Martial arts have been a form of fighting art which has been practiced by men and women alike throughout centuries. Be it karate, Taekwondo or any other forms. Every martial art has its own story and has evolved through various stages from different countries. Interestingly, there is another form of Japanese martial art known as AIKIDO, which is still not in the limelight like the others.
Avijit Mitra, a martial art expert in AIKIDO shares, “AIKIDO evolved from the Samurai art and is known to be a defensive art and not an aggressive one, unlike Karate which is popular in sports category. The reason being, AIKIDO means ‘The Way of Spiritual Harmony’, which signifies that it spreads harmony and peace and is a technique used mostly for defence. It was popular among the warriors class but is now used as a normal way of life for self defence”.
He further states, “We can segregate AIKIDO into 3 broad categories: AIKIKEN (signifies attaining spiritual power), AIKIJO (makes you strategically strong) and lastly IKITAI, which lies in between. There’s Furitama which includes liberation of the soul and Yamabushi which talks of bare body meditation. Through the exercises of AIKIDO, a strong belief system is generated as opposed to karate or other aggressive martial arts which focuses on conflict and competition”.
According to Mitra, women are now in the forefront and many are breaking the barriers to compete in equal grounds with the male counterparts, which is remarkable. “Women are no longer keeping themselves restrained within the four walls of the house but are stepping outside and balancing both ends equally. Learning martial arts is critical for women given the alarming rates of violence against women in India. This is the reason why so many women are signing up for self defence classes. It builds their self confidence,” he shares.
Tejaswini has won hearts and accolades for its unmatched support towards women in making them adept in different self defense techniques. “Our session started from December 5 and will continue for five days till December 9, from 8-10an in the morning. It’s a good platform to showcase workouts and self defence techniques. Our martial expert Avijit Mitra who is trained in AIKIDO shows all the techniques and explains how at any cost safety shouldn’t be compromised,” says Soven Banerjee, Assistant Commissioner who was present.
“One remarkable response that we got this year was regarding our participants. Every year we have sessions at the Police Athletic Club and we have limited participants from Bengal. Apart from this, knowledge regarding regular safety measures, cybercrime and social media hacking is also imparted during the sessions. This year due to the pandemic we found overwhelming response from each and every part of the country- right from Bangalore to Delhi to Mumbai and Agartala. This year’s online Tejaswini workshop saw around 1354 participants for the 5 day event, which is indeed very reassuring. For every session we send zoom links to 300 participants so that they can attend the live sessions,” says Banerjee.
“We have entered the age of digitization where technology has changed our course of life. But I believe it has changed our perspectives and the way we work as well. Also in a way it has helped us to get closer to everyone by breaking barriers and connecting with a larger mass. Irrespective of what the situation is next year, we will continue to work in this new normal way by extracting the best of both worlds – online and offline – to reach out to more people for our workshops. It’s indeed magic how technology can help people to transform lives,” he adds.