ďIt was three years ago when I decided to study a martial art. Upon recommendation from a friend I found Aikido. I was actually referred to Woburn Aikikai from another Aikido dojo, and I haven't looked back since.
Aikido training is quite challenging and consequently very rewarding. I started training in order to gain physical strength, conditioning, and confidence but have gained much more. I have been able to overcome physical, emotional, and mental obstacles in my regular training, and I have been able to relate that to some common obstacles I encounter in my everyday life.
I use to find that I would get frustrated easily at the slightest provocation, but through my Aikido training Iíve been able to work through some of this. Itís incredible to be able to find a school where you donít just learn a library of great techniques, but also a means to improve your life. At least this is what I have found, and having a brand new baby in my life, a full-time job and a stressful life I need all the help I can get.
The dojo atmosphere is active and ambitious, yet nurturing. While training under Michael Baron Sensei I have been pushed hard to do my best while given the means and inspiration to accomplish whatever goals I set for myself. The other students are cooperative and challenge me every step of the way.Ē
- Jason G., Third KyuJason lives in the Woburn area with his wife a daughter.
The aikido classes have been wonderful for my children. They have gotten fit and strong while having fun and learning martial arts, but for me as a parent the emotional benefits to my children have been just as tangible as the physical ones. Since starting aikido my son has learned to focus and sit still, something that's hard to do for most seven year old boys while my ten year old daughter is more self-confident and willing to put herself "out there" than she has ever been before.
Overall I like this style of martial arts because, unlike karate which relies mostly on kicks and punches (which can be limited in their effectiveness depending how strong and large you are), aikido uses the opponent's force against them so that even children can learn to defend themselves against people who are bigger and stronger than they are.
I am very happy with the balance of fun and discipline I see in the classes. The fact that we were not locked into any kind of contract is also a big plus for me.
In short, I couldn't be happier and the kids' smiles when they hop into car after class speak for themselves.
- CP., ParentCP lives in Winchester with her husband and three children.
"In addition to finding a unique community of wonderful, fun people who seek self-improvement on many different levels, practicing Aikido at Woburn Aikikai has helped me lose quite a lot of weight and become physically fit. After one year of training Iíve lost over 25 pounds and several pant sizes. At an Aikido seminar in Montreal I realized that my favorite pair of jeans was in danger of actually falling off. Not the look Iím going for, however, I couldnít have been happier.
My practice has also benefited me in many other important ways: I sleep better, eat better and am more mindful in my interactions with others. Our teacher pushes us to exceed our own expectations on a regular basis, and makes this a part of our regular practice. In my view, this motivates us as a group and inspires us as individuals to make rapid progress at the dojo and helps us become better individuals outside. In general I am very happy with my choice to practice at Woburn Aikikai, and Iíd have a hard time imagining my life without Aikido practice in it.Ē
- Sarosh K., Fourth KyuSarosh recently moved to DC from the Boston area with his wife and Parents. He travels to Woburn once a month in order to continue his training.