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 practice is devoted to the empty-handed pins and throws at the core of Aikido, but we also train with weapons including the sword (bokken & iaito), staff (jo), and knife (tanto). Weapon-based techniques are practiced primarily to refine a practitioner’s body movement, distance, and timing, but they are also training for defense against armed attackers.
The goal with every practice is to learn how to flow with and around attacks and how to avoid countering resistance with more resistance. Proper movements in Aikido 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 there is a choice to use a less destructive technique, like a throw or a pin. A good uke both resists nage’s weak technique and follows nage’s strong technique with good falls (ukemi). Taking good falls means that uke is not injured, that uke can get up off the mat to take a turn as nage, and ultimately that every practice is both safe and productive for everyone.
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 in a society that values the use of “minimal necessary force”. 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 solely to help you improve your technique.
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 Aikido dojo is ukemi – the art of falling and rolling. Ukemi teaches balance and body movement, which is useful even outside the dojo in every day life.
Aikido practice also teaches the practitioner how to drop his or her own ego and relax, even despite an adversary’s resistance. Tensing up is a natural response to aggression, but tensing up (even slightly) precludes many options for resolving a conflict. Fighting an adversary is much easier if you are not fighting yourself at the same time.