Paul Rest from California has recently had an article published on his “Low Impact Aikido” program. One of my main motivations for starting my own work was that I wanted “normal people” in business and other organisations, to get some of the benefits from aikido without the cultural baggage and level of athleticism required for traditional practice. This has proven to be a success over the last three years here in Brighton, and Paul reports the following among other benefits for people on his program in the USA:
- Students learned how to balance themselves in a more powerful and effective way.
- Students learned how to extend themselves, beyond what they were used to through the use of the weapons training.
- Students had insights into the Alchemical nature of the art, about bringing forth energies from one point to another and made discoveries in how to work with these energies.
- Students learned to move from a state of imbalance to balance, a very powerful practice which resulted in many reports of falls that were stopped or caught; the ability to move away from such urban dangers as runaway shopping carts, bike messengers and the like.
- Students got an understanding that all energies have the possibility to be harmoniously balanced, which also doesn’t mean perfection but can result in alleviating some of life’s little nagging missteps and problems.
- Students learned they had the power to be an effective force in their lives and in the world, even if their bodies were not in perfect condition or had limitations due to age, injuries or other factors.
So What: Aikido (and other embodied practices) has benefits that people can access without athletic practice.