Martial Arts - Aikido
Associated in the minds of many with the actor, Steven Seagal, aikido is rich in both history and tradition, an art that originally started in Japan back in the 1940s.
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| It's a fact that Aikido is one of the most effective and most popular martial arts in the United States today. In the U.S., at least, the art of Aikido is most commonly associated with actor Steven Seagal, who made it popular with his movies.
While new to the movies, Aikido, which actually originated in Japan back in the 1940s, is an art which is rich in history and tradition.
The recognized founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, was born on December 14, 1883. As he was growing up in Japan, Ueshiba witnessed local thugs vandalizing his father and others. In a turn similar to the comic book origins of Batman, the young boy decided that he would make himself strong in order to seek revenge against the thugs.
Ueshiba was a very strong willed individual, and devoted his every waking moment to physical training and perfecting his ability in the martial arts.
As Morihei Ueshiba progressed in strength and skill, he received many certificates in jujitsu, spear fighting, and fencing. Even though he was very impressive to others in his abilities, he himself simply was not happy with his skills. He knew that there must be more to mastery of the martial arts than just the physical side, and began to investigate religion and the spiritual side of combat training, hoping that he would find a greater significance in life, simultaneously pursuing his own personal supremacy in martial arts.
Ueshiba eventually founded the martial art of Aikido after combining both his religious beliefs and his vast experience in the various styles of martial arts. At its origin, the style which was to become best known as Aikido was known as ai ibudo, however, it was not until 1942 that he decided to go with the name Aikido. The style was quite different from more commonly known styles of martial arts, incorporating several different styles of Jujitsu, aiki-jujitsu, and spear and sword fighting techniques as well.
Even though there are a great many people who think of Aikido as the ultimate martial art, it must also be viewed as much as a philosophical and pshychological art that is based on religion and harmony, as it is on physical prowess.
As a martial art, Aikido uses a combination of joint locks, weight manipulation, and throws to achieve its purpose. It is a very effective personal defense art, which was the intention of Ueshiba from the very start.
While aikido has of many aspects and techniques, it is still the result of the creative and innovative powers of one man, its founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
Despite the use of the term "Aikido", there is actually not one single unified system of belief or philosophy which IS the martial art of Aikido.
While Aikido is barely over half a century old, it already has a background rich in heritage and religion, it is a practice based on harmony and peace of the spirit. Ueshiba the master of Aikido, believed that the human body is capable of anything once an individual has found a way to achieve a higher spiritual power. Even though he, himself, was originally motivated by revenge, he still believed, and taught, that Aikido was not about fighting, but, was rather a way to reconcile with the world and make every human being a member of one giant family.
Over the years since its initial birth, Aikido has been introduced in America with amazing results. As mentioned, the actor, Steven Seagal, is by far the most popular image of the art, showing the world the power and harmony of Aikido through his many movies. There are hundreds of martial arts dojos (schools)in North America that train students in Aikido, and probably one somewhere near you.
Not only will Aikido teach you self defense, but it will also teach harmony of spirit and help you find inner peace as well.
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