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By Roger Williams


All popular traditional martial arts are focused both on harmonizing your body and your mind, some more than others. General self-improvement, physical and mental strength and efficient fighting techniques. This spiritual moment is especially interesting, and makes these techniques so popular in the western world.

All Eastern martial arts require training as well as balanced mind and body and you will benefit whichever you choose. Even so, if you find out more about the philosophy practiced in Aikido Dojo San Francisco, you might fall in love in this particular martial art instantly. This one really deserves your attention, and for a good reason.

So, like many other Japanese names, Aikido is also composed from a few meaningful words. In this case, it is especially interesting name, because 'Ai' means harmony, 'ki' means energy or spirit, and 'do' means path or way. Well, you can translate it as the way of spirit and harmony, or maybe the harmonious spiritual path. Anyway, you will find highly efficient ways of defending yourself and really appealing philosophy and environment.

Historically, this is probably the newest Japanese martial art. Founded by Jujitsu, Sojitsu and Kenjutsu master, Morihel Ueshiba, also called O-Sensei or the Great Teacher, this highly balanced mind and body philosophy is primarily focusing on defending yourself without causing injuries to your attacker.

O-Sensei's flawless technique proved to be more powerful than mere strength, and his legacy of non-violence made him not only popular, but also highly appreciated. His methods are based on defense without harming your attacker, and his philosophy is based on harmonizing your movements with the movements of the universe.

In fact, anyone can start practicing Aikido, and it doesn't matter how old or how fit this person is right now. This is not only really efficient defense technique, but also the sort of training that you will benefit from in many different ways. It brings not only great physical improvement, but also better health, especially cardiovascular health, better concentration, coordination and balance, etc.

The point is in not only being able to defend yourself, but also in improving your self-confidence, your general health condition, in feeling better about yourself and in finding your life path. If you are interested only in learning how to fight and cause injuries, find some other type of training, this one is something entirely different.

So, comparing to other martial arts, this one is focused on defense, but without causing harm to your attacker. Most attacks are linear by nature, and Aikido uses circular movements to disarm those attacks, for example, using wrist locks. This way, you actually harmonize your movements with the movements of your attacker, unbalancing him without confronting him directly.

As the Great Teacher used to say, Aikido is really a true Budo, based on traditional Samurai tactics, but really focused on perfecting the spirit. His well-known statement called Mahatsu Agatsu say that true victory is victory over oneself, and the secret is in harmonizing your movements with the movements of the universe. This is really a path of love, in the opinion of the famous O-Sensei.




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