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Ma ai

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Maai (間合い?), translating simply to "interval", is a Japanese martial arts term referring to the space between two opponents in combat. It is a complex concept, incorporating not just the distance between opponents, but also the time it will take to cross the distance, angle and rhythm of attack. It is specifically the exact position from which one opponent can strike the other, after factoring in the above elements. For example, a faster opponent's maai is farther away than a slower opponent. It is ideal for one opponent to maintain maai while preventing the other from doing so.

In kendo, maai has a more specific interpretation. In physical terms pertains to the distance maintained between two opponents. When Maai is interpreted as the actual distance between opponents, there are 3 types:

1. Tōma (Tō-ma) - (long distance);
2. Issoku ittō-no-maai (Itto-ma) - (one-foot-one-sword distance) also called chūma - (middle distance);
3. Chikama - (short distance).

Itto-ma is the distance equaling one step to make one strike. It measures about two metres between opponents; from which either need advance only one step in order to strike the other. Normally, most techniques are initiated at this distance. Chika-ma is the distance narrower than Itto-ma (short/close distance), and To-ma is greater (long/far distance). At To-ma, there is a small margin of time to allow for a reaction to be made against an opponent's attack. But at Issoku itto-no-ma there exists almost no margin at all, so that at this distance one's attention has to remain constantly alert and unbroken.

In terms of time, Maai pertains to the momentary lapses of awareness that are manifested in the opponent's mind. Extended further, it also embraces the concept of Kyo-jitsu (emptiness-fullness of Ki). These momentary lapses of mind, and Kyo-jitsu, we may call the 'kokoro-no-maai' (mental interval). The implication of kokoro-no-maai is that although the physical distance between opponents may be mutually advantageous, the mental interval possessed by individuals will determine who will have the decisive advantage.

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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 Aikido Alliance.

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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