Yoga and Self-Defense

Why ancient Yogis were powerful Martial Artists

By Gordon Fontaine, 2nd Degree Aikido Black Belt

Anyone with an understanding of yoga (prana) can harness their internal power for self-defense! Here’s why: There is a deep-rooted connection between yoga and martial arts that dates back to 1000 BC, which is known as the Vedic Age. These teachings were brought to India then later to China and eventually became the foundation of Buddhism and Asian martial arts.

These ancient techniques were used as a method for self development. The Brahmans (priests) and Yogis used it for healing, physical and spiritual development. The Kshatriya (warrior caste), on the other hand, studied it in conjunction with understanding the body and the Marmas (pressure points), and developed internal power for martial art/self defense.

Unfortunately, as traditions are passed through generations they often lose pieces of their origin. Today, very few martial arts actually pass down these (once secret) teachings, instead favoring speed, technique and external power. Interestingly, modern day yogis have held strong to tradition that tap into these energy-focusing techniques — inadvertently studying the very essence of what makes a powerful martial artist.

This connection inspired to offer yoga and internal martial arts seminars and weekly classes (Mondays at 6pm) that focus on getting back to the traditional energetic forms of martial arts. These classes require no previous martial art experience and focus on conditioning internal power to ‘use the mind to master the body.’ is a Martial Art and Yoga Center located in Union Square, Somerville. Visitors are ALWAYS welcome!

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