These questions and answers are excerpts from the Aikido World Alliance website. Please visit their website for more information.
What is the purpose of studying Aikido?
Many study Aikido for physical fitness, self-defense, self-control, self-confidence, or to participate in an aspect of Japanese culture. Ultimately, the study of Aikido or Japanese martial arts in general is to develop a person of strong spirit or character.
Is it difficult or painful to learn?
In the beginning stages of your training we try to present the material in
a logic manner but as with everything it depends on the individual and the amount of time you spend practicing. No matter what type of physical activity you engage in there will be some type of “pain” involved. But remember safety is priority number one during class at all times.
Can Aikido be used for self-defense?
Yes, Aikido can be a very effective form of self-defense. However, it can take considerable time and effort before Aikido, or any other martial art can be used effectively in a self-defense situation.
Will I participate in toumaments?
Aikido is not a tournament martial art. It focuses more on the self-defense aspect of the martial arts as opposed to the sporting aspect. Please keep in mind these are two very different aspects of training.
Does Aikido take longer time to master and apply than other martial arts?
The simple answer is “yes”. A year in Karate / Tae Kwon Do / Kempo and you can probably fight much better than before. It takes well over a year before you start feeling comfortable enough with Aikido techniques to imagine using them in a “real life situation”. The complex answer is “no” in the sense that one should never feel like they have “mastered” an art. If they do then they’ve stopped growing. Martial arts is a way of life.
AWA Test Requirements