How Can You Study?
Within our Dojo, classes in Aikijujutsu are offered on Thursday evening from 7pm-8pm. Please contact us.
Traditional Japanese Aikijujutsu:
Aikijujutsu is a modern form of non-competitive self-protection, descended from the close quarter combat methods of the samurai. The name itself translates as the "martial way of harmonization", and indicates that the exponent does not resist the power of the attacker directly, rather, they yield to it, harness it, and use it to defeat the opponent. Therefore, Aikijujutsu can be applied with minimal strength and can be used by anyone, male or female, young or old, to successfully defend themselves against an aggressor.
Study is very structured. Students begin training learning proper etiquette, how to fall and protect themselves (Ukemi), as well as other basics. Next, students are introduced to the first of the formal techniques. When the instructor feels the student has sufficiently understood and can perform the technique correctly for their level, they are taught the next technique.In conjunction with this, students are exposed to the underlying principles of the formal techniques, and practice applied self-defense techniques to deepen their understanding in a non-competitive environment. Students generally progress at their own pace, and are not pressured to learn any faster or slower. Grading is based on a student’s progress in the formal techniques, with additional requirements being secondary to mastering the inherited teachings.
Intermediate & Advanced Training:
To supplement empty-hand techniques, students of our school also study retention and disarming techniques with various weapons, including the knife (Tanto), sword (Ken), and staff (Jo), as well as others. There are formal solo and paired Kata (forms) for the sword and staff taught to intermediate students, and advanced students (black-belt & above) also practice various forms of non-competitive freestyle training, where their techniques are pressure-tested in a more realistic self-defense environment.
The Spiritual Dimension of Aikijujutsu:
Our art’s origins lie in traditional Japanese culture and spirituality. Although Aikijujutsu is most closely connected to ancient Shinto and Buddhist teachings, it is not itself a religion. Students of Aikijujutsu 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 Aikijujutsu stimulate the various meridian lines of the body, both leading to positive health benefits.
Aikijujutsu lessons are available
Why Study Aiki arts?
The goal of 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 Aikijujutsu 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.
Aikijujutsu is taught in a very systematic fashion, and non-competitive environment. There are approximately 200 formal techniques, arranged into seven sets, and includes the study of various escape and release techniques, joint locking techniques, throwing techniques, control techniques, strangulation techniques, ground defenses or grappling, and striking and kicking techniques, among other aspects. Thorough study of these techniques, leads to a deeper understanding of the underlying principles (Gensoku), technical variations (Henka), and application of the principles (Oyo Waza). This makes it possible to respond to a limitless array of attacks and results in a very comprehensive self-defense system.
Aikijujutsu as Self-Defense:
Aikijujutsu is an excellent means for personal development as well as personal protection (self-defense). As a martial art, Aikijujutsu 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 Aikijujutsu techniques in self-defense.