About Aikido

What is Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial Art that stresses self defense by harmonizing with an attack and controlling the attacker by joint locks or their own momentum. Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba in the mid 1930's. He is known as O'Sensei, or great teacher. He had mastered several martial arts in his youth and had a very strong spiritual side as well. O'Sensei had a realization that his martial art was not about fighting and winning, but that it was about love and harmony. Thus, Aikido was born.

The three characters (or kanji) representing aikido are translated as follows:

  • Ai - Means harmony
  • Ki - Means energy or spirit, either your own, or the world's collective energy
  • Do - Means the way or the approach to training that includes learning the physical movements as well as developing your whole self.

Thus, Aikido can be defined as the way of learning to harmonize with the environment we live in. In the self defense context it means not fighting with an opponent or resisting an attack. This is what sets Aikido apart from other martial arts and self defense systems. The concept of accepting an attack and dealing with it without fighting is unique. It also is counter to our very basic "fight or flight" response. Thus, a large part of deeper Aikido training is to learn to be calm and relaxed and to be aware and alert to what is happening around you. The other aspect of training is to learn the basic physical techniques and movements to respond to any kind of attack.

This combined approach develops your entire being, not just your physical side. Aikido is effective for self defense, but more importantly we learn how to deal with the stresses and pressures of daily life. Being relaxed and calm minimizes the tension, conflicts and anger that occur every day of our lives.

Aikido does not have contests and does not require just physical strength. Thus, it is suitable for men, women and children of all ages. Aikido practice provides healthy exercise by natural and relaxed body movements; creates self awareness of our own bodies as well as mental calmness and alertness to our surroundings; increases self confidence; and is an effective way to defend oneself

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a non-competitive martial art from Japan that emphasizes mind/body integration. Learn more by clicking on the About Aikido button. Learn more about Shiohira Sensei by clicking on his button.

Who can study Aikido?

Men and women of all ages can study Aikido, regardless of physical skill or previous experience in athletics or other martial arts. Training is always self-paced, and for the most part all ranks train together, with the more experienced Aikidoists helping the newer students. We also offer Children's classes. They can start as young as 7.

Why do people study Aikido?

Aikido is never competitive, so the training is purely for personal development. Aikido is vigorous, weight-bearing exercise that improves your strength, coordination, balance and your overall health. The training also helps you develop alertness and a calm mind. Most people find that regular training reduces stress levels significantly. Training in taking safe falls, rolling and reducing impact has prevented severe injury in accidents of everyday life for many students. The most important reason to study Aikido, however, is to enjoy it!

The dojo is located in Mendocino, California. We currently offer classes in Aikido on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 PM and Saturdays from 10:00 to 11:30 AM. Visitors are welcome. Please call first just to check changing times of classes due to daylight and Covid-19 safe practice