Master Morihei Ueshiba - Founder of Aikido
Aikido is an original martial art that is not competitive or violent. The techniques do not require physical strength or aggressive spirit and can be practised by people of all ages... men, women and children.
Using circular movement an attackers energy is returned to them using a variety of methods that can cause pain and submission without injury.
Master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) was known as one of the World's greatest martial artists. Although invincible as a warrior, he was above all a man of peace who detested violence. Morihei was often described as being the most religious person in Japan, and in his later years spent much of his time in study, prayer and writing spiritual poems.
After mastering judo, kendo, jujutsu, and aikijutsu, along with his profound spiritual insight into the nature of the universe, he created aikido, a unique and original martial art based on universal principles.
Morihei taught the art of peace as a mind-body discipline, as a practical tool for handling aggression, and as a way of life that develops courage, wisdom, love and friendship. He believed that aiki principles of harmony could be applied to all of life's challenges.
He based his unique skills on his ability to tune into universal energy through the power of sound vibrations. Daily he chanted pure kotodama sounds to develop spiritual powers.
Benefits include health, discipline, breath control, relaxation, flexibility, stamina, self defence, speed, power, harmony of mind-body-spirit.
In time you'll experience an inner balance that can be useful in your daily life, and a key to living naturally and unselfishly in a complex world.
The one point in your lower abdomen is the centre of your universe wherever you go. By keeping your mind concentrated on this point, it helps you relax deeply, and gives you the ability to respond quickly to changing circumstances in your surrounding environment.
Some of the most prominant students of Morihei Ueshiba were...
Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei, Gozo Shioda, Morihiro Saito, Rinjiro Shirata, Michio Hikitsuchi, Kanshu Sunadomari... Aikido Masters.
Moriteru Ueshiba continues to promote the art to the World from the Hombu Dojo in Japan. Student numbers are growing every year due to the excellent work of the Masters and their dedicated students.
It takes many years to become an expert in the art, but you can certainly learn how to reduce the time by training hard, and Training Smart!
Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu, is a Japanese martial art that became well known in the early 20th century under master Sokaku Takeda. His most well known student was Morihei Ueshiba.
Sokaku traveled extensively to preserve his family's traditions by spreading Daito-ryu throughout Japan. His third son, Tokimune Takeda, became the headmaster of the art following his death in 1943.
Aiki jujutsu focuses on early control of an attacker. Correct timing is very important, to blend with an attack, and use the force against them.
Daito-ryu aiki jujutsu is characterized by the use of atemi strikes to vital points on the body, to prepare for joint locking or throwing.
" The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally
at a glance and to win without fighting "
Apart from Morihei Ueshiba, there are several other unique organizations that teach Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu. Each of them can trace their lineage back to Sokaku Takeda through one of four Aiki-Jujutsu Masters
History shows that the art comes from daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu, but began to move away from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the omoto-kyo religion.
Morihei moved to Hokkaido in 1912, and began studying under Takeda in 1915 until 1937, but by then he was referring to his martial art as Aiki Budo. Aikido became the official name of the art in 1942.
After Morihei left Hokkaido in 1919, he met and was influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi, who was the spiritual leader of Omoto-kyo, a shinto religious movement in Ayabe. His studies developed his martial arts philosophy of extending love and compassion...
especially to those who seek to harm others.
Many of Morihei's senior students have different approaches to the art, depending on when they studied with him. Today it is found all over the world in several different styles, all having a different focus.
The largest organisation is the Aikikai Foundation which is still run by the Ueshiba family. The art was first shown internationally in the 1950's by Koichi Tohei, Minoru Mochizuki, Tadashi Abe, and Kenji Tomiki.
Click for more information on the History
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There is a whole range of physical and mental aspects to the training. General physical fitness, including... relaxation, flexibility, strength, speed, stamina, techniques, breakfalls.
Training is based on two partners practicing pre-arranged moves (kata), rather than freestyle (jiyuwaza). Uke the receiver, starts an attack against tori/nage who applies the technique and neutralises the attack.
