Aikido is a non-competitive martial art that utilizes throws, joint locks, and pins to counter the force of aggressors. The techniques of Aikido seek to blend and harmonize with the force of an attack and use dynamic movements and positioning to establish control. Through partnered practice, students learn to both apply and receive techniques correctly. Over time, each student will develop the ability to respond more dynamically, deal with more forceful attacks, and develop better overall body and situational awareness.
Benefits of training include increased balance, flexibility and aerobic conditioning, greater self-confidence, and the ability to deal with stressful situations more effectively. Ultimately, training is an encounter with oneself. Aikido students can learn how to apply training principles to life and remain centered in all conditions.
Training in Aikido also involves the use of wooden training weapons (sword, staff, and knife.) Students are able to see the origin of Aikido body movements through the practice of weapons, as well as sharpen their awareness with partnered forms. While practiced separately, ultimately weapons practice seeks to integrate all the aspects from body art practice and drive the student toward a deeper understanding of both themselves and the art. Weapons classes are part of the overall aikido curriculum and not offered as a separate course of training.
The conditioning classes feature a more dynamic workout to help get and keep the body in shape to practice Aikido. While a portion of every Aikido class will be devoted to practice-specific exercises, the conditioning classes focus on strength and movement to help build a strong and flexible body. These classes are meant to challenge the student at their current level of ability and are important for beginners and experienced students alike.
Zazen (seated meditation) is seated, silent meditation. Students are taught the correct posture and method of breath counting. Zazen is practiced as a way to cut through distractions and delusions and see our original nature. With continued effort, meditation can help to bring focus, concentration, and relaxation into our daily lives. Logan Square Aikido is affiliated with Daiyuzenji, a Rinzai Zen Temple in Chicago.