Is Aikido dojo training right for me? Why dojo versus individual classes or workshops?
Because Ki Aikido movements are not based on blocking or muscular strength, it is meaningful for men, women, boys and girls of almost any age, regardless of experience in the martial arts.
Ki Aikido is a subtle martial art, requiring discipline to master. A regular training schedule is the key to learning the principles and integrating them into your subconscious. Some students train daily, but it is more common to attend classes two to three times per week.
What style of Aikido do you practice?
The style of Aikido we practice focuses on the application of the principles of mind and body unification to the techniques of aikido. The practice stresses how to lead one’s attacker, stay centered and calm, and how to resolve the conflict by redirecting the energy of the attack. Shin Shin Toitsu Akido means "Aikido with mind and body unified."
Tohei Sensei, founder of this style, was a student of Ueshiba Sensei (also called O Sensei). Tohei Sensei decided to focus his teaching on the concept of Aikido as mind/body coordination, and the development of "ki" as the central focus of training.
He taught many Westerners and developed teaching methods which suit Western learning styles. The cornerstone of his teaching method can be summarized as the “4 basic principles to unify mind and body”. We practice aikido to learn about how to apply these basic principles in dynamic situations.
Tell me more about Ki Aikido.
Master Koichi Tohei, chief instructor under Master Ueshiba and 10th Dan in Aikido, founded Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido in 1974. The Japanese word "Shin" translates both as "mind" and as "body." In our modern culture, both in Japan and in the West, many people experience the mind and body as separate entities. Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, referred to in the West as Ki Aikido, seeks to reunite the mind and body. By coordinating the mind and body, we can blend with another's energy, whether it is in a physical attack or the more common types of conflicts we experience every day.
The movements of Ki Aikido are the gentlest of any Aikido style, yet when mastered, they are extremely powerful. Human ability is like an iceberg. The small, visible portion of the iceberg represents our body. The vast unseen portion lying beneath the surface is our mind, which is boundless. The Ki Aikido artist uses the possibilities discovered when mind and body unify to lead the attacker's mind to a peaceful resolution of conflict.
There are varities of Aikido, but all were founded by Morihei Ueshiba and share the same basic principles. Our style, Shin Shin Toitsu, focuses on ki development.