Are you curious about Aikido, or do you want to find out more?
Community Aikikai and the New Jersey Center for Healthy Living are hosting two free demonstrations: April 10 and April 12 at the Center 292 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair.
Observe this fascinating martial art up close, then listen to a brief talk followed by a Q & A. Finally, those who wish, may participate in an informal class in street clothes.
Scheduled classes begin on Monday, April 13.
For Further Details on demonstrations & classes, click here.
The initial course is INTRODUCTION TO AIKIDO MOVEMENT.
Fundamental posture, footwork, breathing and positioning will be covered. Students will learn how to safely apply and receive basic techniques. At first, there will be no throwing or falling, only balancing and safe immobilization. Emphasis on relaxation and centering as a response to aggression, rather than fear or rigidity. Students practice in comfortable street clothes and sneakers. No special experience or degree of physical fitness is required.
Classes are held on a drop-in basis. You need not attend each class because the same fundamental principles are covered in every class. An important feature of all classes is that they are conducted in an anxiety-free atmosphere so maximum learning can take place.
Aikido practice is a partner practice; it is a collaborative experience. Partners alternate as “attacker” and “defender” and help each other to advance. We are trying to prove the hypothesis that gentle, flexible, energy-efficient movement is effective and we need each other to do this. It is not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. In our physically confrontational practice scenarios, only one partner is fighting. The other is reconciling, and that is perhaps the most important piece.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? — INSIGHT AND EXERCISE
It’s easy to feel relaxed and capable on a warm, sunny day when everything is going smoothly. On an inhospitable, dark and stressful day, not so much. Wouldn’t I like to prepare a place inside myself from which I could feel and act with relaxed intention no matter what the weather or the environment presented? A no-brainer!
And what about securing my personal space? Am I comfortable in my own skin? The best solution would be to develop my centeredness and self-control and to feel the freedom of positive self-expression.
- Aikido is a holistic martial art that I practice for this purpose. It has multiple benefits:
- I learn about myself and I learn how to express myself in accordance with my highest values.
- I learn how to harmonize my centers and to communicate harmony to my practice partner.
- I get plenty of physical exercise without being brutalized.
- And throughout all of this, as I am practicing and developing mindfulness, and my inner and outer functioning become more effective.
Aikido is NOT fighting. Aikido is NOT FIGHTING.
The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, known as O’Sensei, created his martial art-form from traditional sources. He was often challenged but never defeated. Halfway through his life, he had a deeply transformative spiritual experience, after which he dedicated his life and his art to promoting peace in the world.
Aikido became a (meta)physical metaphor for reconciling human dysfunction using laws of nature in a compassionate framework. Recognizing that our “opponents” are connected to our own being and that violence has ignorance and fear at its core, we meet aggression without resistance and guide the misguided disturbance of the peace into a peaceful resolution. We are beating swords into plowshares.
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
Law enforcement personnel, doctors and musicians all need training to be effective and do as little harm as possible. Similarly, those of us who train in Aikido, the Art of Peace, need practice in promoting peace.
Repeated Aikido practice affects your whole being. If you have peace in your heart, if you think peace is the intelligent person’s solution, if you enjoy balance, movement, centeredness and creativity, you should investigate Aikido: the Art of Peace.
WHAT’S THE PAYOFF?
Everything gets better. Every-body gets better: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual vitality. A community of like-minded people. An atmosphere of civility and peace. Not bad for a martial art.
Practicing Aikido is like living the meaning of Namaste. And, heaven forbid, you are ever in a tense situation, you are more likely to have the presence of mind and the physical flexibility to make the best of it with your principles intact.
The older one is the instructor.
ROBERT FRIEDMAN, LCSW, A 35-year Montclair resident has been teaching Aikido for twelve years at Aikido Centers of New Jersey in Morristown and East Hanover. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working in three Northern New Jersey nursing homes and holds multiple black belts from Aikido World Headquarters, the Aikikai Foundation and Aikido Centers of New Jersey.
PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR DETAILS OF THE DEMONSTRATION AND THE SCHEDULED CLASSES, BEGINNING APRIL 13.