Why practice aikido?
There are many different reasons why people practice aikido. Some practice to learn effective self-defense, others to get more agile and others are interested in the mental training. Many also thinks it is interesting with the Japanese culture. Other benefits are the communion that occurs when practicing together in a group. There is no competition and everybody help each other to develop.
The most important is perhaps that aikido is fun!
Aikido is effective self-defense. In the practice we use many techniques as tools to learn different principles and body movement that finally becomes reflexive. The philosophy in aikido teaches a good approach when it comes to avoid or deal with conflicts.
Our body is made for movement and we all need to work out to stay healthy. We know that exercise is good for our health, so why not have fun doing it at the same time as you get more benefits.
Aikido practice is allround and improves balance, body coordination, flexibility, strength, endurance and posture. Today there is a lot of talk about training that improves core stability to prevent back pain. In aikido you improve your core stability and many with back pain experience that they get better after a while with aikido practice.
In japanse budo the body and mind are considered unified and practicing the mind is as important as the body.
This is true in Aikido aswell and training improves ability to focus and many experiences increased calmness and mental stability. Increased self esteem is another important aspect of the training.