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AIKIDO for Stress Relief

aikido for stress relief

A unique Japanese form of self-defense that provides stress relief? How’s that possible?​ There is a great form of stress relief available in Castle Rock. AIKIDO (pronounced ‘eye’-‘key’-‘do’) is a powerful Japanese martial art that fully engages your mind and body and provides an excellent outlet for stress relief.  AIKIDO is a martial art, but it is so much more than that. It can be practiced at any level of intensity according to the needs or physical capabilities of the student.  

When most people think about self-defense they often think about and are motivated by fear. Maybe it’s fear about stressful situations like being attacked, being bullied, fighting, assaulted, mugged, hurt, raped or even killed. Other images that come up could include sweating, straining, yelling, crying, pushing, hitting, etc. These notions conjure up images that produce stress, not relieve it! So, how can these images in our heads create stress relief? Well, in lots of ways.

Stress Relief Benefits of AIKIDO

First, many of us work by sitting on our rear ends and staring at screens. Day after day, this boring routine can build up a lot of stress. Human beings were designed to move dynamically each day. We were never designed to hunch at a desk most of the day. Practicing AIKIDO a few evenings a week or on weekends disciplines us to get up, be around other adults, and go do something completely out of the ordinary.

Second, when you are learning AIIKIDO (which is fun, but challenging), it requires your entire attention and focus. It engages our bodies AND our minds simultaneously. It is really hard to think about all of the stressful, bad stuff that may have happened earlier that day when you are training with another student who is depending on you to help them learn AIKIDO, too.

Third, AIKIDO is cardiovascular exercise; and we all know that cardiovascular exercise keeps our hearts healthy. Furthermore, the endorphins that are released during exercise suppress the stressful cortisol hormone that we build up throughout the day at work.

AIKIDO teaches you how to breathe properly, which we all know is rule number one during times of stress.  ​Exercising on gym machines like treadmills or elliptical trainers may get you huffing and puffing, but it doesn’t necessarily relieve stress because although you may be exercising, your brain is still free to think about and ruminate endlessly on all the things that stress you out each day.  

AIKIDO is also very social. You will make some of the best friends of your life practicing AIKIDO. People who practice AIKIDO often have similar values to one another and we all know that having a good, strong social network is really important to our overall health and is helpful in relieving stress.

Self-Defense Competence & Stress

Lastly, and this kind of goes without saying, AIKIDO is a powerful self-defense. So, knowing how to defend yourself effectively also reduces stress. By knowing how to take care of yourself, you can reduce your stress about fretting over one of those scary situations described above. The self-confidence and command of your body that you cultivate when training AIKIDO, necessarily reduces stress.

Unlike many martial arts, AIKIDO does not solely focus on punching and kicking.  Instead, an AIKIDO student learns to move their body effectively and efficiently by employing fluid, whole-body movements that initially evade an attack and then off-balance their partner (who is pretending to be an attacker) and either employ a potentially painful joint lock or assertively throw the attacker to the ground.

The Art of Falling

While learning AIKIDO, you’ll be thrown to the ground, too. So, learning how to fall safely and repetiively is a really important skill. We’ll teach you how to do exactly that and you’ll become so good at it that you won’t have any fear of falling as you get older. In fact, you’ll learn to love it. This reduces a lot of stress, too. More than 40,000 American die each year from falls and complications of falling. So, having this skill builds a lot of confidence and trust in yourself. You wouldn’t believe the confidence and psychological freedom that comes from knowing how to fall and pop back up quickly without getting hurt. The way we train AIKIDO, injury is quite rare. After all, no one wants to go to work the next day battered and bruised. That’s not fun.  

People of all ages practice AIKIDO, but it is particularly beneficial for adults. You’re never too old to start practicing AIKIDO.  One of our instructor’s here at Castle Rock AIKIDO didn’t start AIKIDO until he was 40. Today, he is over 80 and still practices intensely and teaches AIKIDO here in Castle Rock. ​Let go of all of your work or family stress and lose youurself for an hour or so one, two or three times per week by engaging in this fun Japanese exercise that requires your complete and undivided attention.  

Present Living & Stress Relief

We promise you that when you’re practicing AIKIDO you won’t be able to think about anything else.  You won’t be thinking about what went wrong at work yesterday, what you didn’t get done at home today, or what you have to do tomorrow.  You will just be in the moment practicing AIKIDO. You’ll be fully in the present, with a wonderfully empty mind.  In this respect, practicing AIKIDO is a lot like Zen meditation, except a lot more fun because you don’t just have to sit still! This is what produces stress-relief and relaxation – a mind and body that are fully living in the present, not the past and not the future.  

Everyone, at one time or another, needs to hold their awareness in the present better.  In fact, many experts and philosophers have suggested that that is all stress really is: the product of living in the past, future or both simultaneously at the expense of living in the present.  AIKIDO for stress relief will get you living in the present! When you’re practicing AIKIDO, you can’t think of anything else but the present.  

An hour or so of AIKIDO class hour just flies by and you’re left with a satisfying physical and psychological sensation that leaves you wanting more.​ When class is over, your life’s challenges will still be there, but they will weigh a lot less on your shoulder and you’ll be better equipped physically and psychologically to meet those challenges head on.

How to fit AIKIDO into busy life

Classes are held weekday evenings and on weekends in Castle Rock to accommodate working adults.  We have several married couples who practice together. Parents who both want to de-stress through AIKIDO can take turns by alternating which nights of the week each attends AIKIDO class.  Or, get a friend, neighbor or relative to watch the kids and come together.    

​If you don’t live in Castle Rock, don’t let that stop you.  About half of our students come from as far north as Westminster and as far south as Colorado Springs.  Why?  It’s because our program is that good at relieving stress and because it is so much fun. “AIKIDO is my meditation,” says Sarah, a resident of Colorado Springs who commutes to Castle Rock to practice AIKIDO, “and I always feel great after class because it helps me shake off daily stresses. It is a wonderful training program with a great vibe… I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”  ​

Not sure if AIKIDO is right for you? No problem. Come try or just watch an AIKIDO for stress relief class for free. Call us to schedule a visit: 720-221-3665.

Republished from 2008

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