This blog is a tricky one as I don’t have the experience or the knowledge to talk authoritatively about Aikido… beginner right! I’ll leave that to the Sensei to explain when you try it ?… and I’ve already explained in Blog #1 the things I enjoy from it but it did get me thinking “why?”.
Why not another martial art, like MMA, Karate… or something completely different… yoga, swimming, gym, running (which I firmly believe you should only do if you’re chasing or being chased by something ?) so here’s my opinion of Aikido. Please bear in mind that this is only my opinion and if you have different views that’s fine too but I think….
1) Expertly done this is lovely to watch. It looks like a well-coordinated dance, more Art than Martial. Expert proponents can make this look unbelievably contrived… but I assure you its not. Even a beginner learns the fundamental martial principles that, if done properly, are highly effective. If you have time watch this – “Aikido, The Samurai Spirit”
2) It’s a really, really “clever” martial art. It’s protective rather than confrontational formulated around very sound use of force, mechanics, balance, and timing. I find this fascinating for two reasons 1) I like the use of applied scientific logic wrapped up in a martial art and 2) When I do get it right (rarely by the way… but it’s getting better… got a 7 out of 10 the other week?) it’s so gratifying. This means that really anyone (any age or ability) has a chance to do it.
3) The tradition is essential. People are so busy nowadays that they have little time to stop and take stock and I include myself in that. Aikido has formality, direction and structure that hasn’t changed too much for a long time. This is good right? Its somewhere where history is being maintained and practiced. It occurs to me that if we travel too fast in our lives we’re more likely to trip (deep I know! ?). This is a place to slow down, re-evaluate or take a break from this fast, demanding world.
Next Blog – When to use it?