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Why does Aikido Martial Arts focus on pressure points instead of equipment?

In many martial art sports, certain equipment is needed in training. For Aikido Martial Arts, which is basically a form of street fighting, all you need is communication and your hands. Your hands are your biggest weapon, and they can amaze you in ways you never thought imaginable. Sensei Michael Stabile, the head instructor at the Aikido School of Self Defense in Conyers, Georgia, says the beauty of Aikido is that less is more. “In Aikido, the only equipment needed is the uniform. There is no sparing equipment to buy or anything like that. I have had people tell me that they had to buy a new uniform at different levels. Those places are just a money factory. It’s all about the belts there. They charge you for every test, then they charge you for every belt. The only thing that you truly need for training is the uniform. If you can’t afford that, you could just train in sweat pants. It’s not about physical things or how much gear you have; it’s about how much heart and spirit you have. You can go online and buy everything in a catalogue for martial arts, but what does that do for you? It doesn’t do anything. It’s just material. It’s just equipment,” Stabile says. Many martial arts require at least some type of equipment, but Stabile says that equipment won’t be out there in the streets. He says that’s why Aikido is so special. Aikido martial arts shows you the most powerful equipment you have is inside you. “You know Aikido is one of the last full contact martial arts that trains without pads, gloves, or helmets. We do have a mat, but that’s provided. All you need is spirit,” Stabile says. So without equipment distractions, Aikido martial arts makes you focus on using your body. So far, Aikido probably sounds like a sport that can’t do much damage to someone, but don’t let the “less is more” motto fool you. Aikido philosophy is based on brain power, and one of its techniques is using pressure points to subdue the enemy. “There are a lot of them throughout the body. There’s one on the top of the head. You have an easy one where you stick your finger on the side of your mouth, push up, and hit the cheekbone muscle. It’s great if you have finger nails. There is another one just behind the jaw line. There is one just by the bottom of the earlobes, and then there is another nice one under the chin. A great one is, if somebody starts mouthing off to you, pinch their lower lip and twist it. If you are pinching with both fingers on either side of the mouth, squeeze together and then twist. It pulls on that little piece of skin that’s in your mouth and gets them to say, 'hello.' You know, there are quite a few nice spots!” Stabile says. If you’ve ever thought about taking a martial arts course to learn self-defense, Aikido may be the sport you’re looking for. You don’t have to buy any special equipment, and you just might learn how much power you have inside.
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