This is a general introduction to Aikido which also looks closely into the ideas and principles behind Aikido. Concepts such as HANMI, KOKYU, AWASE and ZAN SHIN are illustrated by a wide variety of different techniques. At the London Aikido Club we practice the full range of technical and spiritual Aikido but always teach around these central unifying principles.
HANMI - the basic stance of Aikido. It is at once protective and ready to move in any direction while being neither aggressively confrontational nor vulnerable. It is a positive but non-threatening stance.
AWASE - this means to blend with the attack. It is a matter of timing and position. As a strategy, it avoids meeting force with force. The mental and physical balance of the attacker is broken, your own position is safe, and the attacker is open to the execution of the technique. It is within this concept that the non-violent/conflict resolution face of Aikido shows itself most clearly.
KOKYU - the power source of Aikido. The way of using the body to maximum efficiency. Using the hips as the base to produce spirallic patterns of movement which are phenomenally powerful.
ZAN SHIN - the remaining spirit, the state of readiness on apparent completion of an exercise.
Every practice contains a general explanation of dojo etiquette, discipline, how to practice and how to fall.