Making International Relationship with Aikido - Aikido Articles

Aikido is Japanese Soft Power

I have studied English at the Defence School of Languages (DSL) in the UK since April 2010 because I was ordered to study in DSL and Joint Service Command and Staff College (JSCSC). In this essay, I will describe how Aikido, which is my hobby, was useful for developing my English. I realized that Aikido could be a source of Japanese Soft Power. Soft Power can be defined simply as a force which can attract another person strongly.

Searching for an Aikido club near DSL was important for me to make friends with English people. Having many opportunities to speak English is the most effective method of studying English in the UK. In addition, this would be an easy way to continue my own hobby that I have practiced since I was a student of National Defence Academy; I have 3rd dan of Aikido now.

By chance I obtained Mr Robinson's cooperation. He is an instructor in DSL and a Royal Air Force Officer. He has a friend who practiced Aikido in Japan. We soon decided to practice in the London suburban Aikido club, PINNER Aikido club, every Friday evening. As Mr Robinson is interested in Aikido very much, he told me that in the future, he would like to teach Aikido to his son who is now 4 years old. In this Aikido club, Mr Salloway, the representative of PINNER Aikido club accepted us pleasantly. He allowed me to practice for free, especially when I explained that my participation was only during the period of DSL. Furthermore, he gave me the opportunity to teach Aikido to members of the club in English. This was very significant as I introduced the mind of Aikido, ‘the way of harmony’ as per Japanese culture, and for cultivating my capability to explain in English.

Coincidentally in June this year, an extensive Aikido seminar was held by Aikido dosu, Mr Moriteru Ueshiba in Wales. The reservation of this seminar was full one month ago. Therefore, I explained to the representative of the seminar that I was taught Aikido directly from Mr Moriteru Ueshiba when I was student of National Defence Academy. My participation was then permitted specially. In the seminar, I recognized strongly that Aikido could be the resource of Japanese Soft Power. Almost all people who practice Aikido must be the pro-Japanese, known of Japanese culture and understand Japan deeply through the practice of Aikido. For instance, I had the opportunity to converse with participants in a dinner party after the seminar. Many participants told me that Aikido and Japanese culture were attractive to them. Practicing method without game and other techniques of Aikido builds understanding of a feature of Japanese culture, ‘harmony with nature’. They can therefore comprehend Japanese culture in a physical sense. Information which does not accompany such a bodily feeling, in other words, information from books or internet cannot become a force to attract as many people as Aikido.

To sum up, the brand names of Japanese automobiles and electrical companies overflow in the world and are popular among many people. In the future, the Japanese virtues of ‘the mind of harmony’, the respectful mind to nature and people and Bushi-do, which exist in the inner part of sophisticated Japanese technologies will become just as popular. They should be introduced more positively to the world as an international benefit from Japan. Therefore it would be very important to have the ability to explain them with English language, and embody the philosophy and culture of Japan. In addition, practising Aikido in the UK was very significant for me and a valuable opportunity. I will continue to strive in my study with a positive mind and appreciation for daily life in the UK.

Japan Maritime Self Defence Force
Lt Cdr Mizuhiko Megata

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Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art and is very different from disciplines such as Karate, Kick Boxing, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, MMA, BJJ, Kempo and Krav Maga where there is emphasis on kicking, punching or wrestling.

Aikido is an extremely efficient self defence (also as Self-Defence Women London) system utilising balance-taking and posture-breaking movements to achieve joint locks, pins and throws. It contains elements of Ju Jitsu, Kendo, Judo and other budo.

Aikido Classes are held every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at our Harrow dojo, and Thursday evening at our Pinner dojo in NW London. Pinner Aikido Club London is a part of the Kai Shin Kai International Traditional Aikido Association (KSK), which is a member of the British Aikido Board (BAB).

Aikido is essentially a non-violent Martial art system that encourages the avoidance of confrontation and harmony with an aggressor. The classes are well attended with Aikido students always on the mat and aimed at all levels, from beginner to advanced but everyone is welcome to come along regardless of fitness or experience.

Our Aikido students work at their own pace during the training sessions and no one is forced into doing anything they are not comfortable with.
Pinner Aikido Club in London can help you achieve self-defense skills, self-esteem, confidence, and fitness. Most of all though, our classes are fun.

You do not have to be competitive or naturally athletic to take part in the Aikido class. Learning Aikido is about self-improvement and self-confidence.

Regardless of your size, body type and current level of physical ability or disability. If you are looking for a healthier, more confident way of life, then the modern art of Aikido may well be for you.

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