A different martial arts style comes to Sylva

Aikido, a form of martial arts that means “the Way of Spirit Harmony,” will be offered in Sylva from 7:30 till 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the White Dragon Academy. An initial meeting and free introductory class will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 5.

Unlike karate and other “hard” arts, aikido allows someone to protect themselves against an attack without necessarily harming the other person. When presented with an attack, an aikido practitioner uses gravity, momentum, and a variety of throws, wristlocks, and other unbalancing techniques to blend with an attacker, bring them under control, and resolve the situation. This strategy is not only effective against physical attacks, but can be used to diffuse a verbal attack or calm a heated argument as well.

Since aikido relies on timing and blending, more than on strength or size, it is well-suited for both men and women of all ages and sizes. Aikido, a modern Japanese martial art, was created in the 1940’s after the end of WWII.

Class size will be limited to a maximum of eight students. Previous martial arts experience is helpful, but certainly not required. Past experience with dance, gymnastics, or other activities that emphasize circular movement will prove helpful in learning aikido. Students must be at least 16 years old, and in reasonably good physical condition.

Aikido classes will be taught by Sensei Timm Muth, who trained for 14 years under Sensei Ned Danieley and the late Shihan Fumio Toyoda.

828.269.8144 or call Muth at 828.507.1800 after 5 p.m.

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