Aikido is a martial art that originated in Japan. (See below for
Kokyu is Japanese for "Breath."
Way of Harmony is Aikido incorporating Breath.
If you don't breath, you can't practice.
Every class begins with a warmup, and is followed by rolling
We then work on Aikido techniques. Many of these involve throws and joint locks.
We also work on the practical applications of Aikido in daily life.
Beginners are taught at their own pace. More advanced students are challenged to push beyond their boundaries.
Everyone has fun.
by Mark Binder
Instructor, Way of Harmony
Aikido means "The way of harmony with the energy of the universe." At the same time, it is also known as the martial art for peace. It is a highly engaging combination of physical movement, self-defense and philosophy.
Rule Number 1: Don't get hurt
Rule Number 2: Don't hurt anyone else...
Whenever we teach a beginning Aikido class, we begin with those two rules. Aside from getting a laugh, they very clearly define our studio's priorities. Aikido goes beyond self-defense. It is about protection -- protecting yourself and protecting others, including your "attackers."
How can you do that with a martial art? Practice. Aikido's roots are in Jujitsu and Japanese swordsmanship. Like Judo, we throw people using an opponents weight and momentum. We learn in partnership. Half the time you'll be the attacker (uke) and the other half (as nage) you'll practice the technique. Both halves are important. When you throw or practice a joint lock, you learn how to deal with agression and opposition. When you are thrown, you learn how to deal with the unexpected.
Click Here for more about Aikido Philosophy
Click Here to read Mark Binder's Essay "What the Heck is Aikido" on the Whole Foods Magazine Website
Every Aikido class begins with stretching. In most classes we practice ukemi, the art of rolling and falling. Then we work on one or more techniques. Elements of Aikido classes focus less on the rolling and throwing aspects of Aikido and more on the ideas and concepts. Our Aerobic Aikido classes are designed to get students a vigorous workout. In all classes safety is emphasized. Classes typically conclude with a few minutes of individual or partnered meditation.
All classes will be taught by Mark Binder, chief instructor of Way of Harmony. Mr. Binder holds a third degree black belt in Aikido (Sandan) and is qualified as an Aikido instructor by the Aikido Association of America.
The best way to find out whether Aikido is for you is to visit and take (or watch) a class. Wear comfortable clothing like sweat pants and a sweat shirt. Sign up for a month or a year. Even if you only practice for a short time, we promise that you'll learn something.