Aikido is a Japanese martial art that uses a system of holds, throws, and joint locks as its principle movements. The art focuses on blending with the energy of an attack and controlling or subduing the attacker without causing harm.
Aikido principles hold that the body and mind are one. When a person acts in this concerted manner, great power is possible. By joining with the motion of an attack and taking control of its force, it is possible to redirect the power of the attack safely and effectively.
Aikido is not only a spiritual discipline but also involves physical mastery. We learn to respect others through mutual physical contact. In this way, a means of communication is established that transcends the barriers of lifestyle, language, culture, and race. Aikido, as a martial Way for all people, is like a compass which directs the completion and unification of each person’s body, mind, and spirit with the fundamental and creative spirit of the universe.
Aikido is practiced world-wide by men and women both young and old and is appropriate for children as young as six years old.
Information regarding attending beginner classes can be found HERE, Visiting the Dojo.
Aikido Body Art
San Diego Aikikai offers Beginner and Mixed level classes.
The Beginner’s class is structured for new students wanting to try Aikido for the first time and for junior students wanting or requiring closer attention and practice of basics techniques.
The Mixed class is tailored to the individual class participants. Depending on the class make up, basic, intermediate, or advanced techniques may be taught. Everyone may safely train in a mixed level class.
Aikido training is also composed of weapons training. There are designated weapons classes, where the student will learn to become familiar with handling a bokken (wooden sword) and a jo (wooden staff), and learn the formal weapon system developed by Chiba Sensei. Occasionally, taijutsu will be combined with weapons training to expose the student to disarming techniques.
Note: Permission should be received prior to attending any weapons classes.
Iaido – Batto-ho is the art of drawing the sword, based on the traditional form of Japanese Iaido. Batto-ho is studied at San Diego Aikikai for what it reveals about the roots of Aikido as a martial art much in the same manner bokken and jyo deepen the understanding of students.
Zazen – Zen has a strong link to the martial culture of Japan. Both the warrior culture and Zen discipline emphasize the impermanence of life and teach us to be present in the moment, here and now. Zazen is seated, silent meditation, and may be practiced by any student regardless of religious affiliation. Birankai International’s Zen Meditation page offers more information and links on the history of zen training and aikido.
Misogi – Misogi-no-kokyu-ho comes from the Shinto tradition and may be translated as purification through breathing. Misogi practice involves sitting in the kneeling posture of seiza, deep breathing exercises, and the strong repetitive chanting of eight syllables. Initiation into misogi occurs in Japan at the Ichikukai dojo through a four-day period of intensive practice. The training is arduous, emotionally straining, and physically exhausting, yet it is a unique opportunity to break through self-imposed limitations and egoistic personality defenses. Students wishing to participate in misogi practice should speak with the Chief Instructor prior to attending.