Communication through Sight, Sound and Touch
Master the Art of Observing
Find Your Centre
The Art of Aikido
"I am never defeated, however fast the enemy may attack.
It is not because my technique is faster than that of the enemy.
It is not a question of speed. The fight is finished
before it begun."
- O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
|Morihei Ueshiba - Founder of Aikido
"The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish,
the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within."
Morihei Ueshiba - Founder of Aikido
AI KI DO
Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba Sensei, or O’Sensei (Great Teacher) as he is called, spent many arduous years training in "budo" (Japanese martial arts). He also delved deeply into religions, studying Buddhism, Shinto, and Oomoto Kyo. Although he became very strong and won many matches, he was troubled with the idea that winning at someone else’s expense was not really winning. He came to realize that true victory is not winning over others, but winning over the discord within oneself. He modified the movements he had learned over the years to express this realization. As a result, Aikido was born as a way to divert harm to one’s self while not inflicting permanent injury on an aggressor. As you study Aikido, it becomes clear that it is not only an effective means of self-defence, but truly a way to understand life through the study of the energy of the universe.
Meaning of the Word Aikido
In Japanese, the word Aikido is made up of three kanji, or characters. The first of these kanji is "AI," which means to meet, to come together, or to harmonize. The second kanji is "KI," which means energy, spirit, mind, and (in a larger context) the spirit of the universe. The third and last character is "DO," which means the way. This signifies that the study of Aikido does not merely involve self-defence techniques, it also includes a path to positive character-building ideals which a person can incorporate into his or her life. Together, these three Japanese kanji, AI-KI-DO, mean "the way of harmonizing with the spirit of the universe."
Aikido Movements and Techniques
Aikido movements emphasize flexibility and balance. The aim of the Aikidoka is to be in complete control of their mind and body and to maintain a calm, alert posture. The continuous and flexible motion which originates at the hips is like the performance of a dance - a graceful, spherical motion. The beauty of Aikido movements comes from the coordinated motion of the entire body - each part contributing to the integrated sequence of the movement. The joint locking techniques, such as those applied to the wrist or elbow, flex the joints in the direction of natural bending. They are in harmony with the natural flexing and, although such techniques are painful and effective, they result in no permanent damage to the joint.
In order to safely receive the techniques of Aikido, students are trained in ukemi, a method of falling designed to protect the body from injury. There are two basic types of ukemi, the first of which consists of forward and backward rolls somewhat akin to traditional somersaults. The second method is called a breakfall, wherein a student dissipates the energy of a throw by tucking his or her body in a protective manner.
Philosophy of Aikido
The most unusual aspect of Aikido is that, although it is primarily a self-defence art, it has as the basis of its philosophy the idea of being in harmony with your opponent rather than being in conflict with them. The ideal of Aikido is not to think of defeating your enemy, but rather to be in harmony with him, spiritually and physically. That is why Aikido is sometimes called the "Art of Non-Resistance," or the "Non-Fighting Martial Art." Aikido techniques express elements of philosophy, psychology and physics. As one learns the movements, they will, at the same time, train their mind, improve their health and develop self-confidence. Through the physical practice of the self-defence techniques, the Aikido student comes to appreciate and understand the mental and spiritual aspects of Aikido. During training, partners work in harmony with each other, learning when and how to yield, how to lead and guide other person's movements and how to control and opponent through non-resistive techniques.
The hierarchical structure of Aikido follows substantially the ranking system adopted by almost all the other major martial arts. The students of the art are divided into two categories: one including students of kyu rank, and the other including students of dan rank. The category of kyu rank embraces students of Aikido who have not yet attained the status of dan, and thus have not yet received their black belt. Collectively they are known as mudansha, or undergraduates. The category of dan rank embraces those students of Aikido who have been awarded their black belts. Collectively they are known as yudansha (black belt holders). At present, the highest rank in Aikido is 10th Dan.
"The body should be triangular, the mind circular. The triangle represents the generation of energy
and is the most stable physical posture.
The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited techniques.
The square stands for solidity, the basis of applied control."
"Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks.
Also learn from holy books and wise people.
Everything - even mountains, rivers, plants and trees - should be your teacher."
"The Art of Peace does not rely on weapons or brute force to succeed;
instead we put ourselves in tune with the universe,
maintain peace in our own realms, nurture life,
and prevent death and destruction. The true meaning
of the term samurai is one who serves and adheres to the power of love."
Morihei Ueshiba - Founder of Aikido
Chief Instructor and Dojo-cho:
Detlef Decker Sensei, 5th Dan
Aikikai Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, Japan
The Cork Open Centre is a holistic learning Centre offering affordable ongoing evening classes, full-day and weekend workshops, and advanced training in Aikido, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Hanmi Buddhism and Reiki.
Budo by Hiroshi Ikeda
The Cork Open Centre admits students of any race, colour, age, gender, and sexual preference to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities that are available to all members. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, age, gender, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in our educational and admissions policies. Minimum age requirement for attending Aikido classes is 16 years and for T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Chi Kung (Qigong) classes is 18 years of age.
Ai - Love by Hiroshi Ikeda
"The Art of Peace"
Study how water flows in a valley
stream, smoothly and freely
between the rocks. Also learn from
holy books and wise people.
Everything - even mountains,
rivers, plants and trees -
should be your teacher.
T'ai Chi Ch'uan
"The Supreme Ultimate"
Knowing others is intelligence,
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength,
Mastering yourself is true power.
At least for today:
Don't get angry.
Don't be grievous.
Express your thanks.
Be diligent in your business.
Be kind to others.
For improvement of mind and body.
Usui Reiki Ryoho.