Aggieland Aikido strives to provide enjoyable, engaging, and enlightening instruction in Aikido for those in the Bryan/College Station area. We aim to create a friendly place for serious training.
The bulk of each class is devoted to the empty-handed pins and throws at the core of Aikido, but we also train with weapons including the knife (tanto), staff (jo), and sword (bokken & iaito). Weapon-based Aikido techniques are introduced sparingly to refine body movement, distance, and timing for the empty-handed Aikido techniques. The weapon-based training also includes how to apply Aikido in situations where you are unarmed against an armed attacker.
The goal with every practice is to learn how to flow around attacks and not counter resistance with more resistance. Instead, proper movements should place the attacker (uke) off balance and the defender (nage) in a safe, advantageous position. There is a recognition of where strikes could be used, but then we choose to practice a more peaceful throw or pin. The initial attacker properly resists weak technique and follows strong technique with good falls (ukemi) to avoid injury.
All levels of martial arts experience are welcome, and all practices are open to new students. No previous experience is needed to join.
Aikido, founded by Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in the 1920s, is a Japanese martial art that harmonizes with the motion of an attacker in order to redirect the attack. O-Sensei saw the practice of Aikido as a way to develop one’s own character and foster a path of peace in the world. Aikido techniques offer an alternative to more destructive martial arts techniques, which is very relevant when “minimal necessary force” is desirable. Aside from one-on-one empty-handed techniques, Aikido teaches potential responses to armed attackers and to situations with multiple attackers.
The vast majority of techniques in Aikido are practiced as partner drills, with an emphasis on respecting and not injuring your partner. There is no competition in Aikido. Your partner is not an adversary to overcome by any means necessary; your partner is there to help you learn proper form.
In order for one partner (nage) to practice throwing correctly, the other partner (uke) must know how to fall correctly without injury. Thus the first thing taught at any dojo is ukemi, the art of falling and rolling. Ukemi teaches balance and ways to avoid injury when falling, which many Aikido practitioners find surprisingly useful in everyday life.
The practice of Aikido also teaches how to drop your own ego and relax in spite of an adversary’s resistance. The natural response to aggression is tensing up, but this locks out many options. Fighting an adversary is much easier if you are not fighting yourself at the same time.