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two adult men practicing aikido on the coast of a body of water

Famous People Who Practice Aikido

By Aikido Lessons, El Paso TX

If you ever looked up a list of famous and well-known aikido practitioners on Wikipedia, you’ll see a variety of individuals who live both interesting and common lives. Among the names, you’ll see those who studied under Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido’s founder. His teachings continue to live on to this day through his students and his own children. You’ll also find actors, writers, professors, and so much more. For today’s blog post, we will list a few famous aikidoka whose lives have become enriched with the practice of Aikido. If you’d like to enrich your own life, then join Aikido of El Paso.

Sean Connery

[CC BY-SA 3.0 (]The original James Bond himself, Sean Connery, told Jay Leno in 1996 that he was a Nidan in Aikido. During this Tonight Show interview, Connery went on to say that he actually broke his wrist while practicing aikido with fellow aikidoka Steven Segal. This may sound counterintuitive (since Aikido relates more to self-defense than other martial art forms) but it’s something that could actually happen. Perhaps Connery might’ve been a bit too aggressive against Segal who, then, used this aggression against Connery thus breaking his wrist. Aikido is often seen as nothing more than self-defense training but practitioners can easily injure their opponents. Hopefully this spar with Segal didn’t cause Connery to give up the martial art. Although Mr. Connery is 88 years old, he can very well still be practicing aikido, albeit without Steven Segal!

Jerry Seinfeld

[CC BY 2.0 (]When you look at Jerry Seinfeld, you possibly don’t see an aikido practitioner. Sure, maybe you can imagine an episode of Seinfeld where Kramer gets obsessed with Aikido and hilarity ensues but, in reality, Seinfeld himself considers aikido a “wonderful subject.” In an interview with Parade Magazine, the comedian is quoted as saying “I studied that for a while, the martial art. I love that. That’s a wonderful subject. Very good in marriage. I would suggest Aikido training for anyone thinking of getting married” Clearly, this is Seinfeld being funny but there’s a lot of truth to his statement. Aikido is the way of the spirit of harmony. What one learns when practicing aikido can be used for mental and physical self-defense. You’ll learn how to traverse through difficult situations, many of which can crop up within a marriage.

Joan Baez

Rowland Scherman [Public domain]The seminal folk-singer, Joan Baez, is a black belt in Aikido. Much like Seinfeld, Baez understands the benefits Aikido has had in her life. She’s quoted as saying, “Aikido is carrying over into my life. A few years ago I would have been waking up at night. Not now.”

Join Aikido of El Paso, Today!

Aikido may not be the most popular martial art form but it does play an incredibly positive role in the lives of those who partake in it. If you’re ready to enrich your life, then join Aikido of El Paso!

two aikido practitioners practicing

Aikido: The Way of Harmony with the Spirit

By El Paso TX, Martial Arts

There’s a sense of peace that tends to manifest when we exercise. Be it going for an early morning jog or bench pressing weights at the gym, we manifest a mental state of repetition that can often lead to a state of meditation. Even if we don’t actively try to achieve this state, it still occurs. You might listen to music or a podcast as you go about your workout, this sends you further into a state of oneness with your mind, body, and soul. That’s why you feel so good after working out. But if you’d like to take your workout to the next level, on a physical and spiritual level, consider partaking in aikido classes.

Aikido: The Origins

Aikido, a Japanese martial art, may seem similar to Jiu-Jitsu as it involves throws and joint locks as well as techniques similar to Kenjutsu. Unlike other popular martial art styles, aikido doesn’t focus on attacks such as punching or kicking. Instead, it focuses on using the opponent’s energy in order to control them. By using this “opposing” momentum to your advantage, you’ll be able to defend yourself. But Aikido is much more than a method of self-defense, it’s a way of life! That may sound grandiose but it’s true. Aikido can lead to self-defense, enlightenment, and peace of mind. You see, the term “aikido” can be literally translated as “the way of harmony with the spirit.” Each lesson can be used to positively impact your life, on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.

Become Part of a Positive Community

If you’re curious about this martial art, you can visit Aikido of El Paso to take a look at what you can expect from a regular day of practice. Or, you could also look up aikido on Youtube. It may seem like a choreographed dance but it’s all real. The setting of aikido is safe but everything you see is the actual use of motion and momentum to cause the opponent to become unbalanced. Achieving this degree of smooth effortlessness takes practice, of course. Once you gain knowledge of aikido, you’ll be able to use it in your daily life. It’s a force for good in the world and you’ll become a vessel for such positivity. We all have a place in nature; aikido helps us live in harmony. Give Aikido of El Paso a call today to learn more about the benefits of this martial art!

a woman practicing self defense at an aikido academy

Center Yourself in the Fast-Paced World with Self Defense Classes

By El Paso TX, Self Defense Classes

Although El Paso constantly ranks as one of the safest cities in the nation, bad things still happen to good people. By partaking in self defense classes, you’ll be able to have the knowledge and skills necessary to fend for yourself if the situation requires it. Aikido of El Paso proudly provides self defense classes to anyone who’s interested. Not only does self defense training boost your overall awareness and physical conditioning, but it also allows you to develop self-discipline while building up your confidence. It’s never too late to start!

