Aikido Spirit

The Relaxed Martial Art
Traditionally, martial art systems were created as​ a​ documented practice of​ training for combat mode in​ the ancient eras .​
Naturally, its modern day applications are primarily for self-defense, exercise and physical fitness .​
One form of​ martial arts however stands out from the rest in​ the sense that it​ espouses a​ relaxed way of​ life over cunning and physical strength.
At the heart of​ it, the Aikido spirit is​ about cultivating relaxation and a​ serenity throughout everyday life to​ be able to​ harness this virtue in​ actual physical combat .​
Aikido is​ actually a​ modern Japanese martial art and the Aikido spirit continues to​ live on today years after it​ was developed by Morihei Eushiba between 1920 to​ 1960 .​
Noteworthy about this particular martial art is​ that the Aikido spirit is​ cultivated within its students so that there is​ a​ spiritual and philosophical development that happens; which in​ turn becomes the basis of​ the combative art .​
Modern day students of​ Aikido testify that they bring the Aikido spirit with them throughout ordinary mundane activities, forming a​ bridge between principles of​ how to​ tackle everyday life and combat moves on the training mat.
This spiritual and philosophical basis of​ the Aikido spirit that cultivates relaxation and the peaceful control of​ aggression, is​ attributed to​ the founder's background in​ Omoto-kyo religion .​
Omoto-kyo is​ a​ modern Japanese religion, which is​ said to​ be an​ offshoot of​ Shintoism .​
Omoto-kyo followers believe in​ beautifying the world with art because they believe that art brings humans closer to​ the divine .​
Aside from this however, the Omoto-kyo followers are pacifists who espouse peace over war .​
This is​ the parallel between Omoto-kyo and Aikido .​
That is​ why the Aikido spirit is​ often paradoxically referred to​ as​ the art of​ peace .​
One may wonder about the sanity behind the fact that a​ martial art which was in​ all intentions created for combat and winning over the enemy can indeed to​ be claim to​ the art of​ peace .​
For all intents and purposes however, the philosophical and spiritual foundation of​ Aikido is​ about maintaining a​ constant state of​ relaxation .​
It is​ in​ this relaxed state that the Aikido practitioner is​ able to​ perform difficult throws and maneuvers as​ taught by the martial art .​
The relaxed state can be attributed to​ a​ deep unshakable peace free of​ aggression .​
The concept is​ that when we are tense and not relaxed, we needlessly waste energy on aggression and force .​
By going with the flow and not being afraid of​ what can or​ cannot happen to​ us, we cultivate a​ peace with a​ relaxed demeanor as​ its direct consequence.
The Aikido spirit aims to​ cultivate a​ mental discipline, develop character and self-confidence with the end goal of​ being able to​ maintain peace and relaxation .​
It believes that in​ peace can one realize true power: The power to​ spread peace further and the strength to​ be able to​ withstand the onslaught of​ everyday situations .​
The basics in​ passing on the Aikido spirit can be done through practical applications that clearly show that a​ relaxed demeanor is​ more effective than an​ aggressive one .​
One such physical example is​ the exercise of​ trying to​ cause someone to​ lose their balance .​
To be able to​ topple off an​ opponent usually means that we should be physically stronger and in​ some cases larger so that superior physical strength through muscle contraction is​ the traditional measure of​ victory .​

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