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Aikido Techniques and Women - Shadow Aikido
Aikido Techniques and Women
Learn about a martial art that builds the Mental and Spiritual as it develops the Phsycial
- Aikido: Self defense is as much mental as it is physical. Make this art a life-long journey.
Women: Identifying threats and proactively avoiding them is as important as whatever technique you may incorporate to physically deal with it. Situational awareness is part of Aikido training.
Shadow Boxing: Shadow Aikido
How can a woman overcome the apparent disparity of the lack of upper
body strength compared to men? The two key issues that come to mind
when thinking about Aikido Techniques and Women include blending to
avoid force-on-force conflict and the use of the entire body to execute
an Aikido technique.
Shadow boxing is an ideal technique used by a boxer in training to help with agility, movement, and requires no partners. In this technique, the boxer executes the same movements as with a live partner allowing technique to improve even in the absence of a live partner. In the same way, Shadow Aikido can be used to help a practitioner continuously refine defensive as well as technique-focused movements.
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Getting Started with Shadow Aikido
So how does one go about adding Shadow Aikido to their training? A wise
man once said "begin at the beginning", and in Aikido this beginning is
the Aiki Taiso or basic exercise techniques. This is because these
techniques are designed to maximize the power generated through the use
of the whole body rather than just the arm muscles. They also rely on
power generation through maintaining balance by "keeping one-point" and
transmitting this power through the use of the unbendable arm.
To restate the original premise, Aikido techniques are best performed when a woman is not meeting force with force as she will usually end up losing such a confrontation with a stronger male opponent. Shadow Aikido, like Shadow Boxing, can be done anywhere because you need neither a dojo or an opponent to practice. One great Aiki Taiso technique is called ude furi choyaku undo, which involves a circular or spinning body movement. This is very effective against a side blow to the head (called yokomenuchi) or a straight punch (called munetsuki). In this exercise, the circular movement permits the blending with the energy of the attack, which then allows the force to be redirected.
Shadow Aikido - Improving Technique
As you might expect, there is more to this than meets the eye. Shadow
Aikido is not simply the execution of an Aiki Taiso technique at home.
Rather, it moving the body in anticipation on an imagined attack,
blending with the energy, and redirecting it into a defensive
technique. Just as a boxer gets good at slipping a punch by imagining
that his shadow is an opponent, a woman can imagine that her Shadow
Aikido opponent is a larger male whose attack energy must be
neutralized through blending so that force-on-force conflict can be
To summarize, Shadow Aikido can be an effective training aid that can benefit both men and women. However, it has particular appeal for females because it can help to illustrate the importance of harmonization and redirection of energy in an effort to avoid force-on-force conflict with a stronger opponent.