What are the characteristics of Aikido?
Aikido is characterised by circular movements blending with the oncoming force of an
opponent. This force is then channelled to an immobilisation or locking technique, or a
The circular movements of Aikido uses the entire body to create centrifugal or centripetal
force to either absorb or repel the attack, thus neutralising it. This requires only
minimal physical strenght to be effective. This makes Aikido a 'soft art'.
What are the benefits?
Aikido helps to develop the spirit, mind and body.
The goal of Aikido is Budo, which is the development and refinement of the human spirit.
This is similar to arts such as Shodo (calligraphy) and the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Aikido trains the mind to be focused and alert at all times.
With continued practice Aikido exercises help improve the flexibility of the joints while
toning all the muscle groups and improving circulation.
How are Aikido classes conducted?
Aikido is practiced with a partner; mostly empty hand techniques as shown by the
How safe is Aikido practice?
Aikido practice is observed with strict etiquette; always beginning and ending with
There is no competition or sparring in Aikido classes. It is practiced with only passive
or defensive movements. This means persons of different gender, age groups and physiques
can practice together.
Without competition or sparring, and with proper etiquette, Aikido can be safely practiced
by all people.
The art of falling and taking breakfalls is also heavily emphasised for maximum safety.
Is it a form of Self Defense?
With practice, Aikido is a very effective form of self defence. An Aikidoka is trained to
defend against attacks from the front and rear, and against multiple simultaneous
atackers. Defences against armed attacks are also covered at the advanced level.
At what age can we start Aikido?
Children can start from the ages of six to eleven years with children's classes. Adults
have no age limit as long as you are in reasonably good physical condition. There are
Aikido students in their 40's, 50's and even older throughout the world.
If in doubt, please check with your physician.
What equipment do I need to practise Aikido?
All you need is a set of uniform (keiko-gi), an open mind, and your commitment!
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