Aikido is a contemporary, Japanese, martial art of high aesthetics and surprising strength which provides you with the essential equipment to confront a battle, providing the necessary practice. Moreover it is a refined method of mind and body bonding. Morihei Ueshiba established Aikido and was a deeply spiritual and cultivated person, who combined elements of various martial arts on a basis of love and understanding towards everyone and named his art Aikido which means the way to be in harmony with energy. Aikido offers a complete method of defense against attacks, stamina, quick reactions, flexibility, good physical condition, health, improved posture, better concentration and perception, increased power of observation and confidence and clear mind. The training includes all of the features of an intense physical exercise although it offers serenity and balance in a totally different way than ordinary exercise. Aikido contains a wide range of stretching exercises, which help in the relaxation, flexibility and stamina of the body, along with exercises that help in muscular strengthening. Each individual regardless age or physique may start practicing Aikido and go on as long as he or she wishes. Each Master of Aikido continues teaching and practicing it even after they have reached the  age of seventy.


One of its feature and an important difference to other martial arts as well is the lack of any kind of fighting competitions. According to Morihei Ueshiba the goal of a real fighter is to fight his own bad self and achieve harmony with the whole world around himself. The fighting among the trainees would fortify their competitiveness and egoism. It is cooperative, not competitive. This is necessary due to the effectiveness and the power of its techniques. Only in this way is it possible for someone to learn such powerful techniques.


Dancing is a form of art which is characterized by the rhythmic movement of the body. In martial arts, and especially in Aikido, the continuous, coordinated and flexible movement of the body, coming from the hips, is very close to dancing. In order to perform the Aikido technique, the two bodies of the attacker and the defender  should be found in a harmony of motion, which is choreographed in advance because of the dangerous techniques. Without having practiced dancing, I believe that the exchange of energy and harmony of the movement of these two bodies is very close to dancing.


When we begin practicing we learn the basic position. Our hands must be lifted in front of us naturally. All of us are tight or our shoulders are very tense or we are found in an unnatural condition which makes us feel uncomfortable. Our body has lost and forgotten the simplicity of movements as years pass by and everything seems complicated. We try to make simple and natural movements and we help our body remember its original and proper behavior.


We try to keep an invariable rhythm during a technique in order to have a regular and lovely flow of movement. When a technique is executed in a standard rhythm, whether it is slow or fast, the visual effect is very beautiful. Beginners, however, move without rhythm, which is natural, because they think of the next step of the technique during the technique. Moreover, rhythm and breathing are bound together. When we breath in a regular pace we do not get tired easily and our minds remain calm and focused.


Aikido's starting position is similar to that of the dancers’. Also, the way we move during a technique is similar in dynamic, but not like classical dance, it is more similar to contemporary.


We do not focus on winning our opponent on a superficial level. It is deeper than that. Real winners have beaten their own self. Since Aikido doesn’t have official fights, practicing has nothing to do with being competitive, but with evolving yourself through the discipline of the movements.  Harmonizing your movement with the opponent’s. This is the basic element. This technique offers you the maximum result with the minimum amount of violence used. You can achieve that by using the opponents energy flow to break the stability of his body and therefore, pinning him to the ground. It is not a matter of muscle strength, it has to do with focusing your mind, having clear perception, good reflexes and good timing. Also, it needs perfect knowledge of how the body works.


Aikido is definitely a mean of expression, as well as communication. It strengthens your discipline and self-control, promotes co-operation, helps a smooth and healthy development and of course, ensures symmetrical muscle strength and refitting.


It is a perfect way to achieve unique skills like balance, muscle strengthening, power, flexibility, breathing stabilization, correct body positioning, and of course, upgrading your stamina. After 2 years of practicing, the body moves more smoothly, naturally, and in control. Standing also seems more upright and straight.


Before I took up Aikido I was into Judo but when I first saw Aikido on TV, I completely fell in love with it. Unfortunately back then there was no Aikido school in Kalamata so I had to leave for Athens. When I moved to Athens, I found an Aikido training center firsts, and then got a house. I started in 2005 with the guidance of Sensei Janet Clift (5 Dan) and Eamonn Devlin (5 Dan). Except for my teachers, I met many wonderful people that help me to develop faster. In 2008, I started teaching Aikido in Palaio Faliro. In 2012 I decided to go back to Kalamata and open my own Aikido training center. I cannot see my future without Aikido. My goal is to continue Aikido in Kalamata and bring people into loving this beautiful martial art. I would also like to co-operate with Aikikai of Greece in order to organize international seminars so that people from all around the world can come and visit Kalamata.


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