Nage learns to blend with and control attacking energy, while uke learns to become calm and flexible in an off-balance position.
Most of the strikes are very similar to cuts from a sword. Other techniques, which appear to be punches, are also practiced as knife or sword thrusts. Beginners often practice techniques from grabs because they are safer and easier to feel the energy.
Aikido uses body movement (tai sabaki) to blend with uke's attack. For example, irimi moves inward towards uke, and tenkan turns away. Also, many techniques can be performed in a seated posture (seiza).
Atemi strikes to vital points can be used during an aikido technique to distract and weaken an attacker. A strike, even if it is blocked, can shock and break the concentration, and unbalance an attacker.
Weapons training often includes the staff (jo), wooden sword (bokken), and knife (tanto). The founder developed empty handed aiki from traditional sword and spear movements. Practice can give the student insights into the origin of techniques.
Training also involves mind control, and developing the ability to mentally relax even under the stress of a dangerous situation. This helps the student to perform an entering movement with courage.
The study of ki is essential, and often understood as physical & mental intention or 'life energy'. Gozo Shioda said that the secret lies in the timing and application of the whole body's strength into a single point.
Can the study of Aiki Principles really develop your skills at a faster rate?
Of course... if you train smart!
You will need an experienced Aikido instructor to teach you the basic techniques in a dojo training hall. As you practise, you'll gradually understand some of the principles that make the techniques effective.
You can develop skills faster by studying an Aiki principle separate from the technique. This is how I teach... with great results!
By studying in this way your techniques will become far more powerful and you will have a deeper understanding of them.
There are only three methods of training...
1 - Learning techniques.
2 - Analyzing posture and form.
3 - Studying principles.
Most instructors actively teach the first two. But, if you consciously work on aiki principles, then hard technical training will be far more beneficial for you. You'll know how and why techniques work, and be able to learn at a much faster rate.
Sounds good... right?
I have made an intense study of Aiki since 1985 and discovered that it is possible to speed up the learning process by focusing on principles.Aikido Principles FREE 51 minute video... Click Here
Principles of Aikido include...
proper alignment, entering, turning, relaxation, acceleration and penetration through target, non-resistance, acceptance, leading energy, awareness of your surrounding environment, timing, ki-ai shouts, atemi strikes, distraction, balance taking, keeping one point, controlling the circle, weight dropping, weight shifting, avoiding direct conflict etc.
Just a few... there are many more!
If you live near Bognor Regis, on the south coast or are visiting the UK, you may want to take some Private Lessons to get the most value in the shortest time.
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Taking part in any activity increases the risk of sustaining an injury. However a large percentage of injuries can be prevented by learning how they occur. Obvious causes are accident or over-training.
A good Warm-Up increases the body temperature, making tissue more flexible and less prone to injury by tearing. It also raises the heart rate so fuel and oxygen can be delivered more effectively to the muscles.
Correct Stretching requires attention to form and each stretch may need to be held for up to 30 seconds to get the optimum benefits. Before and after Your aikido training, stretch gently, breathe slowly and deeply while focusing on relaxing the muscles.
A good Cool-Down will gradually reduce the intensity of the activity so that waste products can be removed more effectively. Deep breathing, relaxation and stretching will help in the reduction of muscle soreness.
For full detail, see... Avoid Training Injuries
In essence, it is more philosophy and meditation than a series of physical movements, but through mind-body exercises you can gain a better understanding of the art and learn how it can be applied to your life.
You can turn obstacles into potential opportunities that allow you to change anxiety and pain into vital life-force energy. Many of the amazing exercises can be practised at any time, wherever you stand on the planet.
During your training you will learn that the battle is not outside of you, but within. The wisdom and benefits received from hard training are many, including... health, harmony and enlightenment.
Aikido is much more than just another fighting style, it is a holistic approach to life that Morihei Ueshiba described as...
" A divine path inspired by the gods that
leads to truth, goodness and beauty "
Morihei demonstrated in the physical world his divine technique, in harmony with nature. Aiki students are familiar with Amazing photo's and films of Morihei as an old man, easily defeating his opponents.