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Aikido - A Modern Martial Art

Posted by  Saturday, 08 Apr 2017 02:20 PM

Talk and Demonstration April 13 in Bristol


Aikido holds a unique place among the forms of martial arts. Although it in-cludes the lineage of ancient martial art forms, Aikido was developed in Japan in the twentieth century. Aikido practitioner and instructor Linda White will discuss and demonstrate this non-violent martial art form on Thursday, April 13 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Memorial Library in Bristol. This free event is hosted by the One World Library Project. 

Aikido means, “the way of uniting ki.” Practitioners may initially appear to be engaged in a fight; however, Aikido is about resolving conflict in a harmonious way. Audience members will be invited to try one or two simple exercises to experience some of the mind-body connection at the heart of this form.

White is currently Chief Instructor of Blue Heron Aikido Dojo, founded by Jonathan Miller-Lane in Middlebury in 2004. She began practicing Aikido in 1982 during a three-year stay in Japan. While there, she was introduced to an inspiring teacher, Tada Hiroshi Sensei, with whom White continues to train whenever she returns to Japan. Aikido is taught through demonstration and not through language, so White, who had just begun studying Japanese in 1982, could participate equally with Japanese beginners. The athletic nature of the practice also appealed to her. 

Another aspect of Aikido particularly intrigued White. “People tend to respond to an attack with a physical reaction,” she points out. “It’s important to relax and engage with a person to find a resolution.” This mind-body process was both a challenge and a fascination for White, and it has informed other aspects of her life, including parenting, teaching and dealing with stress. “The training impacts you in a complete way, so it’s always there.

In addition to teaching Aikido, White is Associate Professor and Chair of Japanese Studies at Middlebury College. She is currently working on a book entitled “Gender and the Koseki” about Japanese feminism. For more information on this event or about One World Library Project, contact the Lawrence Memorial Library at 453-2366 or go to www.OneWorldLibraryProject.org or the One World Library Project Facebook page.

One World Library Project is a local community non-profit that “Brings the World to our Community” through regular programs as well as a collection of adult and children's books and films about world cultures, all of which can be found at the Lawrence Memo-rial Library.

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