In May of 2010, we opened our dojo in the New Tampa YMCA, in sunny Tampa, Florida with the vision of creating a community of Aikido practitioners. We are dedicated to the teaching, training and spread of traditional Aikido. By training, we commit to a simple lifestyle that balances the duties of modern life with a martial vigor. We don’t promise anything but genuine authentic Aikido training. This training serves to polish your body, spirit and mind.
Developed in the early 1920’s by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art. Ueshiba, or O’Sensei, meaning great teacher, was a man dedicated to the study of classical martial arts including the sword, spear, staff, and various types of empty-hand combat. O’Sensei committed lifelong study of warrior traditions. O’Sensei, however, was not merely satisfied to create an effective form of combat. In seeking victory over himself as well he developed Aikido. In Japanese, Aikido means “the way of harmony with the force and principle of nature.” Although, derived from Japan’s traditional budo (the way of martial arts), Aikido goes beyond budo to a path where the keen edge of martial art is used as a “Way” to spiritual growth.
The most visible feature of Aikido training is the repetitive practice of various motions known as kata (forms), until rational and unforced movement flows naturally throughout the body.
Unifying the body, mind and ki (internal energy), and utilizing internal order together with physical balance, each person can express their hidden potential through the dynamism of their technique. The techniques harmonize and neutralize the aggressor’s force. Aikido training requires physical, mental, spiritual and ethical practices. It includes body movement, empty hand, sword, stick and knife techniques.
With no competitions in Aikido, winning and losing are eliminated as a concern. Students can freely dedicate their efforts to mutual goals. As people with diverse characters and lifestyles come together for practice, they gain concrete experience in reconciling different points of view. In addition, each train and progresses at his or her own pace, finding harmony through personal development. Students practice with one another in pairs, after the teacher had demonstrated a technique. Each taking turns as the attacker and the defender. Regular practice brings a sense of authenticity and self-confidence that permeates all aspects of daily life. For all who dedicate themselves, Aikido is challenging path, demanding perseverance to improving both spirit and body. The recognition and acceptance of this aspect of training are the surest means of consistent personal development.
Weapons are an integral part of New Tampa Aikido. Weapons work integrate the weight, balance, stance, timing and distance of one’s body movement. As extensions of the body, wooden staff and sword polish and develop one’s body, mind and spirit. As the late master Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote in his book aikido “unless you can make the weapons part of your body, you have not truly trained in Aikido.”