No Fall Aikido
For many years, seniors have participated in our regular program and merely adjusted the practice to fit their abilities. Aikido as a martial art is known
for its joint locks, throws and pins in defense against multiple attackers. While the techniques are rigorous for the young, they
can be adjusted for the elderly. The style of Aikido we practice is specifically designed to be practiced without the throws, the
most challenging aspect for seniors. At the same time, the training will be effective for self defense, improve strength and flexibility,
circulation, and general health as well as overall attitude.
You can earn your black belt in your later years and fend off the feeling that you are weak and vulnerable.
The mental discipline of martial arts training is
widely known, and Aikido is no exception. Further, no one but the elderly know so well the importance of remaining calm in the face
of challenges to get the best result, and training in Aikido targets precisely that result.
If one is concerned that Aikido practice may be too strenuous at first, our Tai Chi class is an excellent starting point.
Approval from your doctor for specific health issues is recommended.
Tai Chi for Health and Self Defense
Many people came to my teacher looking for improvements in their health through tai chi practice. In fact, I did as well. He would frequently tell people that if you want to improve your health through tai chi, study it for self-defense. Then your health would improve. I certainly found this to be true for myself. The point is to study the movements for their function, their purpose. Then you can investigate and understand them in depth. By studying the principles, you can learn to relax the body and allow the natural healing mechanisms to operate in full. However, by worrying about one’s health, the stress interferes with the healing process. Depending upon your medical condition, consultation with your doctor, whether western or Chinese medicine, may be your best place to start. However, tai chi is a wonderful form of exercise to improve balance, strengthen the legs and joints, improve energy levels and calm the mind.
In tai chi practice, one practices solo forms slowly to investigate principles. The form itself do not teach self-defense. They teach skills that you can master by meditative investigation as you practice. In the absence of any pressure from an attacker, you can study how to root to the ground. Then you study how to connect your body from feet to hands so it functions as a single unit. Then the body can receive the power of the attack and release it without sustaining any damage. You learn to control the attackers force and defend yourself with minimal harm. After studying the 108 move yang form, other forms such as Shaolin Kung Fu show how to use physical force and ultimately marry the physical force with the mind force of the tai chi forms. Then the practice of push hands competition can be used to test ones understanding of the forms. For those interested in extensive study of partner practices in self-defense, the aikido system engages in partner practice as self-defense exclusively.