The Physical Aspect of Self Defense Training

Self defense training is built upon a foundation of physical conditioning. As a martial art, aikido focuses on grappling and softness which means it redirects the momentum of the opponent’s attack, throwing the opponent off balance. Unlike other styles of martial arts, aikido is meant to protect both the practitioner and the attacker from injury. This differs aikido from other forms of martial arts as the physical training aspect requires mastery of controlled relaxation as well as correct movements of joints. Aikido has more of a focus on flexibility and endurance than in strength. This is because the force in the training comes from the attacker, never from the practitioner. Although there may not be an emphasis on strength training, practitioners still develop physical conditioning. But aikido goes far deeper than the surface; it penetrates the soul of the practitioner, guiding them on the correct path.

Centering Yourself in a Fast-Paced World

People partake in self defense classes in order to be able to protect themselves if the situation requires it. Although other styles of self defense may show you how to defeat an attacker, they also create violent intentions and aggressive thoughts. When it comes to self defense, it’s crucial for you to be able to center yourself. This way, you’ll be able to make the right decision on a split second. Self defense training from Aikido of El Paso will lead to more confidence and overall awareness. With enough training, you’ll be able to stay aware of any potential hazards in your immediate vicinity. As they say, the best offense is a good defense. This is exactly what aikido training has to offer. If you’re curious about aikido training, give Aikido of El Paso a call. We’re taking on new students regularly. Before long, you’ll have the knowledge and skill to defend yourself.

The Tradition of Japanese Warrior Arts

By El Paso TX, Japanese Warrior Arts

Martial arts karate fighters, master and his disciples in white kimono and black belts hone their skills, fight training in action, workout in gymAikido is a Japanese martial art that has as its central aim the notion of weaponless self defense. The practice aims to keep the attacker injury free. This martial art involves a lot of joint locks and re-direction of the opponent’s momentum. By simply redirecting momentum, you are able to successfully protect yourself without having to generate a tremendous amount of force. At Aikido of El Paso we focus on these basic principles, while instilling some of the ancient warrior virtues.

Brief History of Japanese Warriors

A samurai is a Japanese warrior. This tradition dates back centuries. Samurai’s were trained warriors that were part of an elite military caste. The word samurai translates to “those who serve,” as the early samurais were armed supporters of wealthy landowners. Throughout the centuries the traditions and honor codes of the samurai have carried over and become an important part of the Japanese culture.

Samurais were known for their sober behavior and strict codes. Their behavior was dictated by strongly instilled ideas of honor, loyalty, bravery, and honor. Many of these were held above one’s life, so that soldiers who dishonored the code often preferred to die by suicide than have to live dishonorably.

The Japanese warrior code became known as bushido. The word translates as “the way of the warrior” and gave way to generations of great military men that fought to the death.

Tenets of the Code

The Samurai code developed over years as the art of war developed and ideas about the ideal warrior came to be.

Self-Control: These soldiers were taught to show no fear and exhibit absolute self-control and grace in the battlefield.

Authority: All warriors tended to have a deep respect for hierarchy and authority. They took orders and followed them, as they believed it held together an important structure.

Loyalty: A deep rooted philosophical belief in the loyalty towards country and family, which often discounted individualism. That is, a soldier was  fighting not for himself, but for a greater cause. His own interests came second.

Honor: The elite warrior would not allow himself to feel fear or to disgrace the cause. He was always to operate with grace and to bring honor to his family or country, or else expire by one’s own hand.

We owe a lot to the Japanese when it comes to traditions of martial arts and combat. Aikido places great emphasis in the spiritual and mental aspects of combat. In Aikido, size doesn’t matter, for true strength is in control and technique.  We like to honor this tradition in Aikido of El Paso, where we study this unique martial art, while respecting the history of all Japanese warrior arts.

The Benefits of Enrolling Your Child in Martial Arts

By El Paso TX, Martial Arts

Aikido boy fighting position in white kimono isolated on whiteChildren are adventurous creatures who deserve outlets where they can release all of their pent-up energy and creativity.  Martial arts is a great activity for children to be involved in. Not only can it help them stay in shape and maintain good health, it’s also a great way for them to channel their energy into something positive. Here are some of the benefits martial arts, such as aikido, can have on your children.

Benefit #1: Better Behavior

Kids are sweet, sweet angels—except when they’re not. Children are amazing, but sometimes they throw temper tantrums so crazy, you’re just not sure what to do. Because children are ripe with emotions and a tad on the unpredictable side, giving them a place, like an aikido class, to channel these emotions and energy is a great way to help them behave more without having to enforce punishments and strict rules.

Benefit #2: A Good Night’s Sleep Every Night

Martial arts can be quite tiring, but this is a good thing. It can help your little ones sleep better at night, sleeping through the night and falling asleep more easily at bedtime. Plus, sleeping well and feeling well-rested will help them perform better in school and feel happier.

