Aikido is a Japanese term for “way of harmonising energy”. Its founder, Morihei Ueshiba meant it to be both a martial art and self-defence system when he founded it in the 14th century. With fighting methods similar to judo and jujitsu, Aikido moves of twisting and throwing are for the intention of turning an attacker’s strength and momentum against himself.
Today, Aikido has become a highly respected Japanese martial art that emphasises holistic characteristics at all times – balancing the laws and energies of nature with that of the body and spirit.
So, are you eager now to learn the martial art? There are some Aikido basics for beginners to put in mind before learning the twists and turns of Aikido. Take note, you don’t need to master a hundred techniques in order to incapacitate, mutilate or even kill your opponent but it’s more about learning the techniques that would make you remain calm in any life-threatening circumstance.
What Every Aikido Beginner Should Know
Now that you’ve decided to join Aikido classes for your defensive strategies, here below are the things to consider.
Before the class:
Learn hanmi first – Do your due diligence by looking up what the fundamentals and basic foundations of Aikido are. The more you read, the wider and better your understanding of Aikido can become.
Come to practice in a loose-fitting outfit – Since this would be your first time, you don’t expect to get an Aikido Gi or dogi, the uniform used in most modern martial arts. Loose-fitting clothes like t-shirts and baggy pants are comfortable to wear in Aikido practices. These can make you move without restrictions aside from the fact that no sensitive part of your body might be accidentally exposed.
Do stretching exercises – Have a warm up by stretching before the practice since this can loosen your muscle and help you discover where your tensions are. By knowing your tensions, working on flexibility can be easier.
Keep a water bottle handy – A bottle of water within your reach will remind you to drink water before you get hydrated. You need to be refreshed especially after a sweaty practice.
Start with finding your weak side – Every individual has a strong and weak side – either the left or the right. If it’s the right, then start training on that side so that you can store up energy and build strength in that area.
Learn how to do a safe fall – Do not be afraid of falling because Aikido involves lots of falling during practice. According to senseis, all newcomers fall at least fifty percent of the time. So, they will teach you techniques in falling safely to avoid injuries. Besides, the mats used in practice are very well padded so there’s nothing to worry about if you fall.
Don’t rush things – Certainly you’d get to the next level by taking your time, dedication and more practice. Remember that Aikido is an art and there’s no point rushing through the various stages. It won’t make you a master after just a day of practice or two.