About Aikido

The Japanese word Aikido is written with three charaters which translate as "the way of unity with the fundamental force of the universe".  Aikido is a true budo, or Martial Way, evolved in the historic tradition of Japanese warrior arts.  Through earnest practice, one learns that Aikido is more than a science of tactics and self-defense.  It is a discipline for perfecting the spirit.


Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba, known as O'Sensei, or Great Teacher, to more than one million students of Aikido throughout the world.  Even as a young man, he was extraordinary martial artist, a master of the sword, staff, spear and the art of ju-jitsu. But O'sensei also had a strong spiritual drive and brooded over the futility of a path based on victory over others.


"The secret of Aikido," he wrote, "is to harmonize with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself."  O'Sensei maintained that budo is a work of love, a path to overcome discord in ourselves and bring peace to the world and "to make the heart of the universe one's own heart".


There have always been visionaries of remarkable insight but O'Sensei taught that true awareness is not grasped by intellect alone.  "This is not mere theory", he said, "you must practice it". 


From "About Aikido"US Aikido Federation Web Site


Frequently Asked Questions

How is Aikido differerent from other Martial Arts?
Unlike most martial arts, Aikido has no competitions. Aikido is a defensive art that does not emphasize strikes. Students work cooperatively to maximize their understanding and execution of techniques.

How does it benefit health?
Aikido is motion in action.  It reduces stress physically and mentally and increases stamina. 
Is Aikido good for children?

Aikido is excellent for children because it a non-violent martial art, it does not promote aggressive behavior.  It teaches respect for others, as well as how to redirect negative behaviors.

Is there any age limit?
People of all ages practice Aikido.  All you need is the desire and commitment to learn.
If there are no competitions, how do you obtain rank?
Aikido has two major ranking levels, the kyu level (which has 7 levels) and the (dan) black-belt levels.  At the completion of a number of hours, specific to each kyu and black-belt level, you can test to obtain that ranking.  For certain kyu levels, a colored belt is awarded as well, until your first black-belt (Shodan) is awarded.  Here, at Aikido of Nassau County, we are committed to your path of training. 
What equipment is needed for training? 
A practice uniform, called a 'gi', is required for training. A karate gi is fine, although a judo gi lasts longer. 

The dojo has a limited number of weapons you can borrow, if you are interested in attending a weapons class on a regular basis, but it is suggested students purchase their own at some point.  Typical weapons used are wooded knife (tanto), wooden sword (bokken), and wooden staff (jo).
Is Aikido practical for self-defense?
Yes. Aikido allows one to re-direct an attack, and pin or throw an opponent without causing injury to the attacker.  This is what makes the art so unique.
What is the "skirt" that is worn? 
The skirt-like pants that are worn by Aikido practioners is called a 'hakama'.  This is a traditional piece of samurai clothing.  Typically, a hakama is worn by blackbelt-level practitioners although some schools allow it to be worn at earlier levels. 

Can I take a trial class to see if Aikido is right for me?
Visitors are always welcome to stop by and watch a class.  
If you are interested in trying a class, just show up at least 15 minutes before class starts and ask one of the waiting students or instructors about taking a class. Wear comfortable clothes, keeping in mind that shorts or body-exposing clothing would not be appropriate for training. 

Generally, first time students are given personal orientation and instruction by one of the senior students. New students are welcome to participate in any of our beginner's classes. 

Aikido is more difficult to learn that it appears. A trial class will only show basic movement and how to fall properly.
Are seminars important for training?
Absolutely. Seminars are an invaluable part of Aikido training and are highly recommended.  
They are designed to open and elevate a student to a higher and more diverse level of training. They are an effective way to supplement your training and help you advance in the art.