What is Aikido?
Aikido is a Japanese martial art founded in the late 1930s by Morihei Ueshiba, who is referred to even by those who do not study aikido as O'Sensei, which means "Great Teacher." O'Sensei studied many martial arts in his youth, including sumo wrestling, spear and bayonet arts, arts using a wooden staff, sword arts, and the ancient grappling art of ju-jitsu. As he grew older, he realized that the purpose of martial arts should not be to harm other people, but to defend oneself while preserving the attacker, bettering oneself in the process. Thus, O'Sensei combined the martial arts he had studied into aikido, which means "The Way of Harmony."
The hallmark of aikido technique is flowing, circular movements that enable the defender to off-balance an attacker, blending with the attacker's energy in such a way that the attack is neutralized with minimal effort and bodily harm. Aikido technique incorporates throws, and immobilizing limb and joint locks, and tumbling skills so that one can receive techniques during practice without bodily harm.
Aikido students develop strength, balance and flexibility of both body and mind, and in so doing learn self-discipline, moderation, and compassion for others. Because aikido techniques do not rely on physical size or strength to be effective, it is ideal for men and women of all fitness levels.
The Suenaka Martial Arts School teaches Suenaka-ha Tetsugaku-ho Aikido, which means "Suenaka style, philosophical way." Equal emphasis is placed on physical and personal betterment. A direct student of O'Sensei, Suenaka Sensei incorporates all of O'Sensei's teachings in his style, combined with his extensive experience in real-world self-defense. The result is a martial art that is "street effective" yet respectful of all living things, conducted in a dynamic, joyful and welcoming atmosphere, without conflict or machismo. All sincere seekers are invited to study.
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