Staying Physically and Mentally Fit with Aikido
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed as a means for practitioners to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. For Hugh Higgins, iCircle Accounting Manager, this is a great way to stay active. "[Aikido] emphasizes self-defense techniques and developing mind and body coordination," Hugh said. "It's a lot of fun and doesn't rely on physical strength or size. A smaller person could throw me very effectively."
Hugh said he first learned about aikido in college. "The genesis was I saw a Steven Seagal movie. He's an aikido black belt. I practiced on and off and have been at the dojo with the group I practice with for about seven years." Hugh said he's both practiced and taught there. He said people are often nervous the first time they step onto the mat. "Our goal is to help each other practice and learn. People are very well taken care of. The idea is to practice hard and send them home happy."
Aikido also has noticeable health benefits, Hugh said. "It really helps you feel less stressed in everyday life and at work. If you practice for a while it improves your posture and your breathing. It just makes you more self-aware of your surroundings and what's going on."
Hugh said people who are interested in trying aikido can come to the dojo downtown on Cumberland street during one of their practices. They practice five times a week, and anyone is welcome to come and try it for free. Check out their website to learn more.