Seiza - Aikido Knowledge Base - Aikido Glossary
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Seiza (正座, literally "proper sitting") is the Japanese term for the traditional formal way of sitting in Japan.
To sit seiza-style, one first kneels on the floor, folding one's legs underneath one's thighs, while resting the buttocks on the heels. The ankles are turned outward as the tops of the feet are lowered so that, in a slight "V" shape, the tops of the feet are flat on the floor and big toes are overlapped, and the buttocks are finally lowered all the way down. Depending on the circumstances, the hands are folded modestly in the lap, or are placed palm down on the upper thighs with the fingers close together, or are placed on the floor next to the hips, with the knuckles rounded and touching the floor. The back is kept straight, though not unnaturally stiff. Traditionally, women sit with the knees together while men separate them slightly. Some martial arts, notably kendō and iaidō, may prescribe up to two fist widths of distance between the knees.
Stepping into and out of seiza is mindfully performed. There are codified traditional methods of entering and exiting the sitting position depending on occasion and type of clothing worn.
Sitting cross-legged, agura (胡座?), is considered informal and is inappropriate for certain situations, but is sometimes permitted, especially for those for whom seiza is difficult, such as elderly or non-Japanese people. Even in such cases, sitting cross-legged is generally considered uncouth for women.
To sit in the kneeling position is called kiza (跪座?) in Japanese. It may be described as half-sitting on the heels. To sit seiza requires coming to the kneeling position briefly. The bent knees are on the floor, and the buttocks rests on the heels which are still propped up. If one then lowers the tops of the feet to the floor, one will be in the seiza position.
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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.