About Zenshin Dojo
Aikido Zenshin Dojo is a small, not for profit, dojo located in south Edmonton focused on promoting and practicing the Japanese martial art of Aikido. We focus on the practice of Takemusu Aiki (or spontaneously manifesting aikido) versus the typical technique based practice.
Zenshin has multiple meanings in Japanese language. One of the primary translations of Zenshin is “to gradually progress, to gradually advance”. This translation is extremely fitting as our primary goal is the progression and advancement of Aikido practice beyond the typical technique focused practice. Another fitting translation of Zenshin is “with the whole body” as during our practice, we are really doing the movements with our whole body and giving our whole self to the practice. Zenshin can also be translated as “virtue, moral sense, conscience” and this translation is also a fitting concept of our practice. We are practicing Aikido in the efforts to not do damage or harm to our attacker, but to have a peaceful resolution to the conflict. This practice is therefore done with virtue, a moral sense and conscience toward all human beings.
We believe this is the way O’Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba) envisioned Aikido. We respect the vision of the founder and make every effort to practice Aikido accordingly.
“The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter — it is the Art of Peace the power of Love.”
Aikido is a contemporary Japanese budo or "Martial Way" developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. The Founder's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
The Japanese word Aikido consists of three Kanji characters:
"Ai" - joining, harmonizing
"Ki" - spirit, life energy
"Do" - way, path, road
These characters are most often translated as: "the way of unifying (with) the fundamental life energy", or as "the way of harmonious spirit."
While it is most widely known as a martial art and system of self-defense, Aikido also incorporates elements of personal and spiritual discipline, where the intensity and focus of martial art training is used as a "Way" to increase mindfulness and self-awareness, as well as to unify the mind and body.
At the heart of Aikido training lies the concept, not of defeating an attacker, but rather of effectively meeting, redirecting and guiding an opponent’s force to neutralize an attack or aggressive situation. This is why Aikido is often called "the art of non-resistance" or "the non-fighting martial art."
Appropriate etiquette and conduct (reigi) are key aspects of self-discipline incorporated into Japanese martial art training - involving the cultivation of an attitude of respect (both for self and others), integrity, impeccability, gratitude, modesty, concern and compassion for others, as well as care and stewardship of the physical, social and natural environments in which we live.