‘Aikido is not an art to fight with enemies and defeat them. It is a way to lead all human beings to live in harmony with each other as though everyone were one family. The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements.’
– Morihei Ueshiba (founder)
Ando aims to do its bit in this world. By Bringing people back to their individuality and inner strength. Connecting them to their life force and the universe.
The key is hidden in the word ai-KI-do. Our strongest power there is is your inner power (Ki), also called life energy. In both the yoga and Aikido traditions, life energy is the source of our existence. It brings balance and peace to our lives.
Balance in the body is the basis for balance in life. The hectic pace of daily life, however, throws us further and further off balance. And creates a breeding ground where restlessness and overstrain (stress) get too much space. Stress is often the cause of many illnesses we suffer from nowadays.
Practising Aikido ultimately creates an inner peace that is not disturbed by life's endless tensions and struggles. This Japanese martial art is also known as the way of harmony and love. But that, of course, is easier said than done.
After all, we live in duality, which means that we have to deal with an Ego. Which compares itself with its environment (must be better, more beautiful etc) and our real 'Being' (core).
Ego has been given a big voice in our society, pushing away your own inner voice.
We have started to live more and more on external appearances. Wishes of others, accepting unhappy situations etc. The art is to go back to yourself. To get back in touch with this inner voice and power. Who knows which way you want to go and how you would like to live your life. Apart from what others expect and think of you. When you stand in your own power, you are connected to yourself and everything around you. The life energy (Ki) can then flow and create. It is an infinite energy which everyone can access.
To get there is The first step to start with Aikido training. On the mat you will have 'a meeting with yourself'. This happens in a loving way. You will be held up to a mirror while practising Aikido. People react to the projections you send out and thus reflect your behaviour. Behaviour that stems from patterns created by thoughts and feelings. By gaining more insight into your own patterns, you can transform or change them in a physical way. In Ando Aikido, we work in layers. Just like an onion, you go deeper and deeper to your core. For this process, you need a mentor, sensei, to inspire, motivate and set an example.