Aikido is a Japanese self-defense art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Aikido consists of three Japanese characters, ai (合) (union/harmony); ki (気) ( universal energy/spirit); and do (道) (way/ path for physical and spiritual development and self-knowledge). It is often translated as “the path to the harmonization of energies” or "the art of peace."
One of Aikido’s main principles is that instead of meeting force with force, you use your opponent's power and energy to neutralize an attack and redirect its force. Aikido teaches joint locks, throws, pinning and striking techniques and regular training strengthens muscles and enhances flexibility and balance. However, Aikido is not just bodily exercise but also a form of self-development as we treat each other with respect and become more aware of how we relate to people both inside and outside the dojo. By practicing, you increase awareness of who you are and develop qualities and skills such as self-control, an open mind, self-awareness, concentration, and mental flexibility. This is something you take with you when you leave the dojo.
At training you will meet people of all ages and backgrounds and we take care to accommodate different fitness and ability levels. Our training consists of a gentle warm up followed by practicing aikido techniques, which are based on centuries of tradition and techniques passed down from the times of the Samurai. Once a week, we will train with weapons (wooden swords and wooden sticks).