What is Aikibudo?
Aikibudo (aiki-bu-do) is the “Harmonious-Martial-Way”. It is a modern Japanese martial way developed as a method of deep personal development, and non-aggressive self-protection art. At its core, Aikibudo teaches practitioners to bring harmony to discord. It trains and forges the body, develops the mind, and cultivates the spirit. With dedicated practice, Aikibudo is directly beneficial and applicable to our daily lives.
By understanding our own strengths and weaknesses as human beings, we can simultaneously make change where it is needed and cultivate positive aspects of ourselves where they exist. Through this process comes a better understanding of ourselves and our place in society, as well as the natural world.
Through our training in Aikibudo, we learn better ways to bring conflict experienced in our everyday lives into harmony, or balance, whether it be with our loved ones, friends, coworkers, or within ourselves.
The Spiritual Dimension of Aikibudo.
Our art’s origins lie in traditional Japanese culture and spirituality. Although Aikibudo is most closely connected to ancient Shinto and Buddhist teachings, it is not itself a religion. Students of Aikibudo practice various traditional meditative forms to develop a peaceful and alert mind that is in harmony (unified) with our body, nature, and all that surrounds us. Specifically, we seek to cultivate the center of our life-force, or “Seika Tanden”. These aspects are at the core of Shinto and Buddhist teachings.
Both seated and standing methods of meditation are studied, as well as ancient breathing practices, and body-movement exercises for developing and harnessing life-energy (“Ki” in Japanese) cultivated within the Seika Tanden. Deep breathing fills our body tissue, muscles and organs with vital oxygen, and the movements of Aikibudo stimulate the various meridian lines of the body, both leading to positive health benefits.
Aikibudo as Self-Defense.
Aikibudo is an excellent means for personal development as well as personal protection (self-defense). Many of the modern combat arts, or sports, such as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ), Boxing, or similar modern “mixed martial arts” (MMA), teach fighting skills for use in competition, or with various assumptions made that the training will be used in a controlled space, under certain conditions (rules), and against a single opponent. Their focus is typically narrow: for competition, sparring, ground fighting, etc. In Aikibudo, these assumptions are not made. Students train for many different self-defense scenarios (seated, standing, on the ground, etc.), against a single aggressor, or multiple attackers--either unarmed, or armed with various weapons.
As a martial art, Aikibudo develops a strong humanitarian approach to self-defense. The actual martial techniques of our art are performed by blending with the motion of an attacker and redirecting their energy, rather than meeting it force-on-force. This requires very little physical strength, as the practitioner "leads" the attacker's momentum using various entering, turning, and spiraling movements. These body movements are used to control and overcome the aggressor without significant or permanent injury.
In our school (dojo), particular attention is paid to the fundamental techniques and the details that make each work. Practice is sometimes slow and precise, paying attention to our breathing, mental focus, and overall relaxation. These are very important elements for the actual use of Aikibudo techniques in self-defense.
Our curriculum is drawn from a number of "aiki" arts, including Aikido, the Hakko-ryu school (Aiki-Jujutsu), and the original Daito-ryu school of Aikijujutsu. For orthodox Aikido, click here.
Why Study Aiki arts?
The goal of Aikibudo (and Aikido, or Aikijujutsu) training is not perfection of martial skill alone, but improvement of one’s character (body, mind, and spirit) through the study of martial techniques. This may seem like a paradox, but it is what makes the study of traditional Japanese martial arts (budo) so unique in our modern society.
One becomes strong and resilient, but this strength is natural, and expressed softly. Movements found in nature originate from the core of the body and are efficient, rational, and soft, with the center (core, or Seika Tanden) providing the engine and overall stability.
Philosophically, the culmination of Aikibudo is expressed by aligning one's life-center (Seika Tanden) and mind with nature, its life-energy, and universal “mind”. By unifying with our attacker and the space between us (ma-ai), we are not separate. We show compassion and bring about harmony to discord through universal action (yin-yang, or in-yo in Japanese), not ego. This is accomplished by applying only the necessary counter-action, or positive energy required to bring negative energy back into harmony.
Ultimately, what our art offers practitioners is not only a healthy means of exercise, but also a highly efficient means of personal-development and spiritual growth. The art includes the study of meditative practices, holistic breathing practices, empty-hand self-protection techniques, as well as movements using the Japanese sword, stick, and other aspects.
Schedule & Contact Information.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions, or see current schedule of classes here.
Iai-Batto-Ho (Iaido / Iaijutsu)
Shinwakan Iaido is a modern curriculum of sword-drawing that is drawn from the traditional Toyama-ryu, Dai Nippon Batto-ryu, and Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu schools. All techniques are performed from a standing position, making the art suitable for those who have difficulty kneeling. In addition to solo sword-drawing techniques, the curriculum also includes paired sword forms with a partner (kenjutsu). Students also practice test cutting with live blades to refine their skill with the sword.
How Can You Study?
Private Lessons - Contact us
Instruction in Aikibudo is available through Private Lessons. This offers students direct one-on-one instruction with a licensed Master Instructor; individualized lessons, and ultimately, faster progress and ranking.
For more information on our Shinwakan Aikibudo classes, please contact us.