Aikido is not easy to practice, understand or communicate. Reflecting the struggle of life it can be and often is frustrating, but the letting go can be an astonishing revelation, one that can be extended to everyday life. Paradoxically for a martial art the emphasis is more on the art rather than the martial, however the martial i.e. self protection and the protection of others is not ignored.
The Founder of Aikido, Morehei Ueshiba, said that martial arts must undergo constant change, echoed in a line from TS Eliot “the still point of the turning world, there the dance is.” This reflects a connection between East and West in our practice; which is an exploration of a traditional martial art within and having meaning to contemporary culture.
Techniques are the language of interaction expressing the underlying principles of relaxation, groundedness and harmony as a response to life. Fluid movement embracing both aspects of Aikido as self protection and flow with the ever manifesting world. Trying to live at peace with oneself and others in a chaotic and stressful world is possibly the most challenging but ultimately the most satisfactory way to live. The purpose of not only Aikido but many other martial arts is to provide an anchor in life: a physical, psychological and philosophical practice.
In this way aikido may be understood as a mindfulness practice: developing awareness by paying attention to the present moment.
All are welcome to come and practice at their own pace; from beginners to those who may have an interest or experience in other mind / body practices such as Tai Chi, Yoga or meditation.