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Aikido FAQ

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 7 months ago

Aikido Frequently Asked Questions


Are there any physical limitations to practicing aikido?

Aikido practice is strenuous activity. Participants should be in good health and not have any back problems. If in doubt, participants should check with their doctor, concerning strenuous cardiovascular activity.


What does an Aikido class consist of?

The first 10 minutes of each class consist of stretching and warm up exercises. Then the instructor demonstrates a technique and students take partners and practice the technique. Partners take turns being the attacker and defender. 4 to 6 techniques are practiced in a typical one hour class. Students change partners for each technique. All levels of students work together during class.


What is aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed in the early 1900s by Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba was a master swordsman and expert at jujitsu and other martial arts. Ueshiba combined the body movements of the sword with the locks and throws of jujitsu to create aikido. Aikido was designed for defense only; there is no sparring or competition in aikido.


What does the word aikido mean?

The way to harmonize energy. Ai - harmonize, ki - energy, do - the way


What if I don't know how to fall?

New students will be taught the basics of forward and backward falling in a corner of the mat during regular class. Students get practice in taking falls during all classes.


What is aikido like? Is it like Judo, Karate, etc.

Aikido involves controlling the attacker's motion and redirecting that motion either back into the attacker by means of joint locks or by projecting the motion outwards by means of a throw. Aikido draws its movements and techniques from Japanese sword fighting and jujitsu. Aikido is similar to Judo with respect to throwing, but unlike Judo, there is no competition in aikido. Punching and other forms of attacks in aikido are used as part of training; unlike karate, aikido does not use punching as a means of self defense.


Can aikido be used for self defense?

Yes, aikido is designed for self defense, although it takes longer to become proficient at it than other martial arts.


Is aikido good exercise?

Aikido is excellent exercise. Aikido movements go in the direction the joints naturally move, so it promotes flexibility. Depending on the level of intensity in practice, aikido can be an excellent aerobic, cardiovascular workout. Students can train at their own pace.


Are there "belts" in aikido?

Aikido has only white and black belts. There are 5 ranks of white belts, for which tests are given in aikido. Less emphasis is placed on testing in aikido and more is placed on practicing the techniques. Generally speaking, personal growth should be the focus of one's Aikido practice, and not the gaining of rank.


How long does it take to get a black belt in aikido?

Depending on the number of days a student practices, it can take between 5 to 8 years to be ready to test for black belt.


Where can I see an aikido competition?

There are no competitions in traditional Ueshiba style aikido.

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