Aikido develops is invaluable, not just during training but in your daily life. With an increase in body awareness, strength and mobility will soon follow. Improvements in mobility will keep you on the aikido mat training for a long time and improve your prospects for aging without bone fragility and balance issues.

  • The mental improvements that come as a result of Aikido are often overlooked. First, the process of learning a technique requires as much mental activity as it does physical. In order to learn a technique you must practice it over and over to understand, not just how to apply it, but how to respond to the individual differences of your training partners. This is a process of constantly evolving skill level over months and years. In your daily life do you respond to obstacles by walking away, pushing harder, or by seeking alternative solutions? If you say "I can't do this" you will always be right but never successful. With aikido training there are going to be times of frustration and if you persist you can develop the confidence that comes with achievement. You will also begin to appreciate the value of going around an obstacle that is causing frustration rather than attacking it head on. The mental strength to keep trying even when things are not going your way will also show up in other areas of your life.

  • Learning Aikido requires a considerable of patience and attention to detail. The many techniques can take years to master but with learning comes a sense of accomplishment. This sense of accomplishment empowers us with self-esteem and confidence. Aikido is a great stress relief. When you walk into the dojo to begin a class the stresses of your daily life are left at the door. There is no space during a class to think about your bad day at work or school. Aikido requires focus so you don't miss essential details during a technique demonstration or lose opportunities with your training partner. Being able to train surrounded by a supportive community is also an essential part of this stress relief. Aikido friendships can be special and for some the Aikido community can become a second family. There is a bond between martial artists that allows you to throw and be thrown while laughing with the joy of well executed technique. This is something that few outside of the martial art of Aikido will ever understand.

  • While this is often the reason that many people come to Aikido, it is rarely the reason they stay. Yes, it is important to be able to defend yourself when you need to. This requires not only physical skills but also to mentally fight back and not just shut down. Aikido training builds self defence skills and a tougher mind. In physical terms it also helps improve agility, balance, endurance, and flexibility. The main lesson of Aikido however is it teaches you to avoid physical confrontations in the first place

  • "A boss says go - A leader says let's go".
    When you lead you show others the way instead of just telling them.
    When you teach someone else a technique or when you take the warm up, the best way is usually by demonstration i.e. "showing the way". As you progress in Aikido you will be called on to share your knowledge, skills and insights with other students. Senior students who work hard and practice their skills lead by example. This focus on leadership can then flow into other areas of your life.

Aikido Irimi Nage