What is Aikido Good For?
Aikido is good for the Thinking Person. Aikido is NOT for meatheads or thugs that want to bully and pick fights. That’s what separates Aiki from other martial arts.
Is Aikido Good For Girls?
Not all martial arts are the same. They all come with different personalities and styles. Aikido is unique because, at its core, it teaches you two things: first, to move to avoid incoming attacks, and second, to blend with them (harnessing the energy of the attack and redirecting it into a throw or restraining move).
“Aikido” translates as “the way of spirit and harmony.” It’s a non-competitive martial art. After WWII The Founder of Aikido asked his students and all the Aikidoka (us), to stop fighting. So there’s no fighting. – we don’t meet force with force. That’s what we call a clash. Instead, we meet force and aggression with control.
Aiki is a fantastic art for people of any gender or age, but it’s especially great for girls and women.
Females have a head start over their male friends in learning this exciting martial art because they aren’t necessarily as naturally strong and powerful as many men.
In Aiki, pure strength is actually a hindrance, rather than a help! Females generally learn and master Aiki techniques faster than males because females haven’t become accustomed to relying on strength, power, and aggression. Instead, females learn to execute the correct technique.
Almost all movements in Aikido comes from the hips – something females do instinctively because their centre of gravity is usually lower than the males’. That’s a great advantage because, in Aikido, our aim is to blend with and move (awase) our partner with as efficiently as possible. You’ll hear Sensei Crom say “move efficiently because you’ll run out of steam quickly”. This is what makes Aikido unique in comparison to other martial arts that rely on force, power, and strength most of the time.
In Aikido we think of our ‘partner’ as someone to work with in order to achieve a mutual goal rather than our ‘opponent’. An opponent or worse an ‘enemy’ implies a struggle against one another. This makes learning Aikido much easier as every student passes on what they have learned with their fellow students to their future partners. This cooperation between students makes for a friendly and helpful dojo environment.
Is Aikido Good For Seniors?
Yes, Aiki is good for seniors, after all, Osensei was a senior when he changed the Aiki Jujutsu to Aikido. A lot of Aikido Schools have 60+-year-olds practising Aiki. As long as you can move, stand, kneel, and will to do ukemi. Then you can do Aikido.
Is Aikido Good For Fitness or Losing Weight?
A man in his 30s or 40s doing an hour of Good Aikido can burn an average of 600 to 800 calories. We do a lot of cardio and ukemi. Your body will also toughen up during your training.
Some of the best Aikidoka(s) around the world have the best fitness levels. What you’ll get from Aiki that you probably just don’t get from a gym or other martial arts is a feeling of wellbeing. Remember we need a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
Aiki training is an excellent program for all-around physical fitness, mobility, and relaxation.
Our body in general can exert power in two ways: contractive and expansive. Many fitness activities, for example weight-lifting, emphasise the former, which means that specific muscles or muscle groups are isolated and worked to improve tone, mass, and power.
The disadvantage of this, however, is that whole-body movement and coordination are not being used properly. While muscle size and power may increase, that’s pretty much it. Can they fall 60 times and get 61 times in an hour? Probably not. The idea is to have a strong body that can move properly.
The result may be aesthetically pleasing, but when done to excess it is ultimately useless and actually detrimental to overall health. Have you seen those guys that look like they perpetually holding dumbells? Yeah, we’re not one of those.
The second type of power – expansive – is mostly stressed in activities such as dance or gymnastics. In these activities, the body must learn to move in a coordinated manner and with relaxation. Aiki, also, mostly stresses this sort of training. Your movements will become precise. It’s like nothing is wasted when you move.
While both types of power are important, it is interesting to note that a person who masters the second type of power can, in a martial context, often overcome a person who is much bigger or stronger.
The reason for this is that the contractive power which most persons know is only as great as the mass and power of your individual muscles. Expansive power, however, as used in Aikido, can be much greater than your size may lead you to believe. This is because you move with your whole body.
Rather than stressing and tensing only a few muscles, you learn to relax and move from the centre of your body, where you are most powerful. Power is then extended out naturally through the relaxed and extended limbs, which become almost whip-like in their motion.
So Aikido develops the body in a unique manner. Cardio fitness is obtained through vigorous training.
The flexibility of the joints and connective tissues is developed through various stretching exercises and through the techniques themselves.
Relaxation is learned automatically since without it the techniques will not function.
Balanced use of contractive and expansive power is mastered, enabling even a small person to generate enormous energy and self-defence skill.
Quite simply you become an unassuming martial artist.
Is Aikido Good For Your Health?
Yes. There’s a lot of cardio work in Good Aikido. Balance this with a good diet, and you will get weight loss.
Learn More About Good Aikido
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- Good Aikido Macquarie University
- 10 Gymnasium Rd, North Ryde NSW 2109