Martial Arts as Movement

Aikido Inspired Movement Classes

Many exercise routines have been developed to assist the movement disorder population including traditional physical therapy, dancing, and even boxing!  The martial art which has received the most research attention is Tai Chi.  In working to create easy and accessible material, however, there is a core challenge.  Tai Chi – in it’s full form – is really complicated!  As the mechanism linking Tai Chi practice to secondary symptom improvement is not well understood, it may be that truncated Tai Chi classes do not impart the core elements of movement needed to master balance and movement.

A main element of Aikido is to simplify movement down to its core elements, often ignoring detailed things like “techniques” or “steps.”  Because of this, Aikido does not have forms, unlike most other Japanese martial arts. It is taught through basic balance shifting and movement exercises, and then applying these exercises to real-life situations. It is a direct study of economy of motion, or training to have the most impact with the least amount of movement.

A core foundation of Aikido is to learn and apply the “shapes” of our body; the square, the circle, and the triangle.  By learning to create, fill, and/or move these shapes in various ways, Aikido students learn how to move with balance, strength, stability, and fluidity.