LCC Lookout Interview by Brian Wells and Jeremy Kohn (Editor in Cheif)Original Article entitled Harmony & Balance Come Together with Aikido
MSU Spartan Aikido studies Yoshokai Aikido, a form of Japanese Budo. This traditional style of Aikido emphasizes basic form and the relationship between shite & uke, two partners working together to make one fluid movement. Shite studies being on balance. Uke studies being off balance.
The Japanese art of Aikido-literally the way (do) of harmony (ai) with nature or energy (ki) -was developed in the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), a deeply spiritual man who was a gifted and devoted student of the martial arts. While outwardly resembling more popular arts like Judo and Karate, Aikido teaches peaceful resolution of conflict through non-resistance rather than physical strength. Modern Aikido is practiced by men, women, children and senior citizens.
Aikido is actually not a martial art, but a form of Japanese Budo. The traditional Budo arts of Japan are a path for personal growth through mental discipline and physical training which evolved out of the philosophy, lifestyle, and training of the ancient samurai. Although it does not involve sparring or competition of any kind, Aikido’s basis in the fighting techniques of the ancient samurai warrior is apparent in its powerful throws, pins and weapons techniques.
In 1991, eighth-degree black belt Takashi Kushida (pictured left) established his own style of Aikido, adopting the name Aikido Yoshokai. Yosho may be translated as “shining-respect”; kai identifies a particular group or style. The Yoshokai school stresses the philosophical and scientific principles behind Aikido-in particular, Kushida’s emphasis on harmony and conflict resolution as the ultimate goal of Aikido practice. Today, the Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America (AYANA) has an active membership of over 1,000 students nationwide. Akira Kushida has been head instructor of Aikido Yoshokai since Takashi Kushida’s passing on May 10th, 2012.