Aikido is being practiced worldwide by approximately 2-3 Million people, according to some numbers. This means that a majority of people living on Earth may not know what the Art of Peace is all about.
I will try, in my humble understanding of the practice – as I personally approach it – to describe it and offer a sense of what it is that we do on the mat and off the mat, with Aikido.
Please note that as many Aikido Practitioners, as many interpretations of it; the following words are my personal view and understanding, as I am today, after 35 years of practicing Martial Arts.
PARENTS may find my description useful in deciding if this practice is well suited for their young ones. I believe, and am not the only one to feel like that, that Aikido is perfect for kids. Finding the right teacher is crucial.
Aikido is a relatively younger martial art centered around the idea of effectively NOT HARMING anyone. It may sound counter-intuitive with the term “martial art”, but that is what makes it unique. Every technique starts with the intention to protect a potential attacker from doing harm to oneself and themselves.
For kids in particular, this means self-defence without the violence attached to it. It is about maintaining one’s center and integrity, in the midsts of a conflict, and, having the tools to de-escalate that conflict. It is a physical practice. A good workout, full of elements for enhancing proprioception – thus, balance – coordination, speeed and reflexes, as well as mental awareness of one’s body as it interacts with another person. And I believe it is FUN. I never stop learning, even when I lead a practice.
I hope that my words will give you a better sense of what Aikido is and could be in someone’s life – regardless of their age or even socio-cultural background. I also hope you will take these words as an open invitation to seek out a local Dojo (school) and try Aikido for yourself and for your family.
Bogdan Heretoiu, Executive Producer
Living Aikido Life | Arts4Hope, LLC.