When embarking on a new adventure it is always worth doing your research before taking your first steps… Whatever steps you have taken until now, have led you to this question: Is Aikido right for me?
Like all activities, passions and hobbies, some are better suited to some than others. I could tell you my personal reasons for loving Aikido and why it was right for me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be for you. For those of you with burning curiosities, I will give you some insight into what Aikido has to offer.
Whether you are an avid yoga practitioner, international gymnast, or would purely like to keep your body supple and soft over the years, flexibility is fundamental. You do not need to have high levels of flexibility to begin training, but over time you will learn to be soft, flexible and at ease throughout training – and daily life.
Aikido is an energetic martial art that burns a lot of calories (should you want to). As martial artists we don’t want to become muscle-bound and sluggish, but if you are looking for fat loss, toning muscle or a great cardio workout and don’t fancy the idea [or the price] of a gym, this may be the answer. That being said, you do not need high levels of fitness to train but will develop over time.
Whether you practice meditation or not, presence of mind in the dojo, at work, home, (or anywhere else for that matter) will assist you in being aware of your thoughts, deeds and actions. You will be better at coping with stress and will become more considerate of others.
Dancers and athletes are not the only people who benefit from balance; we should all strive to be balanced physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Aikido practice allows us to develop and integrate the qualities into all aspects of our lives so that we can be at peace with ourselves and others.
Our goal is not to injure, damage or fight; it is to heal, control and neutralise. Compassion is one of the greatest qualities humanity has to offer. In order to foster this spirit, we must learn that by harming others we harm ourselves; Aikido seeks to restore disorder and bring this understanding forward. Everyone is fighting something, whether we see it or not. It is better to help than to harm, and better to support than to obstruct.
Aikido has no competitions, contests or prizes. We do not compare ourselves against others and focus solely on our advancement; we focus on mutual benefit and co-operation. This practice eliminates ego-centrism or megalomania, allowing us to help one another, always. You will make friends and connections that may change your life and will join a global community of Aikidoka where you can build friendships, socialise and train around the world.
Aikido is a traditional martial art, and as such teaches practical techniques and systems of self defence (both empty handed and with weapons) that will build confidence and situational awareness. If your wish is to know how to ‘beat people up’ then Aikido isn’t for you. If however, you want to learn how to adapt to situations, be aware of your environment and learn how to improve your chances of defending yourself, then Aikido may be what you are looking for…
Is Aikido right for you?
Hopefully this has given you some insight into what Aikido has to offer, this is just a small cross-section of the nearly limitless things you can gain and learn from training in this captivating art. Whether man, woman or child, Aikido is universal and suitable for all!
If what I have listed appeals to you and you wish to know more, then please contact us and try it our for yourself.
On the other hand, if you haven’t been intrigued or are less inclined than ever to try it out, that’s okay too… Aikido isn’t right for you.