Aikido practice is a cooperative, not competitive, enterprise. Techniques are learned through practicing with a partner, not an opponent.
Aikido practice is demonstration-based. Verbal explanations are limited, the participants being encouraged to develop their powers of observation.
Formality and etiquette is used as a powerful tool for the development of skill and sensitivity beyond a purely physical level.
Using the cooperative method of practicing Aikido in learning to deal with aggressive and threatening situations, we also learn to deal with the weaknesses, fears and doubts within ourselves. Thus we develop self-confidence.
After prolonged practice there are deeper developments – e.g. perceptive clarity, focus and concentration combined with relaxation, expanded consciousness.
Aikido develops every aspect of one’s physical condition. Balance, coordination, reflexes, muscle tone, stamina and fitness, flexibility, breathing, and posture are all improved by Aikido practice.
In particular, the art of receiving Aikido techniques safely develops unique body skills such as dynamic flexibility, and how to absorb and redirect power and impact.
Training At Aikido Of Athens
All training and activities at Aikido of Athens are carried out in accordance with traditional Japanese methods.
New members of the dojo all begin their training in the beginners division. Here, strong emphasis is placed on the following areas:
Learning excellent posture and basic body movements.
Maintaining the appropriate distance from one’s partner at all times.
The correct application of the basic techniques of Aikido.
How to receive Aikido techniques.
Proper body management i.e. the correct use of the legs and hips and a relaxed but strong upper body both in the performance of techniques and in receiving techniques.
The proper care of one’s partner while executing techniques so that practice may be conducted in a safe but effective manner.
New members remain in the beginners division for a period of weeks to months depending on their progress until they are allowed to progress to the general practice division. Once in the general division they are expected to help in maintaining the dojo, in particular in cleaning the Tatami (practice mats) and Dojo after practice.
In the general division members are able to train in greater depth and to develop themselves through the following:
General and advanced body art classes – immobilisations and throwing techniques against a range of attacks, attacks with weapons, and attacks by multiple assailants.
Weapons classes training in the use of the Sword (Bokken) and Staff (Jo) in accordance with Aikido principles.
Iaido training – the use of the Japanese sword (Katana) in solo practice forms.
Meditation – Zazen meditation to develop concentration and awareness.
Training at SEMINARS in Athens with visiting teachers as well as seminars abroad.
The Senseis at Aikido of Athens have many years of experience and over the years have created a dynamic training culture within the Dojo. Training with respect and safety are the primary consideration while maintaining intensity and effectiveness in the practice. The strong emphasis on developing basic skills while in the beginners division, gives the members the necessary foundation for subsequent development to black belt level and beyond.