Aikido is one of the oldest types of martial arts. Established by Morihei Ueshiba, aikido was derived through the studies of a lot of different kinds of traditional martial arts. As a matter of fact, it is often perceived as a kind of exercise or a dance because of a few of its forms. It's also regarded by some quarters as some form of martial mesmerism.
Aikido is even jumbled with Daito Ryu Aikijutsu, it is dissimilar in its essence. Its founder attributed his conception of aikido to the way, his master Sokaku Takeda, grandmaster of Daito Ryu, opened up his eyes to the nature of Budo.
What is aikido?
Despite its numerous perceived forms, aikido is a Budo or martial arts. It is the elaboration of the techniques that are being instructed in traditional martial arts and is combined with a philosophical system that calls on for the power of the spirit. In its sum, it is a merging of the body and the mind.
Its philosophy is essentially gained from the belief that deceptions and chicanery or brutish force won't make us overcome our opponents. Alternatively, concentration that calls for the spirit will be adequate to strengthen us.
Aikido is also utilized as a way to bring out our true paths so that we can grow our individualism. It also instructs its practicians to merge their body and their mind so that they will get in harmony with the "universe" and with nature. Their power and their effectiveness will come from this balance and harmony.
The word "universe" in aikido isn't some vague concept that one cannot achieve. It is in reality quite concrete and is even within the reach of the person. In aikido, "universe" can be attained through real experiences and day-to-day life.
Aikido's motions and methods are circular. When a circle is made in aikido, the individual is said to be protected from a hit from an opposing force. A strong center, however, is needed to produce this circle. An illustration of a firm circle is a spinning top that rotates at a fast speed. Without a steady center, the speed of movement will only create instability. The stillness of the spinning top while in speeding motion is what is known as sumikiri in Aikido language. This is accomplished only by what Aikido founder calls "absolute clarity of mind and body." However, this is not so easily attained. It requires a long time of study and practice session in order to find this intense concentration and centeredness.
Training is significant in aikido as well as concentration because while it might be easy to create a centralized being when within a martial arts gym, the same can't be said of situations and conditions outside. It will not be easy to keep one's calmness when faced with extraordinary conditions. This is actually among the goals of Aikido training. It aims to teach its practitioners to uphold their composure and their centeredness even in panic situations such as peril and tragedies.
One technique learned in aikido is to breathe with what is known as the seika tanden point. This is the part of the body that can be located two inches below the navel. Moderated breathing is one key to becoming one with the universe and to center oneself with nature. When an individual learns to do this, he or she will feel extraordinary calmness that they can use in the practice of aikido.