Kendo, Aikido, martial art related

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Aikido Common Questions

10:15 PM Posted by author No comments
Aikido is completely new for most people, something unlike anything they have ever done in their lives. Most people have questions and anxieties about beginning Aikido. Most of the common questions have simple answers.
1) What kind of shape do I have to be in? Aikido practice can be tailored to meeting your needs and abilities, so you don’t have to be in good shape to start.

2) Do I have to be big and strong to do Aikido? No, Aikido techniques depend on softness and efficiency of movement, not sheer bulk or strength.

3) Is Aikido good exercise? Yes, it definitely is, but you will start off practicing slowly and get more vigorous as you learn how to do the movements safely.

4) Are injuries common? No. Since Aikido is non-competitive and since the techniques are designed to be non-violent, there are relatively few injuries in Aikido.

5) Am I too old to start practicing? Aikido can be practiced and enjoyed safely by people of any age. If you have any questions about specific medical conditions, check with your doctor.

6) Won’t the advanced students be irritated at having to practice with a beginner? No they won’t. We change partners frequently. Everyone practices with everyone else. Advanced students can learn from beginners, and the willingness to help beginners is part of the spirit of Aikido.

7) Is there a religious component to Aikido? No there is not. There is an underlying philosophy of respect for life, but no religious practices. The founder of Aikido was devoutly religious and expressed his understanding of Aikido in his religious terms, but that is not part of Aikido as such.

8) Do I have to speak Japanese or memorize a lot of Japanese vocabulary? Definitely not. There are Japanese practice terms that are part of Aikido, but they will gradually seep into your memory as you hear them over and over again.

9) How long does it take to get a black belt? It may take around six years. However, it really depends on how often you practice, how athletic you are, and whether you are ready to deeply examine your movements. Everyone should practice at their own pace, and the black belt will come when it does.

8) Can I use Aikido to defend myself? Aikido is a very powerful and effective selfdefense art. However, this question is essentially unanswerable. Whether you can defend yourself depends on who will be attacking you and how long you will have been studying. If you have practiced Aikido for three years and you are attacked by someone who has practiced Karate for twenty-five years, you will probably not be successful in defending yourself. Or you may surprise yourself and succeed.

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