The Art of Aikido |

The Art of Aikido

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun

Ester Mandeno always wanted to try martial arts but was afraid of getting hit. She discovered Aikido, a modern Japanese martial art focused on redirecting the force of an attack rather than facing it head on, six months ago when Truckee Aikido started classes in Truckee.

She’s been hooked ever since.

“It’s not about hitting people,” Mandeno said. “It’s pretty peaceful.”

Kahlil Johnson, who teaches Aikido in both Tahoe City and Truckee with Sally Jones is offering a new six-week class for beginners through the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District starting next Thursday April 21 said the class is suitable for all types of people in the Truckee-Tahoe area.

“It’s great for people who want to do a martial art but want the freedom of expression in the martial art. I think there’s a lot of people in Tahoe like that,” Johnson said.

Aikido has physical, spiritual and mental benefits, Jones said. The martial art theme is setting up a conflict and gives people a chance to resolve it in a peaceful manner.

Participants also learn how to fall safely which can be a metaphor for everyday life.

“I had a hard time learning how to roll,” Jones said. “There’s a psychological aspect of having a safe fall during the day.”

The martial art also teaches multitasking during Randori, when a single person is being attacked by three other people.

“In real life it teaches a calmer way of dealing with chaos,” Jones said.

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