Aikido is a very effective martial art for self defense, not only because it teaches us how to defend against a variety of attacks, but because it is also training our state of mind and physical condition. Improved posture and breathing help us to fit better into our bodies; a positive state of mind affects how we move in the world and how we are perceived by others.
The ability to maintain physical center and mental calm helps us in meeting stressful situations or in resolving conflict in a variety of situations – in the dojo, on the street, at school, in a business meeting, or at home. Most martial arts can help us improve physical things like balance, timing, and reaction. One of the purposes of repeated training is to move these things from conscious processing to automatic reflex. Aikido also helps us develop our spirit, sense of well-being, awareness and compassion.
The multi-faceted approach to Aikido training makes us stronger and more complete human beings, better able to diffuse or defend against negative situations.
Traditional Aikido is non-competitive and promotions do not come through besting an opponent, but through demonstrating understanding of basic exercises and techniques, which become more demanding or difficult as rank increases. In Aikido we strive to work in cooperation with a partner, still employing effective technique against an energetic and realistic attack, yet doing so by blending with the attack and redirecting its energy back to the attacker.
We practice techniques against a variety of attacks such as kicks, punches, strikes, single-hand or two-hand grabs from the front or rear, chokes, multiple person attacks, and attacks with weapons. In all of these we strive to resolve the conflict in a non-lethal, non-disruptive, yet effective manner. Techniques may end in joint locks or immobilizations, or in dynamic motions where the attacker is thrown forwards or backwards.
Rather than primarily linear motions, Aikido is comprised of blending, turning, pivoting, circling, and spiraling. We are learning to deal not only with our own energy, but with that of an attacker or another person (or people) as well. Aikido embodies concepts which are at the same time very simple, yet very complex. Because of these and other differences, Aikido can be very challenging to learn, yet at the same time can be very rewarding because it ultimately brings us into harmony with ourselves and with our world, and helping us to become more complete and integrated human beings.
Matthew One is a 3rd Dan Black Belt Aikido International and has always been interested in martial arts, ever since his childhood. He studied many of them especially Pencak Silat (Indonesia), Jet Kun Do (Shaolin Chinese Kungfu), Capoeira (Brazil) and Aikido (Japan).
In Aikido he finally was in his element. Ai in Aikido means love, harmony, or peace. Matthew has been practicing this beautiful art since 1996 which made him quit his smoking habit to increase his training ability.
Not long after he started as assistant during classes, he also started teaching himself until 2020. Matthew learnt from many teachers around the world through workshops and seminars to get a deeper understanding about this art. As one of his teachers from Singapore once said: “This is a long journey and a life-long learning”.
Matthew has been developing methods to combine and implement the principles of Aikido in daily life as well as motivational workshops and seminars that he has shared with companies in Indonesia like Bank BCA, ASTRA Daihatsu, and Singapore Piaget Academy. In addition, he shares some of his insights about this art through his book ‘The Trilogy of Ryo Satori’ which also started his hobby as a writer.