The Aikido

The Aikido | What is Aikido | History of Aikido | Principles of Aikido | Aikido Defense Techniques | Aikido Styles | Aikido Dojo Etiquette | Physics Of Forces In Aikido | Aikido Physical Training | Aikido Training the Mind | Concept of Ki in Aikido | Morihei Ueshiba | Interview with Morihei Ueshiba | Memoir of the Master Morihei Ueshiba | List of Aikido Organizations

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the Way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

Aikido is primarily a grappling art in which attacks are neutralised with various types of throws or joint locks. Aikido techniques are intended to be implemented after first blending with the motion of the attacker, so that the defender may redirect the attacker’s momentum without directly opposing it, thus using minimum effort.

Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba’s involvement with the Omoto-kyo religion. Many of Ueshiba’s senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him.

Today, aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with a broad range of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and a caring for the well-being of the attacker.

The word “aikido” is formed of three Japanese characters,

  • ai – joining, harmonizing
  • ki – spirit, life energy
  • do – way, path

The term do connects the practice of aikido with the philosophical concept of Tao, which can be found in martial arts such as judo and kendo, and in more peaceful arts such as Japanese calligraphy (shodo) and flower arranging (kado). The term aiki refers to the martial arts principle or tactic of blending with an attacker’s movements for the purpose of controlling their actions with minimal effort.

There are many possible translations/interpretations of the meaning of the name. Probably the most common translation is “The Way of Harmony with Spirit”. In an early book, it was translated as “The Way of Chivalrous Spiritual Harmony”.

Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba, he is also known by Aikidoka as o-sensei with the “o” prefix meaning “honorable”, therefore signifying in this case, Honorable Teacher. the major parts of Aikido are derived from Daito-ryu Aiki-j?jutsu a form of Jujutsu with many joint techniques, and kenjutsu ), or Japanese sword technique (some believe the tactics in Aikido are especially influenced by Yagy? Shinkage-ryu). Aikido is also considered to contain a significant spiritual component.

One applies aiki by understanding the rhythm and intent of the attacker to find the optimal position and timing to apply a counter-technique. Historically, aiki was mastered for the purpose of killing; however, in aikido, one seeks to neutralise an aggressor without causing harm.

The founder of aikido declared, “To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.” A number of aikido practitioners interpret aikido metaphorically, seeing parallels between aikido techniques and other methods for conflict resolution.

Aikido practitioners, commonly called aikidoka, generally progress by promotion through a series of “grades” (kyu), followed by a series of “degrees” (dan), pursuant to formal testing procedures. Most aikido organisations use only white and black belts to distinguish rank, but some use various belt colors. Testing requirements vary, so a particular rank in one organization is not always comparable or interchangeable with the rank of another.

The uniform worn for practicing aikido (aikidogi) is similar to the training uniform (keikogi) used in most other modern martial arts; simple trousers and a wraparound jacket, usually white. Both thick (“judo-style”), and thin (“karate-style”) cotton tops are used. Most aikido systems also add a pair of wide pleated black or indigo trousers called a hakama. In many styles its use is reserved for practitioners with black belt ranks, while others allow all practitioners or female practitioners to wear a hakama regardless of rank.