Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Aikido: The Way of Harmony & Growth

This article was written by Llewellyn
posted under Health & Healing

Founded in the first half of the twentieth century, Aikido is one of the most graceful of the many martial arts that have arisen over the centuries in Japan. Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was a master of several other martial arts, including Judo and swordsmanship. In founding and developing Aikido, he sought to create an art in which conflict is resolved without harm to either recipient or attacker. His name for his new martial art, Aikido, translates as “The Way of Love and Harmony.”

Aikido is uniquely suited to the goal of self-development. Along with Tai Chi Chuan, Aikido is considered to be one of the principal “soft” style, or defensive, martial arts. Aikido promotes self-awareness and blending with one’s opponents, and de-emphasizes competition and aggressive conflict. The goal in Aikido techniques is to meet and harmonize with an attacker’s energy, leading the attacker’s ki in such a way that neither person is harmed.

Aikido for Self-Discovery is filled with practical self-study exercises and the concepts behind the practices, told in both stories and explanatory text. In the following excerpt, author Stan Wrobel, Ph.D., discusses means of developing self-awareness that are central in the practice of Aikido.

Beginner’s Mind
Art is not restricted to any one form of expression. There are many tools that can be used for self-exploration and expression. Aikido is one such tool.

Aikido is a martial art that relies upon harmonious movements and minimal muscular effort to resolve conflicts. It challenges our perceptions of strength and power to learn new ways of leveraging relationships to understand and resolve confrontations.

Through the opportunities it presents in its interactions with others, whether opponents or partners, it offers a reflective mirror to examine oneself. It is a tool that creates situations by which we make use of something external to help us look inward in order to find ourselves. Our expression of what we find along the way will then become the reward of the effort and adventure. The practice of the art becomes our initiation rite into our maturation towards expressing our true selves.

Aikido is the way of harmony. For some, it is the blending of their physical body with the force of an attack as they practice Aikido as a martial art. Yet Aikido is also the handshake by which we engage others in every interaction of our lives. It is the rapport we establish in negotiations and in our communications. It is the patience or pacing that we establish as we dance the tango, encircle each other in a wrestling match, or move in a rhythmic embrace with our lover.

Aikido has its techniques. They are the means by which we learn to view ourselves—and by which we try to preserve our integrity—in relation to our interaction with others and with the universe. They are the means by which we examine our own constitution, whether physical, bio-mechanical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual. They are the two-way mirrors that allow us to see through to our opponent while at the same time allowing us to observe our own behavior, intent, and attention in the interaction.

Process & Test
Aikido is about process. Preconceived notions of goals or outcomes of endeavors can detract from the act and the art of living. The outcome of an interaction with an opponent can be reconciliatory, supportive, or violent. It can raise the emotional energy of your being or it can provide you with a pervading sense of calm and peaceful resolution. Between the beginning and the end, there is life, there are observations, there are experiences, and there are lessons. After the beginning there is a flow in which we experience life with all of its opportunities.

Aikido has its tests, whether formally given by the teaching committee or informally experienced during regular practice and in how we apply our learning when we leave the training hall. As we engage the unscripted, multiple attack of randori—simultaneous attack by multiple partners—we can demonstrate our abilities to weave through multiple challenges, preserving our image of self, projecting our emotional, spiritual, and physical maturity, and living in moment after moment, and thus, experiencing the flow.

And, as part of the flow, while observing, sensing, learning, practicing, experiencing, we seek to accrue benefits that come with the revelation of personal attributes that are closer and closer to those represented by our true being, our true essence. In this sense, our practice of a martial art, as a way of self-defense, is a way of harmonizing the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects within ourselves. With such harmonization, a peaceful union with others and with our environment becomes more probable. Our practice of such an art is a way of revealing to ourselves fine and clearer representations of who we truly are.


Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

The Natural Psychic is a new look at a popular metaphysical topic. In this book I am taking a refreshingly clear and practical study of a topic that is often confusing and misrepresented. The goal I have for this book is to make the subject much more user friendly, smarter, and fun for the reader. I will accomplish this with solid, clear... read this article
The 5 Most Common Recurring Dreams
5 Ways to Heal with the Wheel of the Year
5 Simple and Instant Creativity Boosts
Reading Tarot Cards: Divining Our Life Path
Ghost-Hunting at the Old Charleston Jail

Most recent posts:
The Soul Needs Time
Nancy Antenucci’s book Psychic Tarot is filled with great ways to enhance your connection to the cards and to spirit. It is also filled with...

The Art of Changing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tiffany Lazic, author of the new The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the...

Using Imagery for Manifestation
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Harris, author of the new 99 Keys to a Creative Life. I hope this writing finds you in a...





Where You End Where You End
By: Anna Pellicioli
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
The Natural Psychic The Natural Psychic
Ellen Dugan's Personal Guide to the Psychic Realm

By: Ellen Dugan
Price: $16.99 US,  $19.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Secret of the Sevens Secret of the Sevens
By: Lynn Lindquist
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Lughnasadh Lughnasadh
Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Lammas

By: Llewellyn, Melanie Marquis
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN