Why practitioners love Aikido so much has a lot to do with its lack of competition and its non-violent nature. Some like Aikido’s forms of self defense, but prefer not to fight in a competitive environment. Others suffer from stress or simply want more grip on themselves and the life they lead.
The techniques of Aikido derive from the sword art of the Samurai. Its practice is aimed at collaboration and research, without rivalry or competition. We practice in a safe environment without distinction of weight, age or gender. This has the advantage that young and old can continue to practice at their own pace and level. This way, the dangerous techniques of ancient warriors become accessible to everyone and that knee injury or some extra pounds really doesn’t matter that much.
But let’s face it, Aikido is not some magic trick or panacea either. It takes passion and perseverance to learn it well. Transcending yourself and overcoming your own demons takes time, commitment, sincerity and courage. The level of progress and dedication is up to the student. But with a bit of humor, self-mockery and the right people around you, it’s a wonderful art to do.