Someone asked me the other day why I practice Aikido.  My answer nearly always now is “because I can’t imagine my life without it”.  But it got me thinking and after a bit of surfing I found a very nice outline of many of the key benefits of our wonderful art, on the Fujinami Dojo Sydney website.

Everyone has their own personal motivation when they decide to take up a martial art, and I believe a good Sensei provides a framework whereby each student can follow their own true path on what can often be a journey that lasts a lifetime.

Managing Conflict and Stress / Relaxation  
Participants experience a new paradigm around stress and conflict where they will be able to:

  • improve the ability to deal with aggressive behaviour
  • stay in control
  • lead the opposition to achieve positive results
  • respond rather than react
  • analyse the situation and work out the best way to respond
  • manage opposing views, criticism or authority
  • manage differing expectations, demands or intimidations
  • manage problems, conditions or politics
  • learn the importance of staying ‘present’ (here and now)
  • improve the ability to concentrate

StretchAikido works every major and minor muscle group in the body and restores balance and harmony often placed out of kilter from activities in our day-to-day lives. Anything from having one part of the body compensate for an injury in another part to being right-handed can affect the body’s symmetry and harmony. 

The program increases and maintains muscular symmetry by using body weight as natural resistance and callisthenics. This allows participants to attain maximum functionality and physical efficiency that overflows into the mental arena as a healthy body promotes a healthy mind to create a more balanced lifestyle.

CardioAikido uses dynamic movement and callisthenics to maximise cardio benefits. Participants experience increased oxygen intake, energy levels and feel rejuvenated after each session. The workout is guaranteed to work up a sweat and can be practiced to the participant’s comfort level. Attendees vary their speed and intensities in a variety of ways utilising different energy systems. Since the type of training is continuous, the predominant energy system is aerobic. However with frequent bursts of speed the anaerobic system is also developed.

Self-defenceSelf-defence is an important part of Aikido and the ability to focus and be clear in any situation is the best defence. It is also an ideal way to focus on, and take advantage of, the good things that come our way. Our training is designed to foster a positive outlook that is appropriate in all situations.

The art makes use of the fact that an attacker focuses their attention and movement on the person they are attacking. This potentially puts the person being attacked in a leadership position – if they know how to take advantage of it. There is no retaliatory striking and none of the techniques are designed to cause any type of injury. Participants learn pre-arranged attack/defence moves and perform them with many repetitions to develop technical skill and agile, flowing movement. They are taught to safely receive Aikido techniques by properly falling and rolling away, instead of resisting.

How can I benefit from Aikido?Aikido participants experience many benefits from the art’s holistic approach:

  • better physical and mental health
  • improved quality of life
  • more energy
  • improved leadership, management and career prospects 
  • coaching and support from an experienced instructor
  • moving with fewer aches and pains
  • better posture and balance
  • improved self-esteem
  • weight maintenance
  • stronger muscles and bones
  • relaxation and reduced stress
  • improved physical fitness, stamina, balance, flexibility, coordination, strength and resilience
  • heightened self-confidence, concentration and alertness
  • increased self-awareness and self-knowledge
  • increased interpersonal awareness through the cultivation of compassion for others

Long-term benefits of the practice often lead to:

  • personal feelings of harmony and wellness
  • a deeper sense of wholeness, unity, integration and interconnectiveness
  • an expansion of consciousness through mindful action 
  • a sense of readiness for the unexpected at all times

How do companies benefit from Aikido?
Companies who have embraced the ‘Aikido way’ also benefit allowing them to:

  • enhance and nurture leadership capabilities within their people
  • promote communication and teamwork
  • complement ‘employer of choice’ status
  • improve management performance, competitiveness, productivity and profits
  • improve innovative thinking and motivation
  • develop and maintain a learning culture
  • value and retain employees

Some of the companies who have benefited worldwide from doing business the Aikido way include; Alcan, Bank of Norway, Bel-Air Hotel Beverly Hills, Catapillar Corporation, Chase Manhattan Bank, Compaq Computers, Digital Equipment Corporation, Glaxo Inc, Institute of Personal Development South Africa, Kaiser Permanente, Proctor & Gamble, Purina, Steven Covey Associates, United States Air Force Academy.  

ACKNOWLEDGE: Be aware of conflict and what your feelings are about that conflict. Appreciate the other’s feelings and viewpoint without labelling or judging.

ACCEPT: Show the other side that you want to work out a solution. Take responsibility that you are also part of the conflict and all sides are in this together.

ADAPT: Be willing to change and be open to new ideas. Be able to consider a wide range of solutions without excessive judgment.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, and I hope it makes you want to find out more about Aikido