How can a martial art be non-violent? This is the paradox at the heart of the Japanese martial art of aikido, translated ‘art of harmony’.
Aikido draws on techniques from the samurai tradition of fighting with sword and spear and grappling in armour. It offers a way to understand conflict by entering into an attack and using timing and co-ordination to redirect its force. By engaging in this way with an opponent, a skilled defender can unbalance and then throw or restrain him/her without relying on brute force.
Regular training in aikido develops good posture, relaxation, flexibility, and centred movement. On a deeper level, however, it promotes concentration and focus, and helps to overcome fear and aggression. There are no competitions, and men and women of all sizes and physical conditions can practise safely together. Beginners’ classes are suitable for all levels of fitness, while more advanced training can be very dynamic with a lot of physical intensity.
Atlantic Aikido will run a six-week beginners’ course on Mondays from 7.30pm to 9pm, starting on Monday May 12 in St Joseph’s Community Centre, Ashe Road, Shantalla. Classes are open to adults aged 16 and over. The cost is €48 for six weeks (includes €8 for annual insurance ).Contact [email protected] or 086 352 2142 for more details and to register. For more information, see www.atlanticaikido.com