What is Aikido
Sensei Ken McLean
Sensei Ken McLean
Saturday | 1:00pm – 3:30pm
Aikido is a modern enlightened system of training to bring out one’s full potential for joyful, healthy and successful living.
As a martial art is is absolutely non-aggressive, based on harmonising with energy of an attack and returning it to a place of harmony and balance. This is called ‘blending’. Aikido is the only art in the world that constantly refines this most valuable skill. Blending means to join and become one with – so once understood on a bodily level – can be applied to any area whether it be sport, business, relationship or any expression in life.
Also Aikido is unique that it is based on protecting the attacker and looking after them through the interaction. This requires one to be in touch with one’s true power based on mind/body unity. This power is called ‘Ki’. Ki is the energy behind all things. When one’s mind and body are unified and in harmony, there is an energy that permeates all our actions, there is an irresistible influence. This is Ki.
Sometimes Aikido is called the art of ‘non-resistance’ because to come into contact or to try an attack, a true master of Aikido is an interesting, if not amazing experience. One is taken to a place inside where all desire to attack is dissolved.
Like trying to attack the ocean, it is better to let go and flow with its curents. So beyond the martial art, Aikido becomes the way of flowing with natures’ forces to turn one’s life into a state of flow.
The first victory of Aikido is called ‘Self-Victory’ and includes the study of centering and connecting to our deeper self to bring the master within ourself out, to be comfortable in all situations or interactions be it in daily life or with 4 or 5 opponents coming to attack.
The other victory that Aikido emphasises is ‘victory through being in alignment with one’s true path or destiny’. Training then is a way of creating positive momentum and clarity towards one’s true purpose in life.
Training in Aikido develops aerobic fitness, deep suppleness, flexibility (core strength), ground, balance and much more. It becomes a way of bringing out the spiritual warrior within oneself in a positive, serious, yet joyful and relaxed atmosphere of natural support.
Above all, it is about training to live life to the full – full of adventure, harmony and peace.
How can Aikido benefit me?
There are many and varied benefits of doing Aikido. On the physical level, one’s fitness, health and flexibility improves. Mentally one develops deeper levels of calmness and relaxation so the ability to comfortably deal with stress and challenge improves. The ability to stay centered, grounded and positive amidst attack increases so that unbalanced situation can be guided back to harmony and balance.
Energy levels increase so that one can give more of one’s self to the areas of one’s life you wish to express more.
On a practical self-defense level you develop the ability to comfortably and enjoyably deal with multiple attackers as you train to develop “the State of Flow” that Aikido brings out. This in the zone state then can be applied to daily life – leading to living a full, wonderful and adventurous life.
How fit do I need to be to do Aikido?
Any level of fitness and suppleness is fine. Even if you have done no exercise for sometime its ok. Aikido works gently and non forcefully and supports everyone in working at their own pace. Gradually you feel your fitness and flexibility improve.
“When they come towards you welcome them warmly – when they pull back send them flying.”