Benefit #3: Staying Occupied

A little bit of boredom is good for a child’s imagination, but too much boredom can be a recipe for disaster. With a martial arts class in their schedule, your children can stay occupied, create goals for themselves, make new friends, and spend multiple hours a week doing something they enjoy.

Benefit #4: Learning Self Defense

A great thing about attending a martial arts class is that a child will also learn how to defend his or herself. While it hopefully doesn’t come to this, it can come in handy in tricky situations. For one, as a child grows both in mind and in a martial arts class, they will be able to discern the difference between a foe and friend. This combined with knowledge of self defense can help them in dangerous situations.

Call Aikido of El Paso Today!

If you’re looking for a great way to get your child active and to have a place where they can channel their energy, Aikido of El Paso is the place to call. We offer Aikido classes for children ages 6 to 14. Call us today to learn more about our programs!

What Differentiates Japanese Martial Arts from Other Combat Forms

By El Paso TX, Japanese Martial Arts

When discussing the topic of  Japanese martial arts, you may picture individuals in robes striking each other while shouting loudly. It’s important to understand that Japanese martial arts encompass a wide range of styles and techniques, some make use of weapons while others solely rely on the practitioner’s own body and strength. Aikido is one such martial art. It stands apart from other art forms because aikido focuses solely on self defense. If you’re in the El Paso area and you’d like to learn a highly useful form of self defense, visit Aikido of El Paso!

Why Japanese Martial Arts Matter

What differentiates Japanese martial arts from other forms of combat from around the world is the intrinsic philosophy that permeates through every form of martial art. From those that make use of weapons (kendo and kyudo) to those that only require the practitioner’s own body (karate, aikido), the world of martial arts offers a wide variety of choice for all. Japanese martial arts are known as “budo.” This term is used to describe modern martial arts and it translates literally to “the way of war.” Although this literal translation may seem very violentand aggressive, budo is essentially a way of training both the mind and spirit to reach an internal peace. In fact, modern martial arts have no enemy. The only enemy is the one within the practitioner. This “ego” is that which must be fought.

Understanding Aikido

Many types of budo require the practitioner to instill physical injury upon their attacker. This substantial aggression can lead to negative emotions which may manifest in the life of the practitioner. Morihei Ueshiba, aikido’s founder, decided to create a budo that implemented his own martial studies, philosophy and religious beliefs. The term “aikido” loosely translates to the way of harmonious spirit.” In essence, Ueshiba set out to create a budo wherein the practitioner could defend his or herself while protecting the attacker from injury. This may sound counterintuitive, especially from a Western perspective. Regardless, by keeping both the practitioner and the attacker free from harm, aikido is able to impart positive energy into the environment that surrounds the practitioner.

Practice Aikido in the El Paso Area

This is where Japanese martial arts differ from other forms of physical combat or training. Since budo combines philosophy with physical training, the practitioner’s mind and body are reinforced through practice. If you’d like to take your first steps towards enhancing your life, both mentally and physically, then visit Aikido of El Paso! We offer classes to students of all ages, all throughout the week. Contact us today to learn more about our schedule and classes!

The World of Martial Arts: Aikido Training Benefits the Body and Spirit

By El Paso TX, Martial Arts

Closeup of male karate fighter hands.Unlike other forms of fighting, martial arts are generally built upon a philosophical foundation. Aikido, for instance, was crafted as a way of unifying life energy. In fact, the term “Aikido” translates to “the way of a harmonious spirit.” This is what separates aikido from other martial art forms. In fact, aikido was created as a martial art that could be used to defend oneself while protecting the attacker from injury. It is much more than a martial art, it’s the most complete form of self-defense. If you’re in the El Paso area and you’d like to learn more about aikido, visit Aikido of El Paso.

Martial Arts Benefit Your Life

In order to walk through life with a harmonious spirit, one must take every step with care and precision. It’s necessary to be safe and maintain a stable point of view. Sometimes, however, our daily lives get in the way of staying healthy and energized. This is where aikido comes into play. Martial arts are able to provide individuals with all the tools they require to defend themselves. Karate is well-known as the “empty hand” martial art while aikido is the way of combining forces in order to defend oneself without destruction.

Train Your Body and Mind

Aikido training is made up of physical and mental aspects. The physical side is diverse, made up of physical conditioning and overall fitness. A majority of aikido training is made up of throws so beginner students need to learn how to fall and roll safely. The mental aspect manifests when the student relaxes his or her mind and body even under stressful circumstances or dangerous situations. Simply put, an aikido practitioner must be able to meet attacks with confidence. In order to achieve this, the student’s mind must be in the right place.

It’s Time To Start Training!

Aikido can be practiced by children as young as 7 years old to elderly people as old as 70 and beyond. Children who begin training at an early age can train their minds to be stable and ready to face any obstacle head-on. Adults can easily put what they learn into their daily lives. It’s important, however, to train rigorously and advance in the martial art form in order to properly reap the benefits. If you’re in the Southwest area, visit Aikido of El Paso today to witness the natural power of this martial art. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.