“Benefits of Aikido for Older Students” by Judith Robinson

“Aikido is a Japanese martial art using throws and joint locks to immobilize an attacker. The strategy of Aikido is to turn the force of the attack against the attacker. To do this requires training in timing, balance, focus, and leverage. To become proficient in Aikido a student must have perseverance. Natural talent may or may not be an asset. Like other martial arts, Aikido combines physical training with mental and spiritual training, merging mind, body, and spirit.

Watching an Aikido demonstration with its swirling, dance-like movement and seeing attackers thrown into dramatic rolls and falls, one might immediately conclude that above all martial arts, this one is surely for the young. Not so. I myself began to study at the age of 47, after a persuasive conversation with my son, who was training in a college Aikido program at the time. Under the guidance of a wonderful teacher, I have been training for 16 years now, and have discovered for myself the benefits of Aikido for older adults. Please let me share what I have learned.”

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  1. Do = michi, or approximately – way of life. So, if you are alive, you can do it. Of course you’ll do it with the body you bring to the mat. That body can, and probably will, improve with practice, just as the techniques will.

    As we are mortal, some day we will all be called upon to give up our lives. Doing so with class and style is the objective of Japanese budo. If you live, well, it wasn’t your day to die.

    Really a different model from sport, where it is pretty much assumed that competitors are over the hill at 35.

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