Oct 282010

People choose Hiriki Aikido for many different reasons. Some need a safe form of exercise. Some want to learn how to defend themselves and their loved ones. And there are students that have studied different forms of martial arts a large portion of their lives and are still searching. It is a martial science first and foremost. The art form of Aikido is next in the development and challenges the student must face to gain knowledge of the art in an academic sense, to know where the martial science came from, and to be able to understand and interact with any other style of Aikido. It is practiced as a martial science, not the aerobic work out that many schools today are saying is Aikido.

But why do people choose Hiriki Aikido? From forty-four years of teaching experience, I have learned that to retain and promote the student’s confidence from the very first day techniques must work for the beginner as well as the advanced aikidoka. With that in mind an advanced program of learning has been developed to enhance the learning process.

Waza (technique) is taught initially while confronting a near-static opponent which is directly opposite to most other styles of aikido teaching. When the student is taught by handling a static attack it is done to challenge their learning ability in the higher levels of the art. Static is harder to learn because the balance and momentum of the attacker is not given to the beginning student to use as an aide in performing the technique. At the same time the beginning student is taught how to use their Ki energy and develop the body memory of Ki in all the techniques they learn.

The theories of Hiriki Aikido are instructed along with Ki and its applications in practice and daily life. The philosophy of the art of Hiriki Aikido as self-protection for the mind and body is passed on to the student. Unlike most martial arts schools Hiriki Aikido Dojos educate the students to the range of choices they have in response to aggressive behavior, physical or mental, and we train knowing there are always consequences set in motion by our actions.

The foundations, pillars and principles (waza) are taught to the student in actual levels. These levels are like the levels of the Use of Force Continuum taught to law enforcement personnel which is used to judge the correct level of response to a specific threat. This always allows the Hiriki Aikidoka a range of responses necessary to keep safe, physically and legally, giving the beginning student a solid foundation to advance their education to a higher plateau of learning in the future. Hiriki Aikido is based on the foundations of O Sensei’s Aikido (square, circle, and triangle) with added foundations of the Point and Axis; adding these foundations to O Sensei’s original foundations improves the art of Hiriki Aikido’s effectiveness and versatility.

The Hiriki Aikido dojo is a safe place to practice and learn the art of Hiriki Aikido. The dojo membership is friendly and helpful to all its members; there are no bullies or cliques allowed in the dojo. The classes are structured to allow an attitude of enjoyment in being there; the strict military discipline practiced by some dojos is not present. That is not to say there is no respect of the dojo or students; respect is always shown at all times and the students pride themselves on the seriousness of their study and the safety of the learning process of Hiriki Aikido. Class sizes are small and personalized with access to the Sensei being always available and encouraged. Because Hiriki Aikido has the potential to cause injury all students are carefully watched as they progress through the levels of training.

When a student leaves the dojo they feel relaxed, energized, and totally relieved of stress. This is just one benefit of Hiriki Aikido practice. The student looses their necessity to be who they are in the outside world. They are not parents, teachers, lawyers, doctors, or factory workers they are aikidoka and for the time in the dojo that is all they are. They are just students, each walking a different path toward the same goal. They practice an art which enhances their inner self and their physical self toward their betterment as human beings where good energy dwells and manifests as a path which dispels all negative energy; this is what Hiriki Aikido teaches them and it is what each enjoys most.

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