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Lions Roar : March 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2007 68 Aikido: The Art of Peace BY JOHN STEVENS WHEN I FIRST SAW aikido being practiced, I was enticed by its graceful, elegant movements. There was none of the hard con- tact or the ungainly grappling associated with other martial arts. The movements seemed fluid and seamless, and it was difficult to discern who was the attacker and who was the defender as the two partners executed the techniques and their motions blended together. The techniques, I later learned, are based on three prin- ciples: circular movement to neutralize an attack, triangular entry to the side or behind an attack to avoid its force, and square control of an attack by using one’s four limbs to pin a partner. In aikido, before an attacker lands a strike or gets a firm hold, his or her partner is already moving out of harm’s way. Aikido is the “way of harmony,” founded by the great Japa- nese master Ueshiba Morihei (1883–1969). Morihei was a peer- less martial artist, famed for his ability to down any number Yoga is not the only form of moving meditation. A look at some other traditions that join body and mind in transcendent movement. Postures & Movements