As a world-renown professional golfer, Hideki Matsuyama has had a recent winning streak over the past year. He won four out of five of the last starts and currently ranks 6th place in the Official World Golf Ranking after beating out his competition at the Hero World Challenge.
This latest victory made me people wonder about his training techniques, and the answer comes from an unlikely place: Aikido Martial Arts.
Aikido can be translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit.” Developed by Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido is a synthesis of martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. His goal was to create a way for people to defend themselves without injuring their attacker. Aikido is what Matsuyama has been practicing in his spare time on his Srixon Star XV golf ball.
“I do whatever I can to win,” Matsuyama told us while sitting cross-legged on the floor. “The amount of energy and focus you put into Aikido translates to the golf course. A ball is a man who I must strike but not destroy. I hit hard but with purpose.”
While his fellow golfers spend their time off the course with family, Matsuyama is in his 300-square-foot martial arts studio practicing throws and pins. Aikido also helps the body relax in stressful situations and also improves flexibility and endurance. Matsuyama’s goal is to become one of the fittest golfers on Tour.