Aikido is a martial art with a focus on controlling an attacker through joint locks and throws rather than punching or kicking. By blending with an attack rather than clashing with a block, Aikidoka use the attacker’s energy against them to neutralize conflict. Even though many of the techniques in Aikido can be used to damage or destroy, the philosophy of Aikido teaches us to only do as much as necessary to resolve a situation. Ideally, both attacker and victim walk away, undamaged. However, Aikido techniques allow the practitioner to escalate the level of response to a determined attack.
Participants in our classes at Five Rings Aikido will start from day one learning how to roll and fall to protect themselves from injury. We start from a kneeling position so that students can learn safely and progress to more advanced falls from there. As a student progresses, their ukemi (falling) will allow them to practice more advanced techniques with their partners.
All of our practice is partner practice in a non-competitive environment where we cooperate with each other to learn techniques. As students progress, they train against increasing resistance and more aggressive attacks.
Students progress at their own pace and rank is awarded according to progress, not just time in class. Intensity of training also depends on the fitness level and ability of each student. If you are out of shape, you start slow. If you are in top condition, you can train harder and faster right away. In either case, you will gain coordination, strength, speed, stamina, increased awareness and martial ability as you continue to train.