Aikido is unique in its approach. It offers a technical format including both weapons and open handed movement that a student studies in order to master, a vast dimension of body, mind, and spirit principles that are discovered during the training, a wonderful perspective that challenges us to meet aggression with harmony, and an opportunity to explore the dimension of Takemusu Aiki, the spontaneous creative flow of response to an unknown attack. At Aikido Montreux, the technical mastery of Aikido, the embodiment of its principles, the understanding of the Art's wonderful philosophical perspective and the embodiment of the freedom that is discovered within, are all recognized as vital and important for the development of each student. Aikido is translated as the "Way of Being in Harmony with the Energy of Life". It is a martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba also known as O'Sensei. O'Sensei was born in the late 1800's and grew up immersed in the ancient traditions of Japan and Asia. He spent his life studying the classic spiritual teachings of his time. He also gave himself completely to the mastery of Martial Arts (Budo). As he developed he became known throughout Japan as an impeccable and unbeatable warrior. Perhaps the best that the country had ever seen. Due to his spiritual yearnings, mastery of the martial arts was not enough. At one event involving a duel with a swordsman, O'Sensei saw how his abilities allowed him to meet the attack without himself having to become destructive. After the swordsman gave up, O'Sensei sat down by a well to cool off and spontaneously had an experience of great Enlightenment. His perspective opened and suddenly he knew what the true meaning behind Life was. He saw that the martial arts don't have to be a vehicle for destruction but can be a path of transformation. The Universe opened up to him and he saw the interrelatedness of all Life. Out of his mouth came the proclamation "I and the Universe are One!" From this discovery, Aikido was born.
Aikido Montreux offers a comprehensive program for adults of all abilities. Our aim is to give every individual the chance to train at the pace and intensity that is right for them. There are 10 classes a week for adults and periods of time that the dojo is open for personal training. We realize that everyone has a life that has many commitments and responsibilities. Aikido Montreux respects the commitments that each student has to their own life and tries to create a training program that fits with those commitments rather than competes with them. Affiliated with the Aikikai Hombu dojo through the CAA (California Aikido Association), Aikido Montreux awards traditional rank for those students who fufill the requirements of the art. The classes offered to adults range from sword and staff classes (jo and bokken), open handed classes (taijitsu), to classes in Yoga, meditation(Zazen), and the art of Tea Ceremony (Chado). Each new student is given a new membership book explaining the Aikido in greater detail and the requirements for rank as well as a glossary of terms unique to the art.
The weapon training (Bukiwaza) of Aikido Montreux is based on the tradition of the weapon system taught by late Morihiro Saito Shihan, 9th Dan. Saito Shihan was directly taught by O'Sensei, founder of Aikido, in Iwama, Japan. The weapons system of Aikido incorporates a relationship between the sword (bokken), the staff (jo), and the movement of the body (taisabaki). This relationship then leads to a deeper relationship between the mind (shin), the spirit (ki), and the body (tai). Uniting our mind, energy, body, and the sword or staff, opens a doorway for a discovery of integration. This integrated relationship is known as Riai, the harmony of principles. It is this Riai which makes Aikido unique in its form and practice. It creates a direct connection between the open handed movements (taijitsu), movement of the weapon (bukiwaza), and the our mind and spirit. It is an underlying relationship of principles that set the stage for true Aikido to occur, Takemusu Aiki (the spontaneous creation of the movements of Aiki). The form of the weapons practice includes, solo practice (suburi and kata), one step partner excercises (awase), and defined combat sequences (kumijo and kumitachi). There includes also an area of training known as weapon taking (bukidori), where an unarmed student learns to face an attack from someone armed with a sword (tachidori), staff (jo dori), or a knife (tanto dori). All students at Aikido Montreux are invited to participate in the weapon training (bukiwaza classes). It is our perspective that each student needs to develop in all aspects of the practice of Aikido (weapons, open hand, spontaneity) from the beginning in order to have a complete understanding of the Art.