What is Aikido?

I am asked this question often, any time someone new meets me, or a friend finds out that I do Aikido.
Every time I am asked this question I have a great and frustrating internal struggle.
When I start thinking about Aikido, I get excited, and so many things come into my mind about how cool this is or what that little thing can do, and what this technique can do, and many, many other feelings.
Then I have to stop, and remember that this person has no idea what I would be talking about, and I then revert to the ‘pre-recorded’ canned answer — “Well, Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art that uses an opponent’s own force against them, it all started back in….. some history… and thats what Aikido is. “ — and they all respond with “oh, ok, that sounds neat”

The thing is, when talking about something you are very passionate about, you want some of that passion to leak through your expressions, and your mannerisms, but you don’t want to blow the other person away with information, or excitement, as it might turn them away. You have to temper yourself, and slow down, and try to explain it in a way they understand, and they know you are passionate about it, but not overdoing it. They may not understand how you can be so excited over something that to them seems kind of boring.

The truth is, to the uneducated, Aikido IS boring! Especially when compared to those “cool” martial arts like Kung Fu, and Karate, and MMA. Those guys in cages beat each other to a pulp with a crowd of cheering people egging them on. Now THAT’S entertainment!

What does Aikido have?
Well, if you move slightly to the left, the other guy will fall down.
Seems pretty boring, if you don’t understand what is happening.
Needless to say its not a spectator sport, but what people don’t see is that the physics for this to work is SO much cooler than some guy landing a punch on another guy. At least I think it is.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that I wish that somehow when someone asks me what Aikido is, I could say more than the canned answer, I wish I could show them not just what it is, but how it works, then maybe they would understand the excitement hidden behind my eyes.

What is Aikido?

Its Awesome, that’s what. Let me show you.

-Nathan

Incidentally, if you would like to read an actual History of Aikido, this is a very good one on Windsong Dojo’s site here:
http://www.windsongdojo.com/aikido/history-of-aikido/

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