Sport of the Month: Aikido
Physical strength, peace of mind, spirituality or just the ability to take some one down, whatever it is you're looking for in a sport Aikido is likely to be the answer.
A martial art in which you are ultimately looking for peace might not sound like it makes much sense, but although you'll be learning punches and kicks you'll also be learning how to use peoples energy against them to gain control of a situation.
Aikido requires not just physical fitness but also emphasises mental training including the importance of relaxation; this means that you don't have to worry about being super fit if you want to try it out as its a great way to improve your health and challenge yourself to learning a new skill.
Aikido techniques are usually a defense against an attack; therefore, to practice aikido with their partner, students must learn to deliver various types of attacks. Although attacks are not studied as thoroughly as in striking-based arts, "honest" attacks (a strong strike or an immobilizing grab) are needed to study correct and effective application of technique.
Many of the strikes of aikido are often said to resemble cuts from a sword or other grasped object, which may suggest origins in techniques intended for armed combat. Other techniques, which appear to explicitly be punches, are also practiced as thrusts with a knife or sword.
Some basic strikes include:
- Front of the head strike
- Side of the head strike
- Chest thrust
- Face thrust
- Single hand grab
- Both-hands grab
- Shoulder grab
- Chest grab