Martial arts makes you feel good
Martial arts training doesn’t have to be painful.
Aikido is a martial art that teaches students to defend themselves against attack without causing pain or injury to their adversaries. Founded by Morihei Ueshiba in Japan in the 1930s, aikido derives from the more violent martial art of Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu.
Mark Dulyanai, instructor at Blue Lakes Aikido in South Lake Tahoe, said aikido is an effective means to resolve violent conflict through nonviolent means.
“It is a philosophy where, as a defender, you have a responsibility to protect and care for your attacker,” Dulyanai said. “You are working with the partner as opposed to working force against force.”
The basic tactics of aikido involve blocks and throws using the other person’s momentum. Dulyanai said aikido sends a good message about solving conflicts peacefully.
“With the Western mind if you have a force up against you, you meet it with more force,” Dulyanai said. “With aikido you meet it by turning it and letting it go by and directing it into a throw. In our society there is a lot of violence. Aikido is a way of looking at violence coming at you and dealing with it. You don’t have to respond to confrontation with violence.”
Aikido, like other martial arts, requires a high level of mental discipline. Dulyanai said it attracts people who are looking for balance between their physical and mental nature.
Blue Lakes student Nico Castano said he enjoys the combination of physical activity and positive message.
“It is a martial art so you’re getting a lot of exercise but it is also philosophically nonviolent, which agreed with me,” Castano said. “I feel like it slowly affects how people live their lives. People fill themselves up with love and then they can take it home to their families. For me aikido is really about self-expression.”
Dulyanai said aikido helps people learn to avoid conflict before it starts.
“The really important part is observing what is going on from an objective state of mind and orienting yourself to your situation, deciding on what to do and then doing it,” Dulyanai said. “For self-defense your first line of defense is observing what is going on around you. With awareness going into a situation almost any confrontation is going to be nipped in the bud.”
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