Basic Aikido [a Japanese Martial Art] is now being taught in the City of Hamilton by Peter Aldrich at the Lotus Yoga Studio on Victoria Street.
Mr Aldrich [pictured below] said, “We used to have a few popular lunch time classes at the main dojo [school] at Cobbs Hill [Bermuda Aikikai] but it was a little stressful to get there and back in time for work.
“Having a class in town gives students an opportunity to continue their training in Hamilton and also allows us to expose a wider cross section of people to the benefits of aikido”.
So what exactly is aikido? Composed of three Japanese characters: Ai, meaning harmony; Ki, spirit or energy; and Do, the path or the way, the word Aikido thus signifies the “Way of Unifying Life Energy”.
Aikido is more than the study of physical techniques; proper etiquette, attitude and behavior are also stressed. The basic movements of Aikido are circular in nature.
The Aikidoist trains to harmonize with, rather than confront an aggressive line of force and converts it into a circular motion that renders attackers helpless.
Aikido is not a sport and hence there are no competitive tournaments. Rather, by cooperative training, the Aikidoist betters oneself without belittling others, without the intention of harm or fear of injury.
As traditional Japanese budo, Aikido maintains the qualities of martial spirit, effective technique and intense training. There is also a premise of mutual respect and caring, and the important balance between attacker and defender.
Peter Aldrich [3rd degree black belt] is a dedicated student of Collins Smith Sensei [6th dan] and also teaches at Bermuda Aikikai. Mr Aldrich has travelled extensively in his study of aikido and frequently travels to Japan to train at the international world headquarters of aikido in Toyko.
For more information, contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org or look for Sazanami Aikikai on Facebook.
- Photos by John Manderson
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