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Fundamentals of aikido | The Relaxed Martial Art

Fundamentals of aikido | The Relaxed Martial Art

Fundamentals of aikido  | The Relaxed Martial Art



Traditionally, martial art systems were created as a documented practice of training for combat mode in the ancient eras. Naturally, its modern day applications are primarily for self-defense, exercise and physical fitness. One form of martial arts however stands out from the rest in the sense that it espouses a relaxed way of life over cunning and physical strength.


The Relaxed Martial Art


At the heart of it, the Aikido spirit is about cultivating relaxation and a serenity throughout everyday life to be able to harness this virtue in actual physical combat. Aikido is actually a modern Japanese martial art and the Aikido spirit continues to live on today years after it was developed by Morihei Eushiba between 1920 to 1960. Noteworthy about this particular martial art is that the Aikido spirit is cultivated within its students so that there is a spiritual and philosophical development that happens; which in turn becomes the basis of the combative art. Modern day students of Aikido testify that they bring the Aikido spirit with them throughout ordinary mundane activities, forming a bridge between principles of how to tackle everyday life and combat moves on the training mat.


This spiritual and philosophical basis of the Aikido spirit that cultivates relaxation and the peaceful control of aggression, is attributed to the founder's background in Omoto-kyo religion. Omoto-kyo is a modern Japanese religion, which is said to be an offshoot of Shintoism. Omoto-kyo followers believe in beautifying the world with art because they believe that art brings humans closer to the divine. 

Founding Principles of Aikido



Aside from this however, the Omoto-kyo followers are pacifists who espouse peace over war. This is the parallel between Omoto-kyo and Aikido. That is why the Aikido spirit is often paradoxically referred to as the art of peace. One may wonder about the sanity behind the fact that a martial art which was in all intentions created for combat and winning over the enemy can indeed to be claim to the art of peace. For all intents and purposes however, the philosophical and spiritual foundation of Aikido is about maintaining a constant state of relaxation. 


It is in this relaxed state that the Aikido practitioner is able to perform difficult throws and maneuvers as taught by the martial art. The relaxed state can be attributed to a deep unshakable peace free of aggression. The concept is that when we are tense and not relaxed, we needlessly waste energy on aggression and force. By going with the flow and not being afraid of what can or cannot happen to us, we cultivate a peace with a relaxed demeanor as its direct consequence.


The Aikido spirit aims to cultivate a mental discipline, develop character and self-confidence with the end goal of being able to maintain peace and relaxation. It believes that in peace can one realize true power: The power to spread peace further and the strength to be able to withstand the onslaught of everyday situations. The basics in passing on the Aikido spirit can be done through practical applications that clearly show that a relaxed demeanor is more effective than an aggressive one. 


One such physical example is the exercise of trying to cause someone to lose their balance. To be able to topple off an opponent usually means that we should be physically stronger and in some cases larger so that superior physical strength through muscle contraction is the traditional measure of victory.  


Fundamentals of aikido 


Aikido is martial arts that resulted from the combination of several disciplines. It was created by Ueshiba sometime in the 1940s. It was the result of Ueshiba’s search for a technique that provided him with contentment not only in the technical sense but also in the spiritual end. 

The Hard Style Aikido


Aikido comes from the three Japanese words, ai-ki-do, which means joining, spirit, and way respectively. In essence, aikido is a martial arts form that focuses on the joining of the spirit and the body and the mind to find the Way. 


Aikido has many techniques and moves. Its basic structure comes from the throws and locks found in jujitsu and also from the movements that experts do when they are fighting with swords and spears.


Fundamental Techniques of aikido 

Let’s look at the different fundamental movements of this martial arts. 


Ikkyo


This is the first technique in aikido, where control is achieved by the use of the hand on the elbow and one near the wrist. This is the grip that is also that can apply pressure into the ulnar, which can be found in the medial portion of the arm. 


Nikyo 


This is the second of the techniques, which is characterized by an adductive wristlock that twists the arm and then applies pressure in the nerve that can be really painful. 


Sankyo 


This is the third technique that incorporates a pronating move. It directs an upward tension all through the arm, the elbow and the shoulder. 


Yonkyo 


The fourth installment in the fundamental movements of aikido, yonkyo uses a shoulder control movement similar to a ikkyo but this time there is no gripping of the forearm. Instead, the knuckles apply pressure on the radial nerve  

 

Gokyo 


The fifth technique is actually a variant of ikkyo. This time the hand gripping the wrist is inverted and twisted. 


Aikido protective moves


Here are some of the moves that you can use in order to disarm your opponent. 


Kotogaeshi – this is what is called in the English as the wrist return. In this move, the practitioner will place a wristlock and throw that will stretch up to the extensor digitorum 


Into the world of Aikido martial arts


Iriminage – called the entering-body throw, here the practitioner or the nage will move into the space where the uke or the opponent is. This classic move resembles the clothesline technique. 


Kokyunage – this is the breath throw, a term that refers to the various types of “timing throws.”


Koshinage – this move is aikido’s version of the hip throw where in the person will drop his hips a little lower than the opponent or the uke. He will then flip the opponent with a resultant fulcrum.  


Tenchinage – Called the heaven and earth throw because of the levels that the hands will reach. The uke or the practitioner will grab both wrists and then moves forwardm grabbing the hand low and the other high. This unbalances the uke, which will cause him or her to topple over. 


Shihonage- this is the four-direction throw, wherein the hand is folded back past the shoulders and then afterwards locking the joints in the shoulder  


Kaitennage- called the rotation throw, in kaitennage, the practitioner or the nage will move the arm backwards until the shoulder joints are locked. He will then use this position to add pressure. 


Jujinage- this is the throw that is characterized by a throw that locks the arms together. This is called shape like a 10 throw because of its cross-shape, which looks like 10 in kanji.

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