Throughout the years of learning and training in martial arts, I have come to learn that self-defense alone is not the only aspect that builds me to be a martial artist. Discipline, balance and coordination, character development and positive mindset are some of the focus that a student learnt through the journey. Martial Arts classes build strong character by the way the classes emphasize good behavior, focus, and respect. And having your child practice good character habits at home and in school helps them in their learning.
Perhaps it is the fact that in training, you are regularly facing challenge and that you are regularly being disciplined. Students will learn to be respectful of the physical wellbeing of others and at the same time learn that with ability comes immense responsibility because the goal is not that of an insecure egotist who feels defined by lots of throphy, or standing briefly on a pedestal, or any other insignificant trivia.
And these should be the focus for your child if you are sending them for a martial arts class. It should not only be on the physical aspects of martial arts, but more so on the aspect of character development.
Aikido practice is as much a character development as well as a physical, mental and spiritual exercise. Regular and continuous practice teaches students to coordinate and unify their minds and bodies so that they remain centered and calm in the face of physical attacks or other forms of aggression. Sustained practice not only improves concentration, self-awareness, and self-confidence, but also provides practitioners with a sense of well-being and a heightened resistance to stress.
The goal of a student learning Aikido is to not be violent. This may seems at first to be paradoxical and self-contradictory. But in this respect, Aikido is perhaps the most unique and beautiful of all the martial arts: it is defensive and non-aggressive both in its philosophy and techniques, yet incredibly versatile and practical.
Aikido students do not try to initiate attacks, win fights or defeat opponents. Instead, they seek to control and neutralize an attack not through sheer physical strength, but rather through flowing circular motions that blend with the energy of an attack and redirect that energy back against the attacker.
Instead of directly controlling an attack, the techniques of Aikido are designed to harmonize with the power and direction of the attack and convert it into a force that will unbalance the attacker and render him or her helpless. Attacks are then neutralized by the use of various wristlocks and arm pins, rather than crippling kicks or blows.
Students learn to eliminate unnecessary physical actions in order to achieve direct and efficient movements including physical strength, awareness, posture, poise, focus and diginity. Once mastered, the efficient and focused movements, translate to the development of the student’s character.
Written By: Erwin Yuhanis (e-Sama)