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Since Aikido redirects the energy in an attack, people of all ages and sizes may become effective aikidoka. Adult Aikido classes are taught through the Experimental College and are open to all. You do not have to be affiliated with UCD to attend. Weapons classes require permission of the instructor. Children's classes are open to kids 6-17. Exceptions are made to the age limit. Ask permisson of the instructor.
What is Aikido?
Aikido is a Japanese martial art founded by Ueshiba Morihei, reverently known as O' Sensei (pictured at right). The kanji characters comprising Aikido (Ai harmony - Ki energy of the universe - Do way or spiritual path) can be translated as "the way of spiritual harmony". Aikido does not teach defeating or "beating" an opponent. Instead, the student learns to neutralize aggressive energy by blending and merging with the energy of an attacker. Weapons work also constitutes part of Aikido training. More advanced students practice with boken (wooden sword) and jo (staff) before graduating to Iaido, the art of drawing the steel sword.
Why do we train?
". . . we need first of all to have a clear conscience. Let us not think that because we are less brutal, less violent, less inhuman than our opponents we will carry the day. Brutality, violence, and inhumanity have an immense prestige that schoolbooks hide from children, that grown men do not admit, but that everyone bows before. For the opposite virtues to have as much prestige, they must be actively and constantly put into practice. Anyone who is merely incapable of being as brutal, as violent, and as inhuman as someone else, but who does not practice the opposite virtues, is inferior to that person in both inner strength and prestige, and . . . will not hold out in . . . a confrontation."
--Simone Weil, 1939