The essence of Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883–1969) which emphasizes harmonization over contention when dealing with aggression and conflict. What does this mean in practice? That our intent, and consequently our actions, in dealing with aggression (whether physical, verbal or otherwise) is not to take a position of resistance or struggle but rather join with the force of the opposing party, making it our own before leading it into a resolution where it's energy and ideally, it's own aggressive intent, has been neutralized.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883–1969) which emphasizes harmonization over contention when dealing with aggression and conflict. What does this mean in practice? That our intent, and consequently our actions, in dealing with aggression (whether physical, verbal or otherwise) is not to take a position of resistance or struggle but rather join with the force of the opposing party, making it our own before leading it into a resolution where it's energy and ideally, it's own aggressive intent, has been neutralized.

Aikido is thus a martial art that goes beyond the standard martial 'win or lose' options when dealing with attack and offers another way of managing conflict.

This ideal of moving from a situation of conflict to it's harmonious resolution is not just a philosophical proposition. It must be realized through our whole being and reflected in our actions and particularly our actions when under pressure which is when they are most critical. Through confrontational and physical training we learn gradually to let go of our reactive and habitual tendencies to defend, block and struggle and instead open up to the power of being open and undefended, paradoxical and nonsensical as this may at first seem.

In remaining open under pressure we are in a far better space to ascertain more accurately what is actually the reality of a given situation and in remaining loose and free from fearful defensive postures we are in a better place to respond with greater flexibility and freedom.

Defensiveness and stiffness are just not as functional as a strategy of conflict management when compared with openness and flexibility.

In this sense Aikido is a discipline where mind and body are seen as inextricable aspects of a whole from the very beginning of training. Our fears and mental positions reflect themselves faithfully in our bodies as stiffness (‘armouring’), loss of balance and therefore, lack of freedom. The direct experience of resistance and struggle in the training process with our partners shows us clearly where we are stuck and blocked and thus where the work of freeing ourselves needs to be directed.

Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead they are brittle and stiff.

Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.

The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.

Tao te Ching. Chapter 76.                                   

 

Schools and styles of Aikido

The founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba (also know as O Sensei and henceforth referred to as such) developed his art over the course of a long life of training and experience and consequently went through many phases in it's development and maturation.

Today we see a plethora of different schools of Aikido all over the world, from the very 'hard' physically oriented styles with a greater combat emphasis to the more 'soft', health and exercise oriented approaches. This reflects the many students that O Sensei had at different times during the development of his art who then went off to establish their own schools with their own philosophical interpretations and distinct didactical approaches. Furthermore, no tradition stands still in its development and Aikido continues to evolve and change, particularly as it spreads out vigorously beyond its native and cultural origins around the world. This variety of interpretation and expression is part of the rich legacy and potential of the art.

Takemusu Aikido

The style or line of Aikido that is taught in this school is known as Takemusu Aikido and is a traditional form of Aikido that was passed on from O Sensei to the late Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928 -2002). He was a personal disciple of O Sensei for over 23 years and took over his dojo in Iwama Japan after his death, considering it his duty to preserve and pass on the the Founders original source techniques in as pure a form as possible.

Takemusu Aikido can be characterized and differentiated from other schools and styles of Aikido by it's emphasis on the following three areas:

Upcoming seminars

  • Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Seminar (ES)

    24 november 2017 10:00 tot 26 november 2017 10:00

  • Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Seminar (UK)

    9 december 2017 10:00 tot 10 december 2017 15:00

  • Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Seminar (BE)

    19 januari 2018 10:00 tot 21 januari 2018 15:00

  • Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Seminar (SE)

    3 februari 2018 10:00 tot 04 februari 2018 12:00

  • Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros Seminar (DE)

    23 februari 2018 10:00 tot 25 februari 2018 15:00

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