Aikido is a 20th century martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Ueshiba, known as O Sensei (Great Teacher, pictured) studied many martial arts, including the ‘Samurai sword’ and traditional Jyu Jitsu. He developed Aikido to promote peaceful relations between people through cooperative practice of Aikido as a ‘way’ of living. Before his death in 1969 he was recognised for his lifetime achievements in the martial arts by the Japanese state with an Order of the Sacred Treasure.
Aikido roughly translates as ‘way of harmony’ or ‘way of harmonising movement/energy’. Training involves partner practice of a range of techniques for responding to various attacks, developing posture, efficient movement and flexibility, and also practice with traditional wooden sword (pictured) and staff to develop posture, precision and understanding of Aikido. Aikido is about effective body movement and use of an attacker’s energy to defeat them, so it does not depend on superior physical strength or size (O Sensei himself was not a very big person). This makes Aikido a good martial art for all including women.
Chief instructors Yvonne and Patrick have studied and taught Aikido in several countries. Yvonne has more than 33 years experience in Aikido and Patrick 30 years (and several years of Karate to 1st dan level). Both hold 4th dan black belt grades (Yondan) from Aikido World Headquarters in Japan.
You can see them in this video of a demonstration led by our friend, the late Shinichi Aiura, Sixth dan student of Tada Shihan. It was shot in Australia in 2000 so Yvonne and Patrick are a bit more sprightly in this video. Yvonne is the only female participant, and Patrick is seen first with the wooden sword (bokken).
We take care to make sure students learn to fall and roll safely so we are not expecting people to achieve the level of dynamic movement seen in this demonstration right away!
Questions? patrickcrogan at gmail dot com