Aikido and Technology – Why Aikido is Good For Children and Adults

It is no secret that the human body grows weaker as it is used less and when life becomes easier. While this is not necessarily a reason to make your life more difficult, it is a reason to take a good, hard look at ones everyday interactions, as well as gain some perspective on the evolution of technology and how we may be going backwards by trying to move forward. ? The technological advances we have all around us have made life, in many ways, much easier than it may have been 10 years ago, but have we become better as a result? Its a worthy question and one worth delving into, especially when it comes to our children and their future. ? Elevators, escalators, cars, video games, computers; all of these things have rendered once firm and strong muscles weak and flaccid from lack of use. Our minds have become weaker as we utilize calculators, computers, and video games to do much of the thinking for us. Children, especially, are becoming less creative and have far less patience and focus as a result of all the technological stimulation that is such a prevalent part of their lives.? ? The paradox of technology and innovation is that, instead of creatively or constructively utilizing all of the time thats been freed up by our gadgets, we tend to use the time to sit back, relax, and demand to be entertained by yet more electronic stimulation.? ? Kids today are being stimulated and hypnotized by an endless stream of animated figures on the TV screen, whether from television shows or video games. Our kids no longer need to utilize their imaginations to create their own games and activities because it is all being done for them electronically. ? Physical activity is mandatory for children. In addition to the standard PE classes kids have in elementary school, children need to activate and stimulate their young brains with activities that inspire them to be creative and help them access areas of their brains and bodies that, without use and with over-stimulation from TV and video games, will certainly atrophy and eventually just wither and die.? ? It has been said that “Happiness is born of adversity”. Without the experience of difficulties and hardship, all of the beauty and the blessings of life are taken for granted.? ? Aikido is a japanese martial art that focuses on conflict resolution and non-contention of force as the primary means of self defense, as well as personal development. Since it is a martial art, it is a physical training method for children and adults to utilize all of their muscles, joints, connective tissue, and brain. Since it is a physical art of conflict resolution, and not of conflict escalation, it forces young minds to access their creative and imaginative abilities to find ways to end the conflict. ? Aikido for kids and adults is just one of the many recommendations for overcoming the physical and mental atrophy we all experience as a result of technological advances. There are many good activities to get children involved in and a well taught kids Aikido class is certainly one to check out! Aikido has been recommended as one of the best physical arts to teach children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD due to the discipline it teaches, the specific breathing techniques taught as a part of the martial art, and the character building aspect that follows from the techniques unique to the martial art of Aikido.?

Blaine Feyen is the founder and chief Aikido instructor at the Toyoda Center of Aikido and Kendo in Grand Rapids, MI. Mr. Feyen was a live-in student (uchideshi) under the renowned Aikido and Zen master, Fumio Toyoda, in the mid 90’s. http://www.toyodacenter.com

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