Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Presenting Aikido Dojos - New Video by NOLA

NOLA AIKIDO: PURSUING PEACE THROUGH 

MOVEMENT

Guest Post By Rebecca Marshburn

Living in a city known for its dizzying array of events, festivals, and good times, it can be easy to lose your center. Robert Brian Levy Sensei, founder of NOLAAikido, operates his Aikido dojo in Mid-City to reconnect practitioners with themselves, their communities, and their own sense of peace.

A native Louisianan, Levy moved back to New Orleans in 2007 when he couldn’t shake the feeling that “the city could use some balance at a time of so much instability.” After the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, it seemed more pertinent than ever to bring more Aikido to the New Orleans community, a martial art that focuses on “creating harmony out of discord.” Hoping to be a part of its holistic recovery, Levy put into practice his knowledge gained from Aikido teachers both in the US and abroad, having studied for many years in California, Oklahoma, Sweden, and Japan.Living in a city known for its dizzying array of events, festivals, and good times, it can be easy to lose your center. Robert Brian Levy Sensei, founder of NOLAAikido, operates his Aikido dojo in Mid-City to reconnect practitioners with themselves, their communities, and their own sense of peace.

At times misunderstood, the martial art of Aikido is “not about striking or kicking,” Levy states, nor “does one have to be buff or male to practice it.” In fact, Aikido is about “learning to redirect aggression, compassionately turning destructive and violent forces into peace in both the aggressor and [the victim],” says Levy, “and [transferring violent actions] to a place where those forces are no longer dangerous to either party.”

At NOLA Aikido’s dojo in Mid-City, Levy shares the art of Aikido with male and female students of all ages and sizes. Rather than a show of brute strength or blunt force, Aikido is “not about breaking things, but about using your body effectively.” In fact, the varied pupils improve one another as they interact throughout class, learning to “work with others’ personalities, emotions, and reactions, rather than avoiding them.”
Transcending physicality, Aikido aims to transform hostile thoughts into peaceful and productive choices and actions, encouraging its followers to “think deeply about their actions, reactions, and what kind of life [they] want to lead.” Likening inner conflicts and personal fears to “self-attacks,” Levy finds that Aikido strengthens more than the body, but also the mind, improving practitioners’ sense of calm and balance, and ultimately their intra- and interpersonal skills.

Beyond his Mid-City dojo, Levy hopes to share NOLA Aikido’s emphasis on “peace and harmony through movement” with as many students as possible. Following in its democratic tradition as an inclusive and interactive art, NOLA Aikido shares methods of non-violence conflict resolution at local schools, seminars, and festivals in an effort to mitigate violence within the city.
Steadily evolving to include more practitioners seeking to create harmony out of discord, NOLA Aikido’s dojo becomes a stronger family, and shapes stronger communities, as students interact and learn more about themselves and one another. Levy hopes to continue growing his dojo and the New Orleans community through the healing art of Aikido, helping to reconnect ourselves with one another and with our own spirits, one peaceful movement at a time.

NOLA Aikido is located in Mid-City at 3909 Bienville Street, Suite 103. To pursue peace through movement, visit NOLA Aikido’s website at www.nolaaikido.com or call their dojo: (504) 208-4861.


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