“A vision begins with intuition and dreaming, a cohesive image of an ideal to strive for. Ueshiba Sensei’s vision resulted in the creation of Aikido as a path to universal harmony and world peace. It is hoped that the maxim of ‘Aikido without boundaries’ will promote greater unity and strength amongst all aikidoka, thus encouraging Ueshiba Sensei’s dream to be realised.”
The foregoing is an excerpt from Michael Williams’ Aikido Yuishinkai Student Handbook and a reminder of why we practice Aikido.
The late Master Gozo Shioda, founder of the Yoshinkan style of Aikido, is famous for saying that ‘Aikido is for everyone’. And indeed it is! Men and women of all ages, size and fitness levels practice Aikido for a variety of reasons including health, self defence, balance, concentration, friendship and more.
From our own experience with martial arts in Brisbane, we know that females and older people are attracted to Aikido because there are no competitions. With no reliance on size or physical strength, a high level of competence in aikido can be achieved by men and women alike.
With few exceptions, Aikido is not a boy’s club, mainly because Aikido is the universal art of peace. The ultimate aim of Aikido is not to fight or even to compete. It is to blend together mind, body and spirit into one.
As O Sensei said, “Your spirit is the true shield.”
The regimen of Aikido is simple. Through regular practice, we aim to improve ourselves with the help of our Ukes (training partners). We practice together at our own pace, trying not to compete with or out-do each other, but to constantly strive for improvement in technique.