Our Aikido lessons sometimes start and end with a couple of minutes of meditation.
The class Sensei (teacher) talks us through imagination scenarios of calm and focus.
Meditation posture adopted by Sensei Kolesnikov
Aikido concentrates on the "centre" or "one-point" being the source of your energy; this is a point approximately 2 inches below the navel.
Focussing on your centre provides a gateway to calmness, relaxation, focus and inner strength; this is tested during "Ki exercises" during the Aikido classes.
Meditation for a couple of minutes at the start or end of a class helps you to develop this energy and focus, and also calms/controls your breathing.
Breathing is very important to life (you don't survive very long without it!), and one Aikido word for a throw in Japanese (kokyunage) means "breath throw"; you throw someone using your breath, which comes from your centre. So we do breathing exercises in classes to bring focus to the Aikido techniques, and to your daily life in general.