What is Aikido?

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Aikido "The Way of Harmony" is a Japanese Martial Art.

Known as a martial art of non-resistance, it has an 800 year old history dating back to the time of the Japanese Samurai. Way back then it was called Aiki-jujistu.

Jim Jeannette throwing

Robert Mustard Throwing

Today the Aiki-jujitsu of old would be barely recognized as the modern Aiki-do (pronounced "doh").

"Jujitsu" was about immobilizing a person, perhaps even to take their life. "Do" is literally translated as "the way". This means that the focus is now about controlling oneself, physically and mentally, rather than trying to control someone else.

The idea is simple. Instead of using strength and power to defeat an opponent, one uses timing and balance to deflect an attack. The beauty of this is that a person no longer has to be the biggest and fastest to perform a martial art.

You can see from the picture on the right, (courtesy of Sensei Robert Mustard) Aikido can be done with bare hands or, as in the picture on the left, it can be down with weapons. In this case a short staff, called the "jo", is being used.

I have not only studied Aikido but have also taught it locally and internationally for over 30 years. For eight years my wife Susan and I ran a large Aikido and Yoga school in Windsor called the Aiki Centre of Canada. Susan, by the way, is a 5th degree black belt in Yoshinkan Aikido.

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