Master Jeff Wade, Director, Owner
- When: 8:30 pm, every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10:00 am every Saturday.
- Who developed Aikido and when?: The most popular style of Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (December 14, 1883–April 26, 1969) around 1943. There also exists a parallel style called Daito Ryu AikiJiuJitsu. This style was developed by Soke Takeda Sokaku Sensei, who was once the instructor of Ueshiba. The styles are somewhat similar and our instructors at South Miami Aikido have been exposed to both.
- What is budo?: Essentially, it is the art of combat. Martial arts have been around since before recorded history. Most styles try to claim they were the first martial art, tracing their histories back millennia. In most cases, like with Taekwondo, tracing the style of martial arts back more than a few decades requires making a leap completely off the track of the style onto the history of another, like Taek Kyon. Just like with anything else, evolution changes and shapes all styles of martial arts into something that, decades later, looks completely different from how it started out. One common explanation for the genesis of martial arts is the abuse of the class system in the ancient orient. Soldiers of the current ruling faction, armed with mechanical weapons, blades and horses would raid and pilage the peasant community for their crops and whatever else they could take. Young boys and farmers, in order to defend themselves, learned to perform miraculous feats of creativity and training. Examples include the use of farm implements, like nunchauku, as weapons. They also learned to jump and kick, theoretically to knock soldiers from their horses. Kata developed, according to this train of thought, as a way to train large groups of beginners all at once. As the need for martial arts as a means of survival begin to dissipate as society became more peaceful and weapons, especially the gun, became more available, martial arts still survived. The reason for this is pretty much unanimously agreed upon by most experts: The intense training honed the spirits of these young warriors into something beautiful. Survival depended on training. Good training required respect, discipline, focus, concentration, benevolence and indomitable spirit. Today, one doesn’t really need martial arts for survival. To study for this reason alone would make about as much sense as getting one’s pilot’s license in case they were caught in a runaway aircraft. The character development of martial arts, however, when taught properly, makes it almost a must for anyone. Indomitable spirit is still the #1 tenet of Taekwondo today. This is also the #1 focus at South Miami Martial Arts.
- What is Aikido?: The literal translation for Aikido is "Harmony(Ai)-Energy(Ki)-Way(Do)." Aikido uses the joint locks of Jiujitsu, but standing and in motion. It's easy to mistake these tools of Aikido as Aikido itself. They are PART of Aikido, but most certainly not the essence of it. The essense is all in the name - Aikido. Every moment on the mat is spent in using martial technique and practice - but to acheive harmony, balance and peace of mind. While the art can most definitely has aspects of self defense, this is not its primary focus.
- What about Self Defense?: At South Miami Martial Arts, in the Aikido classes as well as other martial arts classes, we do not believe in so called “street fighting.” Unless one’s life is seriously threatened, our policy is to turn the other cheek. The use of martial arts for violence is and in our opinion always has been a misuse. Martial arts are for making yourself a better person. However, there are times when combat is truly unavoidable, like in the case of a home invasion, for example. Another example of unavoidable combat is armed, forcible rape. These situations involve violent criminals who’s intent is ultimately to seriously damage or kill our physical bodies. Arm bars, jumping kicks and other fancy Hollywood martial arts tricks are risky at best in these situations. They are difficult to actually pull off under an extreme adrenal state and worse, they tangle the victim in a contest with the attacker rather than focus on escape, which is our number one goal of self defense at South Miami Aikido. More reasonable, simple to use weapons involve little or no training at all: Yell for help. Bite. Gouge the eyes. Improvised weapons are also must in real self-defense combat. We train improvised blunt weapons (bat, stick, book, tire iron), sharp weapons (broken glass shard with towel, tin can lid with towel, pencil) and environmental / defensive weapons (book, tree, roll under a car, walls, table, chair). When should you fight? Good question. We ask our students several questions: In the situation you have in mind, what would you have your grandmother do? This is what you should do too. Also, if you WANT to fight, this is probably a conflict in which you should not be involved. If you do NOT want to fight, you’re probably going to HAVE to fight. At South Miami Aikido, Martial Arts are not about fighting. They are about developing a warrior’s heart, about overcoming our own self-imposed limitations so that we can handle ourselves in any of life’s conflicts, whether that be a home invasion, shark attack or pop quiz at school.