Member Articles on Aikido and Martial Arts

The Importance of Regular Aikido Practice

Training can be difficult. It is a slow process, like adding drops of water one by one to a pool. It can take a long time to notice any difference.

Sometimes you feel stuck, you donʼt feel your self progressing. You donʼt understand what the teacher is asking of you. The relevance of the practice is called into question. {Read entire article "The Importance of Regular Aikido Practice"}

Does Aikido Work?

I guess it is human nature to doubt. We train daily and trust that we are getting something tangible in return for our dedication and discipline. Yet, most of us will never have an opportunity to resolve this doubt. Today, I am happy to answer YES to the oft asked rhetorical question, Does Aikido Work? {Read entire article "Does Aikido Work?"}

On differences between aikido and competitive martial arts

To individuals who have had the opportunity to witness aikido in practice, and perhaps to have engaged the training personally, there will arise an acute awareness of the different and often difficult concepts found in the tradition. This has lead to many questions. Here, in brief, I try to analyse the inherent and practical focuses of aikido, while being juxtaposed to contemporary competitive art forms.
{Read more on aikido vs competitive martial arts}

Aikido, A Lesson In Life

I need to caveat this note with the fact that I am not a practicing Aikidoist due to my personal circumstances. With that said, I have the privilege on being close to some amazing individuals who to me truly embody the essence of the art of aikido.

Based on my observations on the aikido classes taught at Naka Ima, I’ve learned that Aikido is more than just the lesson of the martial art. At Naka Ima, it seems the instructors always talk about the importance of connecting with your partner. And this is the one lesson I picked up that impacted my life in incredible ways. {More on aikido life lessons}

Aikido: Two Roles, One Purpose

Aikido is an art of interaction. Perhaps it is not an interaction through words, but rather an interaction through bodily contact. Practitioners of Aikido constantly achieve a form of contact with their partner, whether it is by striking, grappling, pinning, throwing, or even the basic forces of pushing and pulling. Through contact, we are able to feel the presence of our partner, to feel their energy, to receive it, and thus manipulate it accordingly by using our techniques. {More on two roles}

Naka Ima Aikido Back to Basics - Ukemi

Greg Sensei shows students at Naka Ima how to do ukemi and properly receive Aikido techniques during Back to Basics Week at the Toronto dojo {View Naka Ima video on YouTube}

Aikido: A Great Martial Art for Women

Why are women so good at Aikido? What is it about the aikido martial arts that draws and keeps so many ladies?

First of all, Aikido is different from most martial arts. Instead of defeating or overcoming an opponent, the goal of aikido is to harmonize with your opponent in order to neutralize the conflict. {More on aikido and women}

Fitness Benefits of Aikido Martial Arts Practice

In 2011, there is a wide range of fitness options available to us: boot camps, spinning classes, yoga, Pilates, personal training sessions. All of them are beneficial, but Aikido offers some things that the others don’t.

First of all, Aikido offers a great workout: the cardio of the treadmill, the flexibility of yoga, full body co-ordination of Olympic weightlifting… it’s all there. {Read more on aikido fitness benefits}

The Difference Between Do and Jutsu

There is no real difference between the Do of martial arts styles. There is no aikido, there is no karate, there is no difference in Do. Jutsu is many, from Judo, to Thai boxing, to Kendo -- they are all quite different. But there is only one Do, one way. The master of aikido is identical to the master of karate, and the outcome is the same. Masters can freely enter between the mind moments to slow down time. This should be the goal of training. {Read more on the difference between Do and Jutsu}

Learning the Language of Aikido

Aikido is a language. I often hear that the techniques, exercises, forms and movements we practice are simply building blocks, and not an end in themselves. If we treat these blocks as ‘letters’ then naturally as we become familiar with these letters we can form words, from which we can make sentences and paragraphs. If Aikido is a language then the ultimate goal of our practice must be communication. {Read more on the language of Aikido}

Reflections After Forty Lessons of Aikido

Aikido is a mystery to me. Equally strange were the circumstances of how I literally stumbled upon and into the Naka Ima Aikikai dojo. On a frigid January morning this year, I made an unusual decision to go for a morning run. Instead of taking my standard route though Trinity-Bellwoods Park, I ran along a different course, very much on a whim, though perhaps according to my gut. Finding myself in the back promenade of the Liberty Market Building, I may have learned my first lesson in Aikido before even setting foot in the dojo; to be open to everything and be ready for nothing. {More on Reflections after 40 Aikido Lessons}

Aikido Matters - The Art of It

Like other forms of personal development, Aikido moves from the outside (physical) to the inside (spiritual). The practice of Aikido, or the way of the peaceful warrior, leads us from the mechanics of kata (structured forms) to the power of connected relationships with other people (the art). We might say that Aikido is, in essence, a relational art. As such, it is a powerful vehicle for personal growth. Through practice, we learn about ourselves and our impact on others. {More on Aikido Matters}

Aikido - Why do we practice?

Each person comes to the dojo for a different reason. Some come because they want to improve their physical condition, or as stress relief, or perhaps because they are interested in self-defence. Others join because of the feeling of community inside a dojo. And others have done some research into the philosophy of Aikido and wish to explore it further. Many parents bring their children to the dojo to encourage self-discipline, confidence and cooperation. All of these reasons and many others are valid and important. The most fundamental point is that each person who steps onto the mat is searching. They are asking the question: "How can I improve myself?" {More on why we practice Aikido}

Cool People: Greg Angus - Sensei and Encaustic Artist

Produced by Kyle Surowicz, this piece on Greg Angus was nominated for a Centennial College DONNY AWARD in the category of Best Journalistic piece (Entertainment). {View}

Aikido Etiquettips - Bowing

Anyone who has ever watched Aikido practice notices right away that there is lots of bowing involved. To “western” eyes, this can be a little disconcerting and even uncomfortable – we often don’t understand at first what this traditional aspect of Aikido signifies. {More}

Aikido Etiquettips - Punctuality

While our dojo style is friendly and informal, there are some basic principles of dojo etiquette that we should all strive to follow. Many of these “rules” carry on the traditional training practices of Aikido as it is practiced in Japan, its birthplace. {More}

Seishiro Endo shihan visits North America

From March 30 through April 5, 2006, Endo Seishiro shihan, 8th dan at Hombu Dojo, Aikido World Headquarters in Japan, traveled to various destinations in Canada and the U.S. for a series of 3 day seminars. Among his stops were Toronto (ONT), Commerce (GA), and Seattle (WA). {More}