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About Aikido at Atlantic Martial Arts

Aikido is an effective martial art popularized in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Steven Seagal. Seagal Sensei is not just an action movie star, but a true 7th degree black belt in traditional Aikido. The moves used in several of his movies are still learned by Aikido students around the world today.

Aikido is a reflexive martial art that emphasizes blending with the force an attack and utilizing that force against the attacker instead of colliding with the force in an effort to block it. Aikido is effective for men and women of all ages and abilities because it does not rely on brute strength or striking power. Instead Aikido incorporates balanced, coordinated movements to employ the full bodyweight of the practioner in each motion, instead of just the strength of a limb.

Aikido practice improves physical reaction, perception, and agility. It also a good way to improve activity levels and become healthier and more physically fit. Students perform specialized stretching exercises to improve physical and functional coordination. Aikido classes also include education on how to fall safely. This knowledge can be vital to any individual's personal safety on a daily basis.

Unlike Karate, Kung Fu or other striking martial arts, Aikido is a softer style that does not teach hard striking techniques resulting from quick snapping motions of the limbs. Instead, striking comes from utilizing the entire body in harmony. Instead of attemping to match strength with strength or size with size, the Aikido practioner employs his or her skills to manipulate the attacker's joints, thereby requiring less strength and force to control a larger and stronger opponent.

Because Aikido is a softer style and practiced in a non-competitive atmosphere, it is enjoyed by a wide range of individuals from children to adults well into their 70s and 80s. Aikido is a graceful, flowing art that emphasizes circular movements as well as linear ones. Proper footwork and posture is essential to practice of Aikido.

Aikido encourages non-violence and is practiced in a safe, yet realistic atmosphere. The Shodokan or Japan Aikido Association style of Aikido practiced at Atlantic Martial Arts is a so-called "Tomiki" style, because it follows the adaptations made by Kenji Tomiki. Techniques are well-organized in the curriculum and students are encouraged to practice in a manner that ensures realism without being overly competitive.

Professor Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) established Aikido after studying several ancient styles of Japanese Bujutsu (warrior arts). He combined the practical movement from these arts, and developed a new philosophy, emphasizing mind-body coordination.

Later one of his most outstanding students, Professor Kenji Tomiki (1900-1979) added further modification, resulting in a fast, mobile form of combat.

Professor Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) created the art of Judo from ancient Ju-Jitsu by adding a form of safe competition. Judo is known primarily as a throwing and grappling martial art. It is extremely effective in close-range situations and should be considered an important part of Aikido training.

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