The basic techniques of Aikido are very important to learn thoroughly. In this book I cannot give you all of them as they are too numerous. But I have tried to give you a good overall guide. It is difficult to learn true Aikido from a book and the best way is to practise in a club under a good teacher. But use this book in conjunction with your training.
This book, I hope, will help you to understand the real meaning of Aikido.
If you can imagine that you are like a spinning top and if someone or something attacks you, they will fly off from you and not be able to enter into your body. In Aikido all movements must be 'circular' - not 'triangular'. Thus if you are spinning like a top and your opponent is on the outside, he is controlled not by strength but by your movement. At the same time your body and mind must be relaxed. We then have a posture which is completely alert.
Always practise with good feeling and spirit. An excessive amount of talking on the mat is a waste of time. Your breathing should be through your nose with your mouth closed. By this method you will learn to control your breathing. This will in time enable you to practise at least three hours a week. At the leading clubs in this country, most pupils practise five hours a week and Dan grades ten hours a week. At the Aikikai, they have a system whereby the pupils live in and devote their lives to Aikido. They train up to six hours a day for seven days a week. After a certain number of years - usually ten - they are sent out as apostles of Aikido to teach the Art to all parts of the world.
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