Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art originated by Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969).
Aikido is one of the most effective forms of self-defence taught today. Its effectiveness is due to the fact that it no set rules, and therefore may be practiced in a realistic way against any attack, with or without weapons. The name Aikido literally means ‘the way of spiritual harmony’ and attempts, through training to achieve perfect balance between mind and body.
As a consequence there is no competition or confrontation but a blending with the opponent, thus making Aikido is suitable for all ages and both sexes as well as creating an effective self-defence system. Technically, Aikido consists of various throwing and pinning techniques as well as related sword (aiki-ken) and spear (aiki-jo) techniques.
Another important feature of Aikido is its versatility; this allows it to be practiced by any student in the form they wish to learn, whether it be as a self-defence system, a means of gaining self-confidence, or just keeping fit. Aikido is unique in that it is totally defensive, it is completely reflexive and related to defence against unprovoked attack.
The popularity of Aikido has grown tremendously in recent years and one can find Aikido schools in almost every corner of the world.
Training is complex; there are a great many skills, techniques, principles and attitudes to be studied and synthesized into a single understanding called Aikido. Traditionally, there exists a step-by-step methodology that will guide the student steadily from the early stages of training to more advanced levels.
Ukemi is the first skill you must learn. It is the skill of falling safely. Ukemi doesn’t mean defeat, rather it is self-protection.
It translates as receive through the body. Uke (the one who receives) plays the attacker in practice and when Nage (the defender), blends and performs a throw, Uke must move with the technique, receive it with his/her body and fall
in such a way as not to be injured. Ukemi is the actual vehicle through which you learn, by receiving the essence of Aikido itself, transmitted from body to body. Ukemi is not the losing end of the Nage’s technique.