There are many benefits and reasons to practice Aikido from self-defense to self-improvement to physical fitness. The opportunity to practice cooperation, trust and connection with fellow humans is a powerful one. We get to practice peaceful interaction with intensity, vigor, and joy each time we step on the mat.
“Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.” - O’Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba
The dojo is the space where we come together to practice. We come in with our differences and shared desire to learn, and something magical happens there.
We are diverse and we meet in the dojo. An Aikido dojo requires a trust between strangers. From your first class on, you are required to work closely with other people. You are grabbing, striking, throwing, and pinning each other over and over again. Cooperation is crucial for Aikido practice no matter whom you are, and no matter whom your partner is. Differences become of little consequence, as the training requires focus on the task at hand and working together to learn. The dojo is a lab for human betterment. Through an opportunity to practice and cultivate peace within ourselves and between each other in the dojo, we have the potential to extend our ability to peacefully discourse throughout our lives and contribute to the betterment of all we come into contact with.